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CBRE Awarded WELL Certification Across its Three Toronto Offices, Now has the Most WELL Certified Spaces in the World

CBRE Awarded WELL Certification Across its Three Toronto Offices, Now has the Most WELL Certified Spaces in the World

CBRE announces its three Toronto offices have simultaneously achieved WELL Certification at the silver level for New and Existing Interiors by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™). Awarded based on IWBI’s WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™), the world’s first building standard to focus on enhancing employees’ health and wellness through the built environment, CBRE is pioneering wellness in workplace design with the most WELL Certified office spaces of any company across the globe. The firm now has a total of six WELL Certified offices globally, four in Canada alone, with an additional three registered for certification.

In order to receive WELL Certification, the Toronto offices were assessed, monitored and tested across seven wellness categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The offices comprise CBRE’s Canadian Headquarters in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District located at 145 King Street West, Toronto West office located adjacent to Pearson International Airport at 5935 Airport Road, and Toronto North office located at 2005 Sheppard Avenue East. These offices were created with employee wellness at the forefront of each design decision and individually incorporate over 100 wellness features. These include universal access to natural light for all employees, internal air quality within the top 1% of offices globally, ergonomic sit-stand desks and noise-attenuating technology to reduce stress-inducing background noise.

“By embracing the WELL Building Standard across the entirety of our Toronto footprint, we are making good on our promise that the office can, and should, add to the health of your people. When you consider that Canadians spend half their waking hours in an office space, we believe these changes can have a truly positive impact on the health and engagement of any organization’s most valuable asset, our people,” said Mark Renzoni, President and CEO of CBRE Canada. “When you build health and wellness into the fabric of your office space, it’s a powerful statement about your commitment to your people.”

Along with its Vancouver office, which achieved WELL Certification in 2017, and its three Toronto offices, CBRE is the only firm in Canada with certification across multiple locations. Today, globally, it has a total of six offices certified – in Los Angeles, Madrid, Vancouver and three locations in Toronto – with an additional three offices registered for certification.

“We are transforming the way we think about the workplace and, by being early adopters, not only do our people have access to some of the healthiest offices in the country, we are in a unique position to counsel our clients through the process,” commented Ashley O’Neill, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at CBRE Canada. “For most companies, the biggest expense is headcount, typically 60-70% of total overhead. And while real estate tends to account for only 10% of costs, small investments to create engaging workplaces have proven to have substantial impacts in employee retention and recruitment, and therefore the bottom line.

“Since inception, our offices that have gone through our workplace transformation program have experienced a reduction in employee turnover by almost a third, and our rate of hiring has doubled. In our three Toronto offices, over 90% of employees reported overall satisfaction with the new spaces and over 70% reported that the offices enhance their ability to accomplish daily tasks. For us, it’s clear evidence on the power that a forward-thinking workplace can have in helping companies find and keep the best talent.”

About CBRE’s Canadian Workplace Transformation program

CBRE Canadian Workplace Transformation program is a national project to reimagine its workplaces across Canada with the goal of creating the workplaces of the future and the healthiest office environments in the country. Starting in 2015, the program has seen nine offices, totaling over 130,000 square feet and over 700 employees, transformed to-date.

See related article: CBRE Dutch Office Fund First Real Estate Fund in Europe to Achieve a WELL Portfolio Score in Health and Wellbeing

CBRE is pioneering workplace wellness through office design and the offices feature the following employee wellness features:

  • All employees are no more than 25 feet from natural sunlight and the specialized circadian relevant lighting system installed throughout each office automatically adjusts to brighten or dim lighting levels based on the natural light outside. A Northwestern University study has shown that offices workers with access to natural light sleep better and for longer, and report markedly better results in quality-of-life assessments.
  • All employees have Sit-Stand workstations to reduce sedentary behavior and incidents of back-pain.
  • To create acoustic enhancements, noise cancellation technology is installed throughout the office to prevent background noise, a key source of potential stress and distraction.
  • The two floors of the Canadian Headquarters are connected with an internal stairway to promote increased mobility and collaboration among colleagues.
  • Carbon-filtered water is provided within 30 metres of every employee to encourage hydration.
  • The heart of each office is the RISE Café, a focal point that brings people and departments together. Employee amenities and refreshments are purposefully concentrated in the Café to drive foot traffic and create serendipitous collisions among colleagues.

The entire lifecycle of these projects are sourced and executed by CBRE’s in-house service lines, including the development of the workplace strategy and design, brokerage and advisory services to secure optimal space for each office, project managing the procurement and construction process and, finally, the planning and execution of the physical relocation of employees.

Source: CBRE Investment Management


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