Investa will help shape the WELL rating tool for existing office buildings
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) hosted its Global Advisory Roundtable in New York earlier in June. As one of Australia’s leading office managers, Investa was selected as a representative for existing office buildings and, alongside 27 other global commercial office owners and managers, Investa will help shape the future direction of this new WELL rating tool.
Investa has been working with IWBI since it launched its current WELL tool in Australia to refine it for application to a portfolio of existing assets. The aim of the roundtable is to refine a new certification pathway within the WELL Building Standard that takes advantage of the unique efficiencies available in a portfolio of existing buildings. Properties will be rewarded for applying enhanced operational and maintenance strategies, as well as wellness policies and programs.
Investa’s participation in the Roundtable is the culmination of more that 12 months of collaboration with IWBI, with the outcome expected to provide a clear path to delivering global best practice in healthy work environments.
Nina James, general manager, Corporate Sustainability at Investa says, “Buildings more than 10 years old make up more then 72 percent of office space in Australia’s major CBDs, so the application of a tool geared specifically for existing buildings has the potential to make a significant impact.
Increasing the health and wellbeing of those that work in our buildings is not a fad in the office sector or in the broader community. As host to approximately 100,000 people every day, we see it as our role to ensure they are as healthy and productive as possible and that our tenant organisations can optimise their workplace offering by having WELL standards embedded in their building,” says James.
Investa’s track record in actively managing its buildings for optimal environmental performance and its ability to reposition newly acquired buildings from low performance to market leading, means it is well positioned to lead the charge in Australia.
Hugh Irving, development manager and Investa’s representative at the IWBI roundtable says: “As the global standard in measuring, certifying and monitoring building features that impact tenant’s health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind, WELL provides a link between building design and construction and the health of its occupants.
With the introduction of a scientific approach for optimising occupant wellness in existing office buildings that can be measured and replicated, we have a clear pathway to establishing a new benchmark in how owners, managers and developers can deliver much more than just the space to the employees of our tenant organisations.”
Richard Fedrizzi, IWBI chairman and CEO says, “We know that existing buildings present both our biggest challenges and our biggest opportunities in terms of building performance, but they also hold the key to wide scale improvement of the health and wellbeing of the millions who work in them every day.”
In May this year, Investa’s Barrack Place, Sydney development was the first building in Australia to receive WELL Core and Shell Gold Precertification. In November last year, Investa was the first Australian property company to commit to a science based target of net zero emissions by 2040, ambitiously addressing the carbon impact of the entire Investa office portfolio across operations, design and construction and powering of the buildings.
Image L-R: Kamyar Vaghar – President, IWBI; Paul Scialla – founder, IWBI; Hugh Irving – development manager, Investa; Rachel Gutter – chief product officer, IWBI; and Rick Fedrizzi – CEO, IWBI.