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Friday, 23 February

Healthy Offices - the Board Convenes

The British Council for Offices (BCO) has announced this week ending April 28 that it is commissioning a major research study 'Wellness Matters: health and wellbeing in offices and what to do about it'.

The year-long project will provide guidance on how to enable office health and wellbeing across a building’s lifecycle

The study will critique existing health and wellbeing measurement and certification, identify the most recent and relevant medical evidence justifying an active approach to health and wellbeing in the built environment and give guidance on the business case for investment in this space beyond simply improving productivity.

Most significantly, this research will deliver a practical guide to creating a healthy environment across the different stages of a building’s life cycle, from design, construction and leasing to the most important aspect by time and value: occupation and asset management.

The project, which will culminate in the publication of a report in March 2018, will be led by a consortium comprising architecture and design firm Perkins+Will, sustainability consultancy Sentinel RPI and Elementa Consulting, backed by medical and academic input from Royal Brompton, Imperial College and Queen Mary University. The findings will also inform the next BCO Guide to Specification, which is the industry-recognised standard for best practice in office development across the UK, also due to be published in 2018.

Bill Page, Chairman of the British Council for Offices’ Research Committee, said: “The health and wellness agenda is, rightly, growing in importance and prominence. ‘Wellness Matters’ will respond to this, and will look to provide practical advice to BCO members on the issues surrounding health and wellbeing in offices and what they can do about it. 

“There is still a perception in the industry that health and wellbeing is ‘just something an occupier does in its fit-out and staff management’ and by association investors, developers and designers need not concern themselves. We fundamentally challenge that – there are opportunities throughout a building’s lifecycle to enable change. Successful intervention should manifest in shorter voids for developers; greater income retention for investors and healthier, happier staff for occupiers who will gain from better recruitment and retention.”

Picture: A consortium comprising architecture and design firm Perkins+Will, sustainability consultancy Sentinel RPI and Elementa Consulting, backed by medical and academic input from Royal Brompton, Imperial College and Queen Mary University will convene to look at health and wellbeing in offices

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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