Mirvac’s 200 George Street HQ has become the first Australian building to get certified under the WELL Building Standard, achieving a GOLD rating.
The announcement coincided with the annual Green Cities conference, where the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) also revealed plans to allow any type of building to become WELL-certified.
200 George Street already has a 6 Star Green Star Interior rating, and is targeting 6 Star Green Star As Built v3, 5 Star NABERS Energy and 4 Star NABERS Water ratings.
Mirvac chief executive Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said the certification was about better supporting its customers’ goals to build sustainable workplaces
“We are extremely proud to have achieved the first GOLD WELL Certification in Australia for our headquarters,” she said. “We aspire to set the benchmark for innovative, healthy workplaces in Australia.”
WELL buildings prioritise health and wellbeing, with credits awarded across seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
200 George Street scored a number of achievements across categories including:
- SAMBA sensors throughout the tenancy monitor air quality and create the optimal indoor air quality for employees
- Air pollution removal, proper ventilation and air filtrationWater
- Safe and clean drinking water is provided through proper filtration methods, and accessible 30 metres from regularly occupied spaces to encourage hydration
- 75 per cent of workstations are located within 7.5 metres of a window, increasing access to natural light to provide physiological benefits
- Lights are also programmed for varying brightness and darkness at appropriate points throughout the day to maintain optimal circadian rhythms
- Mirvac’s café, The Song Kitchen, provides healthy food options with high nutritional value and clear labelling to help employees make informed selections (the social enterprise with YWCA also sees 100 per cent of profits go to services and programs that support women and children experiencing domestic violence)
- 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
- A wellness library with a range of health and wellbeing literature is hosted online for all employees
- 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
- Around 1171 plants are in the tenancy – more than one plant per person
Mirvac has also utilised the Building Occupants Survey System Australia (BOSSA), developed at the University of Sydney’s IEQ lab headed by Professor Richard de Dear.
After being at 200 George Street for eight months, there has been a significant uptick in Mirvac staff IEQ satisfaction scores, with overall performance, health and productivity improved by 35 per cent since the previous survey. Noise distraction and privacy scores have improved 50 per cent and spatial comfort scores have also increased by 50 per cent.
IWBI chair and chief executive Rick Fedrizzi, presented Mirvac with a plaque at a ceremony on Monday afternoon.
“From the beginning of the green building movement, we’ve known that more sustainable buildings would also be healthier for the people we care about – our families and friends, employees and students,” he said.
The same day at the Green Cities conference Mr Fedrizzi also announced updates to the WELL Building Standard, including a plan to let all types of buildings get certified.
“I’m especially excited about our new ‘all projects in’ strategy, where any building type can use our alternative adherence path process to account for variables needed for a specific building type,” he said. “We’re shifting from WELL for healthy buildings to WELL for ‘your’ healthy building and creating a framework that will make implementing WELL easier.”