Client story

How do you create a workspace that supports a connected workforce and delivers a sustainable future?

Celebrating collaborative working and providing a healthy office environment

August 19, 2020
Location

Manchester, UK

Size

13,896 Sq Ft

Size

50% desk space

Sustainability

£47,300 in circular economy savings

Our ambition

The ambition for our North West UK office move was to deliver a sustainable, inclusive workplace that embedded wellbeing in its design, put collaboration at the heart and supported a truly connected workforce, delivered through digital technology and collaboration.

We have applied circular economy principles into the fit-out and incorporated energy efficiencies in line with our UK net zero carbon and global science-based target commitments.

How we achieved it

We wanted to connect our people in a way that celebrated collaborative working and provided a healthy office environment.

Desks take up less than 50% of the space and to ensure the space could evolve, while technology will help us measure the success of the design including:

  • 80 occupancy and 14 environmental sensors measure our space in real time;
  • Utilisation dashboards which showcasing environmental conditions are located throughout the office enabling our people to find the best space for their needs.
  • We partnered with ART Health to produce a first of its kind health study in the North West. Fitbits provided to our North West team measured a number of l elements, before and after the move to the new office. These include staff satisfaction with the workplace, mental wellbeing, exercise levels and cognitive function. 

12 environmental sensors measure noise, light, CO2, temperature, humidity, particulates and volatile organic compounds which are harmful to human health. The technology enables us to adjust our environmental systems, promoting wellbeing and providing employees with a healthy and safe workspace.

The outside air is filtered through ‘MERV14’ filters to eliminate virtually all contaminants that could be harmful to health, while ‘active green walls’ are in place throughout the space to filter the air to remove internal contaminants.

A circadian lighting scheme allows the colour temperature to be adjusted during the day supporting the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which has been shown to reduce stress, improve sleep and enhance immune system functions.

We adopted a circular supply chain and embedded life cycle thinking into our procurement to minimise the embodied carbon in our fit-out. For instance:

  • Task chairs refurbished from a major financial firm saving 61% CO2 and 75% water compared to a new chair;
  • Office finishes are from re-used materials - the kitchen and reception worktops are made of recycled yoghurt pots; carpets are made from recycled plastic and un-used yarn and ceiling features are made of 70% recycled PET plastic. Furniture and equipment, we couldn’t re-use went to the Business to Schools partnership for them to donate to as many schools as possible.
  • In the construction process, FSC certified timber was utliised throughout, optimised materials selected to reduce waste, and our energy consumption measured throughout the fit-out.

Find out how to harness the power of your real estate

Our North West office embraces health and well-being and collaboration. Showcasing what we expect the office of the future to be and our people are responding positively.

Steve Hogg, Head of North West and Residential UK Regions
The results
  • Net zero carbon: Delivered in line with our UK 2030 net zero carbon commitment, the workspace incorporates active workplace design, wellbeing and circular economy practices;
  • Expert collaboration: Working together across our disciplines including sustainability, project management, work dynamics, office agency and Tetris to successfully deliver the project.
  • Re-use savings: 70% of the former office clearance was reused and savings of over £40,000 achieved by using re-purposed, instead of new furniture.
  • CO2 savings: Over 500 items were delivered from our former office clearance, achieving 45 tons of CO2(e) savings and diverting 15 tons of products back into reuse.
  • Charity: Our partnership with the Business to Schools charity ensured unused furniture - worth £30,000 - was donated to three schools.

With Covid-19 changing the nature of the office, our North West workplace has employee safety and experience at its heart. Its design provides multi-functional spaces that support the role of the office as an idea’s factory and hub for collaboration, while being responsive to the need for a healthy working environment.

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