Cundall Birmingham Offices, WELL Building Standard, West Midlands Building News
Cundall Birmingham Office Building News
14 Aug 2020
Cundall Birmingham Office Refurbishment
Location: 15 Colmore Row, Business District, Birmingham, West Midlands, central England, UK
Cundall Birmingham office achieves WELL Building Standard Gold
Birmingham, 14th of August 2020 – Cundall’s Birmingham office has achieved Well Building Standard® Gold Certification from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), making it the second in the Midlands and the first in the city centre to achieve this prestigious accreditation.
Following the fitout and refurbishment of their office space at 15 Colmore Row in Birmingham’s Business District, Cundall received official notification of WELL Building Standard Gold certification this week (14 August 2020). WELL is the leading tool for advancing health and wellbeing in buildings globally, it is grounded in a body of medical research that explores how buildings impact upon their occupants.
To achieve certification, Cundall collaborated with architect Studio Ben Allen to refurbish the existing office space. The design principles had to comply with WELL Building Standard requirements to consider aspects of the built environment such as air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
Managing Partner of Cundall’s Birmingham office, Robert van Zyl commented:
“The news that we have received WELL Gold certification is a tremendous achievement for our team. The redesign of our own office is a project we are all very proud of, we knew from the start that we wanted to achieve WELL certification and made the wellbeing of our staff a priority throughout the design process.
“Having a WELL designed office like this will make our return to the office following the Covid-19 lockdown easier, because the fitout is designed with the health and wellbeing of staff in mind. For example, many of the fittings in the office are made out of brass which has anti-microbial properties, and the wash basins have been designed to facilitate better handwashing practices; this demonstrates how focusing on our staff through the WELL Building Standard, has delivered positive outcomes for our business.”
In addition to the WELL Building Standard requirements, the design team had to consider both the existing services solutions and the additional office space which had been acquired. Principles of a circular economy were also employed to conserve materials and minimise embodied carbon, and existing lights and fan coil units from the original office fit-out were re-purposed and utilised in the newly designed office.
Engineered by Cundall, Studio Ben Allen designed a timber staircase to link the two-storey office. The striking spiral staircase not only physically connects the two floors, but also creates a strong visual signifier for the unification and collaboration between the two levels. It also promotes the health and wellbeing agenda by encouraging physical activity in the workplace.
Biophilia was also a key feature of the design, and planting is integrated with the structural aspects of the office to help create areas of refuge and give identity to the spaces.
Architect, Ben Allen from Studio Ben Allen commented:
“We have designed several of Cundall’s offices around the globe, and the Birmingham office encapsulates the distinctive sustainable design that runs through the other offices, whilst also accommodating the unique needs of the Birmingham team. The design provides a dynamic and creative space for the design teams to work, whilst the innovative use of natural materials is used to reinforce the strong focus on health and wellbeing in line with the WELL building standard.”
Cundall took the 7,000 sq. ft fourth floor of 15 Colmore Row in 2014, believing the new office would provide sufficient space for five years of growth. Within 18 months, the practice was outgrowing the office, with staff desks creeping into breakout and meeting areas, and new premises were sought. When the floor above the existing workspace became available, Cundall took advantage of the opportunity.
The Birmingham office is the second of Cundall’s offices to become WELL certified. The practice is committed to showcasing health and wellbeing across the world, and Cundall’s London office was the first project in Europe to receive WELL certification. Cundall’s Dubai office was one of the first WELL registered projects in the MENA region and Cundall’s Qatar office is also WELL registered.
The WELL Building Standard is grounded in a body of medical research that explores how buildings impact upon their occupants (as people spend more than 90% of their time indoors), WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring aspects of the built environment such as air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
Cundall: Clever, friendly engineering
Cundall is an international multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy with over 900 staff and offices in 11 countries across the globe.
Established in 1976, Cundall’s Founding Partners shared a common vision that the practice would become a leading multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy built on sound ethical principles. For over 40 years, Cundall’s engineering expertise, coupled with creativity, innovation and a deep-rooted understanding of people and communities, has allowed the business to develop the best possible solutions for clients’ projects. We are Clever, Friendly Engineers.
Harkening back to the founders’ roots, sustainability is integral to our approach. We provide our clients with practical advice and solutions, which reduce the environmental impact of developments, and provide better spaces for building users and occupiers, as well as for the wider community.
Cundall is the world’s first consultancy to be endorsed as a One Planet Company. As a business, Cundall has implemented several sustainable initiatives on projects around the world, as well as in our offices and homes.
In 2016, Cundall’s London office became the first building in the UK and Europe to achieve WELL Certification through the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL), a goal intended to put the health and wellbeing of the occupants at the heart of building design.
Cundall is on track to achieve its goal of being a carbon positive business by no later than 2025, with the Sydney office recently announcing that it had achieved net zero carbon status and other offices around the globe soon to follow.
For more information about Cundall, please go to www.cundall.com or www.twitter.com/Cundall_Global or on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/cundall/.
To find out more about Cundall’s One Planet Company commitments, visit http://www.cundall.com/About-Us/Sustainability/One-Planet-Company.aspx.
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