Health of employees at heart of a new building standard

Source: Hassell -


10 February 2016

HASSELL: Health is at the heart of a new building standard that’s being piloted by leading developers.

The global building standard, WELL Building Standard, is a framework for tenants, businesses, and the property industry to develop buildings that place focus on health and wellness-related design criteria.

HASSELL Principal Steve Coster said there’s a growing awareness of the importance of creating work spaces that make people feel energised, and supported mentally and physically.

“There is a real epidemic of mental health issues. There is as much absenteeism from stress and anxiety as all other physical sicknesses combined,” said Steve.

“But there are some really positive examples of companies leading the charge in developing health-based workplaces.”


The design of leading health insurer Medibank’s head office is a key example of a workplace that wanted to create one of the healthiest workplaces in the world. Named the best workplace in the world at INSIDE at the end of 2015, the workplace sets an international benchmark in health-based working.

“70% of Medibank employees reported feeling healthier working at Medibank Place. What’s more, 66% of employees said they were more productive in their new workplace environment.”

Steve points to a PricewaterhouseCoopers 2014 report for BeyondBlue that found that every dollar spent on better work practices drove a positive return on investment of 2.3.

“That is, for every dollar spent on successfully implementing an appropriate action, there is on average $2.30 in benefits to be gained by the organisation,” the report says.

WELL is an evolution of existing green, sustainable building standards such as the Green Star and NABERS and if adopted more widely could propel business into a healthier, more productive future.

 Read more on the WELL Building Standard at





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