In the fourth instalment of Building Insights, architect Alina White of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios speaks to the managing editor of ADF, James Parker, about sustainability and wellness in commercial buildings. Thanks to Hambleside Danelaw, Methven, Reynaers, Kestrel Aluminium Systems, and James Latham, for sponsoring this episode.
Alina is an architect who joined Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in 2002, and was made an associate in 2017. She has worked in both Bath and London for the practice, and has focused on commercial projects, as well as some high-profile residential and schools.
She recently led on a major office scheme now underway in the centre of Birmingham which really illustrates some of the key themes of recent research we’ve undertaken into sustainability and wellness in commercial projects. As well as aspiring to be a low carbon building (both in terms of emissions and embodied carbon), the architects believe Three Chamberlain Square delivers a new level of wellbeing for staff – in a post-Covid world where employees need to be encouraged back to workplaces.
Architects Datafile conducted an Industry Viewfinder audience survey of architects on Sustainability and Wellness in Commercial Buildings, on this very hot topic currently. Alongside wellness, staff are increasingly aware of the contribution of buildings to climate change, and want to work in premises and for organisations that are explicitly reducing their footprint.
And with staff costs representing around 80%-90% of many organisations’ expenditure, any solution that limits extra recruitment costs, and increase retention, is a core business benefit that is making clients keen to invest in design. Attracting the best staff now means creating environments, in retail and industrial settings as well as offices, that offer health benefits to staff, as well as lower emissions.
Clients are increasingly seeking to measure and coordinate those design efforts, for example using established international standards like WELL
They are also seeking out firms like FCBStudios, and architects like Alina, for these often demanding projects, so it’s great to have her insights for the podcast.