Charter Hall’s GPO Exchange office building in Adelaide has been granted the globally recognised Gold WELL certification for its measures to improve the health and wellbeing of its occupants.
It is one of just seven buildings in Australia to achieve the rating, and the first in South Australia. The International WELL Building Institute’s three levels of certification are silver, gold and platinum. Currently 11 buildings across Australia are Platinum certified, four of which are in Barangaroo.
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Charter Hall development executive George Roussos told The Fifth Estate that initially the project was targeting a Silver rating and uplifted to the Gold in line with the company’s ESG principles.
“We’re trying to raise the bar for commercial sustainability in South Australia, so we saw that as an opportunity,” Mr Roussos said.
The 20-storey GPO Exchange saw its WELL rating lift through measures such as the use of non-toxic cleaning materials, ongoing testing of building water quality, biophilic design elements in general lobby spaces and on tenant balconies and showers and bike storage to enable healthier commuting.
“We’ve got around 200 bike parking spaces and male-female change rooms and provision for electric bikes. That was one of the main priorities from both tenants, there’s a heavy cycling culture in Adelaide,” Mr Roussos said.
The primary tenants of the building are BHP Billiton and the South Australian Government’s Attorney-General’s Department.
Mr Roussos said the biggest challenge was ongoing monitoring and knowledge-sharing to maintain the rating, which overlaps with related certifications.
“That’s probably the hard one, just the monitoring and ongoing maintenance of those policies and records and ensuring quality assurance along the way is done so that we continue to meet those ongoing ratings,” Mr Roussos said.
The building also holds a 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built rating, 5.5 Star NABERS Energy rating, 5 Star NABERS Water rating and 5 Star NABERS Indoor Environment ratings.
Charter Hall will be seeking Gold or Platinum Well Certification on their latest Adelaide development at 60 King William Street, along with 6 Star Green Star, 5 Star NABERS Energy ratings and 6 Star NABERS Waste rating.