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Cbus scores major WELL milestone

Cbus Property has scored Australia’s third official WELL rating – and the first Gold Shell and Core rating for an existing property in the country.

The 720 Bourke Street property, headquarters for Medibank, also has a 6 Star Green Star rating and a 5 Star NABERS rating.

The development team had WELL in their sights from the outset, with the anchor tenant putting wellbeing and health front-and-centre in the brief.

The property includes extensive facade greening and indoor greening, design encouraging movement and the use of stairs, a healthy food cafe and end-of-trip facilities.

Under the standard, innovations in seven categories are measured and include air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

The “core and shell” classification takes building structure, window locations and glazing, building proportions, heating, cooling and ventilation systems and water quality into account.

To attain the gold rating, Cbus undertook a gap analysis to ensure the rating’s 28 preconditions were achievable before embarking on measures to boost the wellbeing of occupants.

New initiatives that got it across the line included increasing natural air into the building, with outside air levels now 150 per cent higher than Australian standards.

Community gardens were also installed so staff can grow their own food, and it already had an edible garden that supplies the cafe.

The property also has a tennis court, new bike repair workshop and a new sustainability library.

Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo said the WELL rating was a recognition of 720 Bourke Street’s “future-proof philosophy”. This resulted in a building that could be upgraded to meet the evolving needs of its occupants and embrace new innovations.

“We are very proud of 720 Bourke Street being recognised as one of the healthiest buildings in Australia for its workers,” he said.

Since Mirvac broke the ice on WELL, attaining the first Australian rating in March this year for 200 George Street, there has been some serious uptake of the approach.

According to data at the WELL Building Institute website, there are currently 37 other Australian properties registered for a rating.

The second rating in Australia was Investa’s Barrack Place development at 151 Clarence Street, which achieved WELL Gold Core and Shell pre-certification in May 2017.

NSW properties comprise 50 per cent of rated or registered projects, with 20 reported by the WBI. Victoria is not far behind, with 13 properties, and Queensland has four on the go. The ACT has two, South Australia one and Western Australia two.

Many of the leading REITs are represented in the league table, including Frasers Property Australia, which is looking to achieve a rating for its Rhodes tenancy.

Dexus has several registered projects, including its new HQ in Sydney, 480 Queen Street in Brisbane and 100 Mount Street in Sydney.

Charter Hall has registered its Melbourne and Perth workspaces, and AMP Capital its Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney.

QIC has signed up both the existing Nauru House tower at 80 Collins Street in Melbourne and the new tower it is currently getting underway on the site – with Macquarie onboard as the anchor tenant.

It’s not just the top end of town pursuing WELL either.

Sustainable building consultancy Floth has also registered for a rating.

The company is already occupying one of Australia’s most sustainable work places, with a 6 Star NABERS IEQ rating, 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built v1.1 rating, and attainment of the ASBEC zero carbon building standard.

Arup is also joining the club, with its Melbourne workplace on the registered projects list.

Momentum is also not confined to the capital cities – Worksafe’s new HQ at Malop Street in Geelong is also in the running.

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