Landid and Brockton Capital’s office development – The Porter Building, in Slough – is the first in the UK to achieve WELL Building Standard certification.
The WELL Building Standard is an international performance-based assessment methodology grounded in medical research that is exclusively focused on human health and wellbeing in the built environment.
The standard has become a key marker of new office design in the US, and an increasing number of major UK office developments currently under construction are registered for the rating. However, The Porter Building is the first in the country to achieve WELL Core and Shell certification, attaining a rating of Gold, the second highest possible.
Designed by architect tp bennett, The Porter Building launched in November 2017 and, say Landid/Brockton, has been developed to maximise the wellbeing of its occupiers, with abundant natural light, fresh air, filtred drinking water, healthy eating options, indoor planting, noise reduction measures and a layout aimed at encouraging movement around the workplace.
According to a range of studies, a focus on enhancing workplace wellbeing has significant positive impacts on productivity. For example, improved air quality can enhance cognition by as much as 61%; drinking ample fresh water can increase productivity by 14% and an office design that enhances movement can boost productivity by 12%.
Chris Hiatt, Landid director, said: “Wellness has become an increasingly important part of workplace strategies in recent years, reflecting a wider cultural shift towards greater healthier lifestyles. Now with The Porter Building, we have embedded wellbeing into the design and construction of the building itself. It is a lovely space to be in, with lots of natural light, fresh air, planting, and a range of other special features that are designed to make the building a healthy place to work.
“As the first building in the UK to achieve WELL Core and Shell certification, The Porter Building sets a new bar for the design and development of offices. The workspace will positively impact on business performance, through staff retention and attraction, wellbeing and productivity and will meet the aspirations of the very best talent. We expect that in five years’ time all new office buildings will be seeking WELL certification, in the same way that new buildings today are expected to adhere to the highest sustainability standards. Wellbeing will simply become part of the language of office design and we are very proud to be playing a leading role in that transformation.”
Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), said: “The Porter Building’s WELL certification at the Gold level demonstrates outstanding leadership. Our mission at IWBI is to bring human health and wellness to the forefront of building practices, and it is industry leaders like Landid and Brockton Capital that are putting people at the centre of design decisions and helping to advance this movement in the UK and globally.”
According to the 2017 EMEA Occupier Survey by CBRE, which is providing wellness advisory and certification services to The Porter Building, 72% of occupiers prefer WELL certified office buildings.
Hannah Scott, Sustainability Consultant CBRE, said: “Certification under the WELL Building Standard is testament to the highest standards which have been achieved in making The Porter Building one of the healthiest buildings in the UK.
“Adopted design features, such as maximised natural light and air quality, have been proven to boost employee wellbeing and productivity, which provides a tangible advantage for occupiers. The Porter Building has set a clear benchmark for what can be achieved with the right advice and support.”
As well as setting a new bar for wellbeing, The Porter Building has also achieved a Platinum ranking – the top award – through global digital connectivity rating scheme WiredScore, and has achieved a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Very Good’.
The speculatively developed building is opposite Slough Station, which will be a Crossrail station from 2019. Fiserv, a global leader in financial services technology solutions, has pre-leased the entire 1st floor.
David Blair, Principal Director at tp bennett said: “We are really pleased to have helped design and deliver the first commercial office building in the UK to achieve WELL Building Standard certification. It is a huge achievement for the client and team, and sets a precedent for future office design.
“Staff wellbeing and productivity are at the heart of our design concept and the most up to date research has informed our design at every stage, resulting in a workspace that is open, connected and flexible, for the modern occupier. The new premises are elegant and contemporary, while using materials that reflect the history of the area, complementing the adjacent rail station and listed church building. It makes a strong contribution to the regeneration of Slough, which is a growing hub of commercial activity.”