Commercial property tenants are becoming increasingly vocal in a fiercely competitive marketplace: a greater focus on user-led design means that occupier health and wellbeing informs office design globally. As one of Ireland’s leading property funds, and Dublin’s largest owner of offices, IPUT was always going to push the bar higher when it came to establishing a vision for its own head office – putting its people first.
Occupying the fourth floor of a classic Georgian property at 47-49 St. Stephen’s Green, IPUT’s new head office is an exemplar of quality, contemporary design. The highly specified, grade A office space features conference rooms, cellular and open offices, car and bike parking spaces, shower facilities as well as a staff café and an extensive roof terrace offering views of the city and its finest Victorian park. But IPUT’s vision and commitment to quality extends far beyond the interior fit-out, anchored in the belief that offices must put user health and wellness first.
As the world’s only performance-verified health and wellbeing building rating system, IPUT recognised the importance of WELL Certification for its portfolio. IPUT set the target of achieving a Gold rating for its new head office as a reflection of its ambition for its wider portfolio. Having delivered Ireland’s first ever WELL Certified™ Gold project, Arup’s team of specialists were appointed as the WELL consultant.
2,787m² office space
1stWELL Certified Gold project in Dublin
The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™), delivered by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™), has revolutionised the way the industry thinks about buildings, placing users firmly at the core of the market. Committed to achieving the highest global standards in design and sustainability, IPUT prioritises health and wellbeing in all office buildings across their portfolio.
By focusing on the health and wellbeing of people, we can create comfortable and productive workspaces. Achieving WELL Certified Gold reflects our ambition to deliver the highest quality design in our buildings. ” Niall Gaffney Chief Executive, IPUT
Refurbishing WELL: Dublin’s premium office market scores a first
With more than 1,500 projects globally in 2019, WELL is awarded based on testing of performance metrics across various categories such as air, water and nourishment. IPUT’s head office is the first office in Dublin to achieve WELL Gold, and only the second in Ireland to date.
Unlike Arup’s office in Cork, which was the first in the country to attain WELL Gold in February 2018, this project was unusual in that it was an extensive refurbishment, rather than a new-build – making this a more ambitious target.
Our WELL consultants offered an integrated service, working closely with IPUT’s design team from the pre-assessment stage right through to performance verification and certification. Putting employee health at the top of the agenda, Arup identified and agreed a strategy with IPUT to target WELL Gold certification. Our consultants carefully assessed the human health and wellbeing aspects of the retrofit which impacted on air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics and water quality; then made a series of recommendations. Achieving WELL certification at the Gold level made this the first project in an existing building in Ireland to reach this standard.
IPUT is putting the health and wellbeing of its people first with this WELL certification: investing in wellness creates environments where people can thrive and deliver their best. ”Aoife Hayes Wellness Advisor | Project and Programme Management Talk to Aoife
The WELL office: people-centred design
IPUT’s office design was uncompromisingly user-led. Linking all spaces visually with the outdoors was a priority from the start: one of the prime shared spaces in the office, the kitchen, is directly connected to the terrace overlooking St. Stephen’s Green.
Sit-stand desks are another winning aspect, enabling employees to modify their work set-up throughout the day, enhancing comfort and productivity. Meeting rooms have interactive touch screens, which help to improve collaboration.
Shifts in technology have enabled real-time monitoring of health and wellness parameters in the built environment. In order to help improve working conditions, air quality is continuously monitored via indoor sensors which also allows staff to view readings on CO2, humidity and temperature in real-time. Having access to this data enables IPUT to track these factors and put measures in place to improve air quality, which can promote higher levels of concentration.
All materials used in the office are low-VOC and cleaning products are eco-sealed, reducing occupant exposure to air pollutants. A responsive lighting system has been incorporated into the scheme, creating an optimised lighting environment to enhance occupant health and wellbeing.