Does Mirvac HQ’s Architectural Design Create The ‘Healthiest Workplace In Australia’?

Does this building contains the healthiest work environment and architectural design in Australia?

It may not seem like it from the outside, but if the building’s latest certification is anything to go by, then its workspace is something to be admired.

The building, located at 200 George Street in Sydney, is the EY Centre and headquarters to real estate giant Mirvac.

This week the EY Centre received the highest standard in healthy workplaces in the world – a GOLD certification from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

The WELL certification is the first one ever to be awarded in Australia. Only 5 other companies in the world have achieved a GOLD WELL Certification.

Mirvac’s headquarters also achieved a 6 Star Green Star Interior rating, further contributing to the sustainable credentials of the building.

Mirvac CEO and Managing Director Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said they were extremely proud to have their headquarters’ Australian design achieve the first GOLD WELL Certification in the country.

“We aspire to set the benchmark for innovative, healthy workplaces in Australia. As a leader in this space, we can better support our customers’ goals to build sustainable workplaces of the future,” she said.

IWBI CEO Rick Fedrizzi presented Mirvac with the WELL Certification at the Gold level and said Mirvac has given architectural design the health and well-being focus of WELL, adding to the Sydney skyline a world-class project that visually captures the warmth and vitality that WELL strives to deliver.

“But even more importantly, by putting humans at the centre of property design decisions, the Mirvac team has underscored how building science and bio science can work seamlessly together to deliver a higher level of health and well-being.”

Architectural design and the WELL Building Standard

The WELL Building Standard is an innovative evidence-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring the performance of a building’s features that focuses primarily on the health and well-being of occupants.

It is secured by achieving credits across seven categories including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Some of the innovative features to achieve these credits within Mirvac’s workplace at 200 George Street include:

Fitness

  • A dedicated health and wellness educational seminar series is held in Mirvac’s headquarters in which health professionals educate staff on health and wellbeing;
  • Pilates classes are held in the office once a week with a professional instructor; and
  • A wellness library with a range of health and wellbeing literature is hosted online for all employees.

Air

  • SAMBA sensors throughout the tenancy monitor air quality and create the optimal indoor air quality for employees; and
  • Air pollution removal, proper ventilation and air filtration are all important aspects Mirvac is implementing to maintain air quality.

Water

  • Safe and clean drinking water is provided through proper filtration methods. It is also accessible 30 meters from regularly occupied spaces to encourage hydration.

Nourishment

  • Mirvac’s internal café, The Song Kitchen, provides healthy food options with high nutritional value and clear labeling to help employees make informed selections.

Light

  • 75 per cent of workstations are located within 7.5 meters of a window, increasing access to natural light to provide physiological benefits; and
  • Lights are also programmed for varying brightness and darkness at appropriate points throughout the day to maintain optimal circadian rhythms.

Mind

  • In response to a physiological need to be around nature, Mirvac has developed a Biophilia plan that incorporates nature’s patterns throughout the tenancy design; and
  • Around 1,171 plants are in the tenancy, which is more than one plant per person.

Over the past few years, Mirvac conducted a series of internal Indoor Environmental Quality (“IEQ”) surveys utilising the Building Occupants Survey System Australia (“BOSSA”) methodology.  BOSSA is a web-based survey tool designed to assess how satisfied building occupants are with the quality of their indoor environment. The surveys were performed at Mirvac’s former tenancy at 60 Margaret Street, Sydney and then the new headquarters at 200 George Street, Sydney.

Mirvac’s new headquarters has been open for eight months and in that time the new BOSSA survey has recorded a significant increase in employee’s IEQ satisfaction scores. The BOSSA measurements for overall performance, health and productivity improved by 35 per cent since the previous survey.  Noise distraction and privacy scores improved 50 per cent and spatial comfort scores similarly increased by 50 per cent.

To achieve the 6 Star Green Star Interior rating Mirvac had to perform at a high quality across the nine categories of management, indoor environment quality, energy, transport, water, materials, emissions, innovation and land use and ecology.

Despite their current achievements, Mirvac said they aren’t done. The EY Centre is also targeting a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating and 4 Star NABERS Water rating.

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