In partnership with the 202020 Vision, which seeks to increase urban green space by 20 per cent by 2020, Brookfield Multiplex has created Australia’s first ‘green’ construction site office at their Wetherill Park site in New South Wales.

The project is a ‘plug and play’ evidence-based Plant Plan developed and recommended by experts in the field, and includes a best practice, DIY guide for the implementation of any site office or demountable shed.

Developed by the University of Sydney and 202020Vision Advocate, Associate Professor Tonya Gray, the project is the first collaboration of the 202020 Vision’s Nursery. It aims to build evidence of the impact of sustainable office buildings on occupant health, comfort and productivity.

Currently, pre and post occupancy tests are being conducted on the Brookfield Multiplex site team to see if their ‘green environment’ improves their health and wellbeing. This includes the team undergoing Australia’s first standardised post occupancy evaluation system for offices, the Building occupant Survey System Australia (BOSSA), as well as rigorous IEQ testing of the site office and performance measurement.

“Incorporating green space into our site offices is part of our broader plan to create high performance workspaces. International research shows developing green space within office environments not only significantly boosts the health and wellbeing of staff, but also increases productivity,” says Lauren Haas, Brookfield’s Australian sustainability manager, and 202020 Vision advocate.

“Through introducing a Plant Plan, we envisage seeing the same or better improvements in our own staff that is integral to delivering high performance buildings for our clients as well as being an employer of choice.”

According to the World Green Building Council’s Business Case for Green Building report, views to nature can improve office worker well-being by reducing their stress levels. For instance, reports have shown that workers tend to exhibit less frustration, increased patience and overall satisfaction when they have views to nature through windows.

Brookfield Multiplex hosted a working bee earlier this month, with site staff volunteering their time and building expertise to build movable plant trolley walls, wall crates, planter boxes, bucket hanging baskets and milk crate herb gardens using up-cycled materials, such as wooden transport pallets and milk cartons.

According to Haas, the brief was to develop a low cost, highly effective, low maintenance and modular plant solution to get the “site offices growing” in a way that could be easily replicated at other sites.

Upon completion of the Wetherill Park site office research, 202020 Vision will release a ‘how-to’ guide encouraging like-minded businesses to green their working environment. The site will also be assessed under an Innovation Challenge by the Green Building Council of Australia.

Brookfield Multiplex is planning to roll out the project across all its construction sites.

The National Gardening Industry Australia (NGIA) supplied the plants used at the Wetherill Park site office.