In January 2017, Landsec completed the move to its new headquarters at 100 Victoria Street, London. 470 employees are now accommodated on a single floor plate in a high-performance office designed to increase communication and collaboration. The project is the first workplace in the world to achieve both WELL CertifiedTM Silver and BREEAM Outstanding, setting a global benchmark for healthy, sustainable office space.
SHOWCASING WHAT LANDSEC DOES
WELL CERTIFIED SILVER
HIGHEST SCORING BREEAM OUTSTANDING FIT OUT 2014
TOP SCORE ON THE LEESMAN INDEX FOR WORKPLACE WELLBEING AND PRODUCTIVITY
When Landsec, the largest commercial property company in the UK, was looking to move headquarters, the team was determined that the experience for employees would be markedly different than before. The old offices were spread across eight ﬂoors and split into small units, which meant that employees rarely spent time together without pre-planning. There were also issues with lighting and temperatures.
The relocation provided Landsec with the opportunity to adopt a new workplace strategy aimed at increasing communication and collaboration between different areas of the business. Landsec chose a ten-year-old building from its own portfolio, 100 Victoria Street, where it could bring the whole company together onto one floor. Landsec set about refurbishing the space to the highest standards for wellbeing and sustainability, to improve employee satisfaction and productivity and deliver on the company’s sustainability commitments.
The project team included architect KKS, main contractor ISG, building services consultants Long & Partners and BREEAM assessor RES Design. Health and wellbeing design guidance and the WELL certification process was undertaken by AECOM.
Landsec’s approach was grounded in the latest thinking and research, and reflected changing ways of working. To inform the design process, Landsec carried out a pre-move Leesman survey which flagged dissatisfaction with lighting, air quality, comfort of work stations and technology. These factors informed design, for example:
- Activity-based working: diﬀerent work settings for people to use throughout the day, including sit-stand desks, treadmill desks and a wide variety of seating options across the oﬃce designed to complement an active working day.
- Collaborative working: places for teams to get together, including meeting pods, comfortable sofa areas and informal presentation spaces.
- Connected working: the largest Microsoft installation of Surface Hub screens in the UK and all employees provided with and trained on new Surface Pro tablets, so everyone is automatically connected to the screens within meeting rooms and workspaces. There is also a concierge-style helpdesk for any IT issues.
The project trialled WELL Certification on the fit out, incorporating many wellbeing features, including:
- Healthy living: a juice bar and free healthy snacks in the social hub; shower rooms to encourage cycling; opportunities for people to eat away from their desks, such as the roof garden and spaces within Cardinal Place.
- Supporting productivity: white-noise machines at strategic points in open-plan areas reduce background distractions and increase privacy levels without the need for physical walls; there are also quiet rooms, soundproof booths and a library with information on health and wellbeing.
- Optimising lighting: to maximise access to natural light, there are clear sight lines, e.g. partitions removed; artiﬁcial lighting is programmed to be neither too bright nor too dull; circadian lighting systems match the behaviour of natural light, changing to mimic the time of day.
- Air quality: higher levels of fresh air; careful specification of materials, paint, glue and varnish to completely remove harmful chemicals. This was especially important during procurement of furniture.
The strategy was designed to deliver on Landsec’s sustainability commitments, including:
- Procuring 99.97% of materials from sustainable sources, as defined by BREEAM, e.g. 79% recycled aluminium, 44% recycled carpet tiles and FSC Project Certification.
- Achieving an 11.5% reduction in CO2 impact versus the initial designs through smart materials use, e.g. reusing existing furniture where possible, specifying frameless glazing and omitting the suspended ceiling.
- Energy Star labelled equipment, including LED lighting and efficient building services to reduce operational energy use.
- Extensive energy metering and Demand Logic data analytics system to help in commissioning the building’s controls and in assessing and improving operational energy efficiency.
- CIBSE TM54 energy modelling at the design stage to help bridge the energy performance gap. The energy management team is now using this during seasonal commissioning to assess operational performance against design intent.
- Less than 3% of project costs were incurred for fees and design development to meet WELL Silver Certification and BREEAM Outstanding.
- High-quality office environments designed for activity-based working and constructed using sustainable materials already meet the requirements of both WELL and BREEAM without incurring significant additional costs.
- Enhancing employee communication and collaboration.
- Supporting employee health and wellbeing.
- Showing leadership in sustainability.
- Gaining experience in WELL Certification.
- Expressing the best of who Landsec is and what it does to stakeholders.
- Demonstrating the resilience of Landsec’s portfolio, adapting an existing space to meet the highest standards.
Leesman survey of Landsec employees in April 2017
- Over 90% feel that the workplace environment has a positive eﬀect on workplace culture.
- 88% believe the new office design enables them to work productively, against the global average of 67%, and showing a 20% increase from the previous office.
- 40% increase in satisfaction with air quality levels and 25% increase in satisfaction with lighting levels.
- Employee feedback puts Landsec in the top 5% of 1,900 organisations surveyed worldwide by the Leesman Index for workplace wellbeing and productivity.
- 18% reduction in internal emails, with people more able to speak face-to-face.
- 65% reduction in printing, through people using Surface Pro and Microsoft Hubs to share and view information.
- 50% less embodied carbon intensity than comparable projects, measured using BS EN 15978.
- 11% saving in net area compared with Landsec’s previous HQ, with 40% fewer fixed desks.
- WELL Certified Silver, the UK’s largest fully WELL Certiﬁed space.
- BREEAM Office Refurbishment and Fit Out Award 2017.
- BREEAM Fit Out 2014 Outstanding, achieving a 92% score at post-construction stage.
- Lighting Design Awards 2017 – Workplace Project of the Year Finalist.
Challenges & Achievements
How to achieve dual certification on a refurbishment?
Refurbishments often face constraints linked to the original build. To achieve both WELL Silver Certification and BREEAM Outstanding, Landsec introduced the following measures:
- Both the mechanical and electrical contractor and the main contractor were brought on board early through Pre-Construction Service Agreements. This allowed additional time for design and consideration of sustainability targets.
- The relationship with the Landsec base build team was of critical importance. They provided support with the checking and maintenance of the base build ventilation system to meet WELL requirements, and with waste logistics to meet BREEAM waste reuse credits.
- Furniture designer and provider Hunters Contracts assessed the supply chain early on to determine which companies could meet WELL air quality standards and maximise BREEAM responsible sourcing credits. Although this restricted the choice of furniture suppliers, it meant that air quality standards were met and all responsible sourcing credits were achieved for the furniture package.
- Hunters Contracts employed a procurement specialist to engage sub-suppliers and check VOC information. Although this role is well established for main contractors, it could easily be overlooked in client procurement of the furniture package. This role is critical as furniture has a direct effect on whether the air quality credits can be achieved.
- An open, collaborative and problem-solving spirit was established from the outset in the project team to ensure that issues were brought to the table and resolved quickly. Effective teamwork and collaboration in the project team was the most critical factor in achieving both standards.
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Sustainability Special Projects Manager