Designing for Workplace Wellness At WSP’s New Brisbane Office

With our cities and workforce evolving, there has been a growing focus on people centric design and a shift in the importance of employee happiness and wellbeing as key to attracting and retaining our people.

WSP’s new Brisbane office will bring together three offices, creating a single vibrant place for our people and clients to collaborate in shaping thriving future communities.

 

The New Imperative for Wellbeing and Sustainability

Around the world, there is increasing demand to design our buildings, workplaces and neighbourhoods for happier, healthier and more productive occupants. This has been driven by the increasing evidence linking building quality to occupant health and a strong business case built around health and productivity.

 

Our new office design is centred around employee wellbeing and sustainability in accordance with Fitwel and Green Star ratings respectively as well as direct feedback from WSP employees. The Fitwel rating system provides a broad-based, economical and evidence-based framework that is being used to integrate health and wellbeing strategies into the fitout design. Recognising this unique and useful approach to certification, WSP recently became a global Fitwel Champion, agreeing to certify several buildings and commit to helping our clients achieve similar outcomes. Our WSP Brisbane office will be one of the first in Australia to achieve a certified Fitwel accreditation.

 

Our Sustainability team in partnership with Hassell and Lendlease are focused on increasing activity, mental wellbeing and collaboration – from biophilic design strategies including a diverse selection of planting and daylight to active workplace floorplans supporting our people’s needs to interact with others or access quiet spaces suitable for reflection. In addition, a variety of desk choices including sit-to-stand desks and exercise bikes with laptop stands, internal stairs connecting the four floors, a large communal space and extensive end of trip facilities all aim to improve activity for our people throughout the day.

 

The building location provides further opportunities to promote physical activity by being positioned close to numerous amenities, services and public transport options. The base building also achieved a 5 Star Green Star As Built Rating and a 5 Star NABERS energy rating, focusing on maximising natural daylight and fresh air while minimising energy consumption. Our Sustainability team is currently undertaking an in-depth life cycle assessment for the project that will inform sustainable design and construction decisions such as materials, furniture and fittings to minimise our environmental footprint as well as resulting in reduced operational and maintenance costs.

 

Ben Gibbs, WSP’s Senior Sustainability Consultant and Fitwel Ambassador says, “Prioritising our people’s health, wellbeing and experience provides significant benefits in terms of improved occupant satisfaction and collaboration as well as expected productivity gains and their impact on the company’s bottom line. Having a framework such as Fitwel to inform the design process has helped considerably and assisted in educating our people as to the benefits of different initiatives. Recently I was privileged to have seen leading global examples of health and wellbeing design in Sweden and the UK as part of the WSP Global Exchange Program including several Fitwel projects. Being able to integrate what I learned from those projects into our new Brisbane office is an amazing opportunity and I’m excited to see it take shape.”

 

Beyond sustainability services, most of the disciplines from our Property and Buildings business and others have also contributed to the planning and design of our new office space at 900 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley. This holistic approach and integrated design has allowed the whole project team to be truly proactive and collaborative in developing a sustainable solution for our people that will enable broader benefits to the community.

 

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