Property and infrastructure development firm Lendlease recently relocated it’s Chicago office to 30 S. Wacker Drive. The new space is the first to receive a 3 Star Fitwel Rating in Chicago and the first commercial interior space to receive the highest rating under the certification system in Illinois.
Operated by the Center of Active Design, Fitwel is a global health certification system providing design and operational strategies to improve building occupant health and productivity. The Lendlease Chicago office also achieved LEED Silver under the USGBC’sLEED v4.
“Our employees have told us overwhelmingly that they prefer the new workplace to the old one,” said Bert Brandt, general manager of Lendlease’s Chicago construction business. “They enjoy the natural light, they like the flexibility and convenience of the new technology, and most importantly they just feel healthier and more at ease here.”
The buildout made use of several key sustainability and health strategies. For example, balancing light output from LED fixtures with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows minimized energy use while lighting fixtures were also designed to reduce disruption to the human eye, enhancing alertness throughout the workday and mitigating disruption to employee sleep/wake cycles. New water fixtures increase indoor potable water savings by 40 percent and the office’s Social Hub offers healthy nutritional options.
The space also features different types of workstations to allow increased flexibility as well as sit-stand desks that improve comfort and minimize the amount of time that employees are sednetary. Individual retreat areas were set aside for mothers or individuals that may require time to reflect or recharge. An internal staircase connects the two floors that the firm is leasing in 30 S. Wacker Drive, further facilitating collaboration, connectedness and dynamism.
“By receiving a Fitwel 3 Star Rating for its Chicago office, Lendlease has proven that it is a pioneer in leveraging buildings to support health,” said Joanna Frank, president & CEO of the Center for Active Design. “Fitwel has challenged the real estate industry to transform the way it designs and manages workplaces, and Lendlease’s leadership serves as a prime example of just how much companies can do to move the needle on health promotion.”
“Lendlease’s achievement of LEED Silver is a testament to their leadership in the green building market and their commitment to creating high-performing buildings,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “This commitment is demonstrated by their belief in the importance of third-party verification for the development of healthier, more sustainable buildings.”
The office’s configuration was driven by Lendlease’s approach to team-based working, a workplace strategy, design and change management plan that promotes health and wellbeing, innovation and productivity. The approach is based on an in-depth analysis of employee needs and patterns, as well as space utilization. Lendlease’s workplace team creates spaces for clients around the globe with the aim to set people up to be their best, based on the way they work. With team-based working, Lendlease is rolling out this approach for its own corporate offices.
“We at Lendlease are proud of these honors. Environmental efficiency and occupant health and wellbeing are central to our corporate vision of creating the best places in our projects. The fit-out of our Chicago office illustrates how we are leading by example in our corporate offices,” said Thomas Weeks, general manager of development at Lendlease’s Chicago office.