Optimal environment for maximum wellness

Our three year partnership with London-based financier Generation Investment Management has led to an exceptionally sustainable office design and fit out that’s making waves with not just one environmental accreditation, but two.

Key features

  • Collaborative and quiet work settings
  • Unique triangular floorplate
  • Employee wellbeing
  • Heating and airflow hotspot identification
  • White noise masking system
  • Natural light maximisation
  • Tech-free zone
  • Wellness room
  • Bespoke planting from reclaimed timber

Generation told us that being flexible to facilitate future growth is important, all while ensuring employee wellbeing. So, we optimised the space by rethinking the office’s flow to incorporate a variety of work settings from collaborative to quiet.

The office’s unusual layout clusters formal and informal zones into three segments, dictated by the triangular floorplate. The first segment is where employees go to focus, the second is collaborative and the third is an open plan scenario with sit stand desks.

Employee wellbeing and sustainability

Generation’s brief centred on employee wellbeing and environmental sustainability. Since the project’s completion, the office space has achieved a SKA Gold rating and WELL Building Platinum accreditation. It is one of only seven WELL V2 Platinum certified offices in the UK with a score of 107 of 110 points available.

SKA rating is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ assessment method which demonstrates the environmental credentials of a building. We achieved an impressive 59 SKA measures across energy, materials, waste, pollution and wellbeing. All light fittings, furniture and timber used within the fit out are SKA compliant, with non-harmful product performance and environmental credentials guaranteed. We had real-time VOC monitoring live onsite throughout the entire refurbishment and specified low-VOC fixtures, finishes and materials, where possible, from partitions to paint. Additionally 99% of waste was diverted from landfill.

WELL measures occupant wellness by focusing on seven concepts — air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. As expected, the crossover between the two standards meant some efficiencies could be made. One example would be the mechanical and electrical system responsible for thermal comfort and ventilation, which got extra special treatment because of the floorplate’s triangle shape. Using specialist software, the team was able to build a digital model to show potential hotspots and stuffy areas. The fit out was tweaked using this information to ensure optimal airflow, heating and cooling.

Other measures taken to achieve the WELL accreditation included improvements for better water, air, acoustics and lighting. We installed enhanced filtration systems in the air handling units and pipework to meet the high standards for air and water quality. We used specialist acoustic solutions to combat noisy areas, which were incorporated alongside a state-of-the-art sound masking system that keeps white noise levels at the optimum for concentration.

Lighting was designed around what we consider a daylight model, maximising natural light in the space. Not only did we design all workstations and meeting rooms near windows, we also installed a WELL-compliant circadian lighting system which adapts light levels throughout the day.

Culture of wellbeing

Environmental standards aside, Generation’s culture of wellbeing is evident in the facilities designed and built with employees in mind. Generation has provided not only an activity based working environment but also two libraries, one of which is a tech-free zone, a wellness room with a bed for power naps and large, fun breakout space. And last, but not least, we reserved the office’s most premium area for employees only: a big outdoor terrace with views over Piccadilly.

Activity based working

Environmental standards aside, this office prioritises employees because it believes in good business practice. Studies show that engaged employees are more productive and have a greater sense of wellbeing. We firmly believe a people-focused working environment and organisational culture is a surefire way to boost engagement levels.

Clients welcome

Generation’s previous office design and fit out combined employee and client areas, which often led to unnecessary disruption and unwanted noise. Now the new space treats these two areas separately, although with a cohesive design for continuity.

Clients arrive into a light-filled reception area with an adjacent coffee bar and business lounge. We’ve provided a suite of meeting rooms of varying sizes, all with high-quality furniture, acoustic finishes and high-tech video conferencing systems. We also designed and built a large boardroom, which can be easily reconfigured into two spaces for events, entertaining or additional breakout areas.

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