Transport

UK commuter’s typically travel more than 90 mins a day to and from work, and this experience can be important for a business in attracting and retaining talent. Office workers in urban areas are increasingly choosing active commuting modes (e.g. cycling and running) over car use and public transport. Suitable workplace facilities to support these choices commonly sit as top features of an ideal workplace.

Opportunties

Implementing facilities that support more sustainable modes of transport can deliver multiple benefits:

Reducing staff commute times and associated stresses by choosing a well located and connected office.  

Benefits:

Reducing local congestion, air pollution and CO2 emissions by encouraging more sustainable modes of transport. 

Benefits:

Supporting employee health and wellbeing by providing facilities that encourage active commuting choices.

Cycling UK state that, on average, employees who cycle-commute take at least one day p.a. less off sick than colleagues who do not cycle.

Benefits:

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Design Principles for Sustainable Transport

1. Undertake a Travel Survey

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A travel survey, or a wider building user survey, can provide an insight into travel patterns, modes, expectations and needs which could help inform a prospective occupier’s building choice when Seeking Space. This should include the views of office workers, as well as visitors and building management staff. Findings can inform the design brief and provide a helpful baseline to measure changes over time.

Whilst surveys can identify opportunities to improve on-site facilities, they can also help suggest ways to reduce the need to travel through flexible working and IT arrangements.

2. Choose a Building with Good Transport & Cycling Links

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Workplace location and accessibility will significantly influence staff travel patterns. The following measures could be considered when assessing the sustainability potential of office space locations:

  • Proximity to public transport hubs.
  • Proximity to local amenities.
  • Base-build infrastructure for cyclists, including local cycle routes, as well as on-site storage, changing and showering facilities.
  • Infrastructure for safe pedestrian access and wayfinding.
  • On-site or local parking facilities encouraging more sustainable modes of transport e.g. electric vehicle charging and prioritising car clubs.

3. Build Facilities for Active Commuters

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Having sufficient, well-designed facilities is key to encouraging and supporting active commuting. Access, quality, size, security and comfort are all important issues in designing and managing suitable storage and changing facilities. The opportunities and restrictions in single-let and multi-let buildings will vary. In a multi-let office, occupier opportunities are likely to be more dependent on the existing base-build facilities. However, enhancements to support active commuters can be raised as part of lease negotiations with the owner.

Good practice design measures include:

  • Well-signposted safe access routes to and around the building
  • Providing cycle parking in a secure and sheltered location: 1 space per 10 staff or 1 space per100 m of floor area (BREEAM & SKA); spaces for 5% of the total regular building occupants (WELL).
  • Providing showering facilities: 1 shower per 10 cycle spaces (BREEAM); 1 shower per 100 building users (Ska & WELL).
  • Providing secure locker facilities designed to store relevant equipment e.g. helmets and clothes: 1 locker per cycle storage space (BREEAM); One per five building occupiers (WELL). 
  • Providing dedicated drying facilities for wet clothing.

4. Continue Employee Engagement During Operation

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Whilst out of scope of the fit-out design it is important a continued staff engagement programme is put in place Into Occupancy to ensure benefits are maintained. In multi-let buildings this may be in conjunction with the property management team.

Activities may include:

  • Information campaigns to ensure that staff are aware of their travel options, any on-site and local facilities, and understand the benefits to them of a better commute.
  • Encouraging car sharing, use of electric vehicles, and cycling through incentives such as Cycle to Work scheme.
  • Partnering with cycling confidence and bike maintenance providers to run sessions in the workplace.
  • Continued periodic travel surveys to monitor patters, identify any modal shifts and gather feedback to inform future design, maintenance and management approach.