There's nothing wasteful about this sustainable fit out in Maidenhead.
SUEZ wanted to increase staff engagement and revitalise their workforce with an office that reflected their focus on the environment and sustainable waste management. They wanted to modernise their workplace, implement activity-based working and foster more collaboration across their teams. All of this had to be achieved without alienating staff working ‘in’ the business, so striking the right balance was paramount.
The project included Cat A works, Cat B refurbishment, as well as new M&E and external works to the building. Over 150 staff were involved in workplace consultancy workshops and change management initiatives, while they were also relocated across the building during the phased construction project.
What we delivered
From the moment you walk into the reception, there’s no doubt about where you are! The striking reception features a curved wall clad in a navy blue waste container finish, which reflect the colours of the brand and is a solid nod to their daily business. Playful retro signage is used above the sofa in the client lounge, once again reflecting their environmental credentials with ‘putting waste to good use’.
SUEZ’s focus on sustainable best practice had to be echoed throughout the design and build of its new fit out. From the outset, we worked closely with the client to define a sustainable strategy, ultimately achieving a SKA Silver rating, one of the leading environmental assessments for fit out.
In order to meet this standard, recycling was a top priority, with at least 70% of all materials on site recycled or reused. To achieve this, all materials in the building were pulled out and separated into their relevant groups (such as wood, metal and plasterboard). We ensured that anything that could be recycled was, and this included anything from old air conditioning systems, to doors, to pre-existing woodwork.
Activity based working
To increase space utilisation throughout the fit out, we reduced the number of large meeting rooms, while increasing the number of small and open plan meeting spaces. This allows staff to collaborate informally and work away from their desks more than beforehand – enabling them to choose a space that suits their current task. These are each finished with their own style of furnishings and colour scheme to lend a distinctive character to each area. Since moving in, 76% of SUEZ staff can now find somewhere to concentrate, and 79% of staff feel that they can easily find somewhere to work away from their desk when needed.
There are a variety of traditional workstations as well as standing desks throughout the office and ground floor café. In order to support a clean desk policy, personal storage was provided via colourful lockers that are situated on each floor. These not only provide secure staff storage, but also lend a bright and playful finish to each of the five floors. To encourage interaction with senior management, an area on the executive floor has been exclusively reserved for hot desking, which increases management’s visibility and interaction with the wider business.
No wasted space
We reconfigured the layout of the reception and ground floor cafe to maximise the available space. This was achieved by reducing the footprint of the reception to better utilise the available floorspace. The cafe was enlarged and partitioned meeting rooms were built off the cafe, providing flexible meeting spaces that can be opened up for team and town hall meetings.
On the working floors, we used acoustic screens to divide the open plan areas and absorb sound to create a more relaxing environment. These provide a heightened sense of individual space, while also maintaining the open plan nature of the floors.
As a business focussed on environmental management, we felt it was crucial to reflect the nature of the business by using biophilic design techniques. We’ve included floor-to-ceiling wallpaper prints that feature macro photography of cardboard and glass bottles which SUEZ recycle, in conjunction with scenic nature shots to bring the business closer the environments that they’re working to protect.
We’ve used sustainable finishes throughout the fit out to highlight the connection with the recycling process, FSE approved wood in our joinery and sustainable products throughout the project aided our SKA Silver accreditation. Other features such as the hanging pot plants in the café really highlight SUEZ’s strong focus on the environment, all while helping staff to be more focussed and more productive.
Staff retention and performance
Since moving in, SUEZ have found that their new workplace has had a positive and notable impact on recruitment and retention. They’ve also found that staff are moving between floors more often, and increasing collaboration between teams across the business. Overall, they’ve found that their staff are happier and more confident in their new home.
When we revisited SUEZ after they’d settled into their new space, we found that all performance metrics had increased; especially aesthetics, comfort temperature and arrival experience. Overall, staff perceive their new office to boost their productivity, and provide them with a space that they’re proud to work in.