Tower One | How a building can affect your company’s DNA


A corporate address can literally define the wellbeing of an enterprise, as clever organisations seek buildings and places that are healthy for their people, and their business.

Where a company chooses to ‘live’ and how it dresses itself - in terms of its corporate address, branding and office fitout - has a powerful impact on what stakeholders - potential customers, clients, staff and investors - think about the organisation and its priorities.

Apart from issues for staff engagement and retention that can be experienced by being located at the ‘wrong’ end of town, or in an isolated location that lacks desirable amenity, the physical condition of a building itself and the quality of its architecture, can impact on perceptions of the organisation and staff wellbeing, and potentially the performance of the company itself.

“Sick building syndrome” is a term used to describe a condition in which people experience ill health when inside a particular building. Common symptoms include headaches, irritated throat, itchy eyes and nose, coughing, nausea, and fatigue.. A lack of natural light is a contributing factor. Apart from physical benefits to the mood and wellbeing of office workers, natural light can be used to reduce reliance on artificial lighting, making buildings healthier, and more efficient in the process.

One of the latest buzzwords in building and workplace design is ‘biophilia’, defined as the impact being exposed to nature can have on our state of mind. The concept has been well documented in the design of hospitals and schools, where rates of recovery and learning are consistently and significantly higher when natural light and fresh air is prevalent. Applying biophilic research to commercial workspaces is now being enthusiastically adopted by progressive architects, building owners and tenants, all seeking to create the healthiest, most productive and most sustainable working environments possible.

The term “next generation thinking” has been applied to International Towers Sydney to help describe how truly advanced these buildings are. Quite simply, they are the pinnacle of world-class design. “International Towers Sydney are buildings that would not exist anywhere else,” says Ivan Harbour, partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour, and lead architect of International Towers Sydney. “They are of their place. Everything about them - their elevations, their form, their orientation and their facades – are all designed to minimise energy consumption, whilst ensuring that the occupants of the buildings have great access to daylight, great comfort, great aspect and great amenity.”

International Towers Sydney are a dynamic extension to the Sydney Central Business District, with Tower One having the added boast of being both the country’s largest office tower, and Australia’s most sustainable high rise building. Each of the towers has received the highest rating on the internationally-recognised 6 Star Green Star - Office Design v3 rating system.

Green Building Council of Australia Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew, said “International Towers Sydney is an extraordinary project that demonstrates the latest thinking of sustainable workplaces.  For Tower One, Lendlease secured enough points for its 6 Star Green Star rating in its first round submission - this is a rare feat.”

Barangaroo also recorded the highest rating ever awarded under the GBCA’s Green Star Communities rating tool, confirming its world leading status and underpinning Lendlease’s vision to create the best - and most sustainable - places.

All of this adds up to a commercial workplace that is arguably amongst the greenest and ‘healthiest’ in the world. Existing tenants of International Towers Sydney are already reporting improvements in the morale and wellbeing of their teams, including significant reductions in absenteeism, since moving to Barangaroo. It’s clear that right building in the right location can literally transform the wellbeing of a company and its people, and the health of its bottom line.

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