Celebrating the next generation of buildings: Wired for health and wellbeing


21 November 2017

WSP: Cbus Property’s Docklands development at 720 Bourke Street in Melbourne, the headquarters for Medibank, is the first existing building in the country to be awarded the coveted WELL Gold certification for both shell and core. It has also earned a 6 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia and 5 Star Nabers rating.

WSP has played a key role in this development, delivering a broad range of services including Ecological Sustainable Design, Vertical Transportation, Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Acoustic, Fire and Structural Engineering, as well as Lighting, Fire Protection, Hydraulics, Communications and Audio-Visual.

The property is a prestigious 16-level commercial tower with an integrated fitout for tenant Medibank. The main tower sits atop a four-level podium which incorporates retail spaces and a park, providing activation at multiple levels along the stadium concourse and at Bourke Street level.

Completed in 2014, the building features A-Grade office facilities including a gymnasium, multipurpose court, extensive landscaping, relaxation areas and easy access to and from local transport hubs and entertainment precincts. It has one of the city’s fastest vertical transportation systems and boasts community gardens.

According to Brenda Kingston, WSP’s Director of Sustainability, “This building marks a growing shift towards workplaces that support the health and wellbeing of its occupants. It was designed before the WELL Building Standard gained global momentum and recognises WSP’s early focus on creating sustainable places for occupants to thrive.

“The Gold WELL rating for shell and core validates the building’s features which are designed to boost air and water quality, nourishment, light, fitness and comfort. The WELL rating recognises building attributes and operational practices that influence health and lifestyle choices that occupants make.”

“The outcome is a flexible workplace designed with the mental and physical health of people at its core. The atrium – one of the most distinctive features in the building – lets natural light in, and provides views to staff. It also provides visual, physical and psychological interconnection between floors. Contemporary Indigenous art is integrated in the public park and amphitheatre to reference the original landscape.

“The building also promotes active transportation for staff with an easy to access ramp, bicycle storage, maintenance tools and a repair station. Healthy eating is encouraged throughout with vending machines stocking healthy and nutritional foods. Importantly, the use of natural materials, organic forms and extensive planting within the workplace improves internal air quality, reduces stress, creates a healthier and humane environment that’s tactile and vibrant.

“Biophilia is certainly key to this project with 2,300 plants inside the building, 520 modular planter boxes on the façade, as well as 25 m high street-facing green walls. This provides a connection to nature for workers and promotes the general philosophy of wellbeing. Cbus Property has recently improved this with the installation of community gardens which allows us workers to grow their own food.”

“Overall, Cbus Property’s 720 Bourke Street is a great example of how WSP has harnessed the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing.”

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