WorkSafe HQ gets Australia-first nod for health, wellbeing

PETER FARAGO
GEELONG ADVERTISER
20 OCTOBER 2017

Pre-certification puts Geelong’s WorkSafe building at the top of the tree in terms of places to work.
Picture: Peter Ristevski

WHEN staff arrive for their first day at Geelong’s new WorkSafe headquarters they’re won’t be that whiff of stale air.

That’s because the air would be purged from the entire building to expel residual gases and potential contaminants from the construction before staff move in.

It’s part of the design features that won the project an Australian-first pre-certification for two categories in an international program that acknowledges it as one of the nation’s healthiest buildings.

An artists concept image of the entry to 1 Malop St

Chief executive officer of developer Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn, said the project’s core and shell and its interiors had received pre-certification from the International WELL Building Institute, which tests buildings worldwide on their health and wellness impacts on their occupants.

 Mr Quinn said certification was assessed on seven categories — air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

“We know factors like stale air quality, excessive noise and lack of access to natural light are a recipe for dissatisfaction and poor health — and the WELL assessment process guides us towards demonstrated best practice in a systematic, performance-based way,” Mr Quinn said.

Design features include using low toxicity and natural stone and timber finishes, high-grade air filters; quality acoustic performance and soundproofing; water filtration and quality testing and lighting designed to minimise disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm and avoid eyestrain and associated headaches.

Workers and dignities celebrate the WorkSafe building topping out ceremony earlier this year.
Picture: Mitch Bear

The building is designed to maximise natural light with views over Corio Bay and Johnstone Park, while multiple outdoor areas, including a rooftop terrace, a cafe offering healthy foods and eating areas on each floor are also provided.

Lockers and bike storage encourage active commuting, while sit-stand desks and activity incentive programs will also be offered to staff.

“When designing 1 Malop St, we wanted it to be a world-class office building with market-leading environmental credentials and amazing tenant amenity,” Mr Quinn said.

Mr Quinn said the building had exceeded the ambitious targets, with a 6-star Green Star rating and a 5.5-star NABERS base building energy rating.

“In addition, with this project Geelong is demonstrating its capacity to develop as a hub of excellence for major organisations with white collar workforces.”