In what is believed to be a first for Europe, Cundall’s newly refurbished London office has achieved a WELL Building Standard Gold rating. It has also achieved an Excellent BREEAM rating from the UK Green Building Council and a Gold SKA rating from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for its fitout.
The sustainability achievements were the result of a close collaboration between the company’s own engineers and the project architect, Studio Ben Allen.
WELL elements incorporated into the building include the use of recycled flooring, bespoke WELL-compliant furniture, an active green wall, planted trellis divider, acoustic baffles integrated within shelving units and end-of trip facilities.
Cundall engineers also applied WELL criteria such as testing and monitoring air and water quality.
The company is actively engaged in research into acoustics and biophilia, so as part of the fitout specialist green and acoustic laboratories have been installed.
Other wellbeing initiatives include high levels of natural daylight, weekly yoga classes and the provision of fresh fruit.
“Many businesses are seeing WELL as providing a means of demonstrating the quality of office space to attract and retain good staff,” sustainability partner at Cundall Alan Fogarty said.
He said the refurbishment aims to be an exemplar project both for its own staff and for clients and collaborators.
“We’ve created a living, working example of how the WELL Building Standard can be applied, without breaking the bank.”
He said the figures show attaining the standard added only £200 (AU$332) per head to project costs.
The company is also putting in place control measures to see how the WELL elements affect staff welfare compared to the previous office.
Anecdotal feedback from our staff has already confirmed the new office as a great hit, Mr Fogarty said.
“The acceptance of sustainability, the ‘well-being’ of the planet and the environment, as an integral part of most developments has been a long fight,” Mr Fogarty said.
He said the WELL standard, by contrast, puts the wellbeing of people “at the heart of the building”.
“One thing our design at One Carter Lane has shown quite clearly is that, although the two ideas need to be addressed together and holistically, the two are not always completely compatible.
“It is exciting to be able to use our knowledge and expertise in the discussions on how best to combine the well-being of the person and the well-being of the planet in a single design.”
Cundall’s managing partner Thomas Neeson said the company sees achieving the rating as its latest step in a commitment to sustainable best practice.
The company has also gained One Planet Company status as part of this commitment, he said.
Another outcome of the London office make-over is two of the company’s people, Kavita Kumari in London and Melanie Louie in the Hong Kong office, have been awarded Well Building Standard Accredited professional passes.
Mr Neeson said this will allow the company to use its own hands-on experience to help other organisations aiming to achieve WELL Building accreditation.