The firsts keep coming for Sydney’s 200 George Street, and with the award season looming we can expect them to continue.
The latest is the record of being home to Australia’s first certified office by the International Well (WELL) Building Institute (IWBI), awarded to Mirvac’s new headquarters which takes up five floors in the building.
The Gold certification from the IWBI is the second highest score on the Well standards and the third time the building has broken records in Australia. 200 George was also Australia’s first to be fully LED-lit and to incorporate a pressurised closed cavity façade system.
It also has a 6 Star Green Star Interior rating from the Green Building Council Australia, but for that accolade it must compromise for a second place behind Lend Lease’s St.George Bank at Barangaroo.
THE BENCHMARK FOR HEALTHY WORKPLACES
Inside Mirvac’s HQ at 200 George
The Well Building Standard is an 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 new to Australia and has been made easier thanks to a new partnership between the GBCA and IWBI, formed in February, which aligned the two ratings systems.
Well Standard applicants need to achieve credit within seven categories including air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
By achieving a Gold certification, Mirvac HQ scored higher than the prerequisite for Silver certification, buoyed by a strong biophilia and nourishment plan for the office and occupants.
Around 1,171 plants are in the tenancy, which is more than one plant per person, and an internal café, The Song Kitchen, provides healthy food options with high nutritional value and clear labelling to help employees make informed selections.
Mirvac’s implementation of safe and clean drinking water, air quality monitoring and pilates classes contribute to credits in the water, air and fitness categories respectively, but its credit in the light category is certainly owing to the architectural design, engineering and façade technology of the building.
The building’s structural design provides large open floorplates for tenants, and its closed cavity façade with in-built venetian blinds enables work stations to be placed on plate perimeters against floor-to-ceiling glazing without complaints from occupants about uncomfortable levels of glare and heat.
Seventy-five per cent of workstations within Mirvac HQ are located within 7.5 meters of a window and the building’s LED light map has been programmed to provide varying levels of brightness throughout the day to maintain “optimal circadian rhythms”.
THE PROOF WE NEED
Over the past few years, Mirvac has been utilising the web-based Building Occupants Survey System Australia (BOSSA) methodology to conduct internal Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) surveys with its occupants.
The BOSSA tool is designed to assess how satisfied building occupants are with the quality of their indoor environment, providing feedback for designers about how occupants use and react to a space.
Feedback from Mirvac employees since moving into the new HQ eight months ago shows a significant increase in IEQ satisfaction scores. The BOSSA measurements for overall performance, health and productivity improved by 35 per cent since the previous survey taken at Mirvac’s old HQ at Margaret Street. Noise distraction and privacy scores improved 50 per cent and spatial comfort scores similarly increased by 50 per cent.
These types of feedback loops are seen by some of Australia’s leading workplace designers as key to legitimising new occupant-focussed design strategies taking off in Australia.
They, among others like new monitoring technologies that can track staff movement and working patterns, space and services use, and biological responses to different interior environments, are also considered pivotal to determining which design strategies can provide bottom-line improvement for a business.