The first flagship office development at Kirkstall Forge has this week won Property Week’s national Property Wellbeing Award, seeing off tough competition from five of the most prestigious buildings in London.
The award sought an exemplar building, project or initiative that has raised the bar in terms of the well-being of its occupiers, as well as demonstrating ground-breaking sustainability credentials.
The 110,000 sq ft flagship Number One Kirkstall Forge was designed with health and wellbeing in mind. Its double height reception maximises natural light, as well as offering spectacular views of the river frontage and valley woodland. Stairwells are flooded with daylight and sun terraces along with the ‘lounge and ledge’ outdoor events spaces offer breakout areas for staff, connecting them to nature as well as the site’s wifi.
Boldly conceived as a product that doesn’t currently existing in the market, Number One is one of the highest specification buildings in Leeds. Just six minutes from Leeds City Station via the site’s new train station. It offers Grade A, BREEAM Excellent, WiredScore Platinum, EPC A rated high quality space befitting a city centre location, yet set in a tranquil canal and riverside location.
The dedicated estate management team take advantage of the BCO compliant shower facilities and cycle spa, provide running and cycling clubs, bike and scooter hire, as well as bootcamp and other events dedicated to health, wellbeing and socialising.
Nick Lee, head of commercial development at CEG, said: “These awards are incredibly hard to win and we were up against some very challenging competition. This accolade is a real team effort with all of our contractors proving their delivery of health and wellbeing objectives.
“Everything from its design and build, to its setting and sustainable travel offer are conceived to make the building’s occupants happier and healthier; which in turn has a positive impact on productivity. This building truly is different by design.”
The building’s rooftop boasts 200 sq m of photo-voltaic array saving some 10,000kg of CO2/year. Through BREEAM, the robustness and longevity of materials was considered and high efficiency natural lighting is task-focused and scene setting.
Connection to the wooded valley setting and generous interior planting reflects the emphasis on biophilic design, providing high levels of indoor air quality and a reduction in pollutants from office equipment to boost wellbeing.
Ergonomically designed furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) pieces have been curated to offer settings which underpin employee wellbeing. Traditional desks with task chairs are offered as well as sit-stand desks, high stools & soft seating as well as plenty of different spaces within the building to break-out, meet and work. The ground floor Butler’s restaurant offers the building’s customers, visitors and rail users a variety of healthy meal options.
Sustainable travel is promoted through the onsite railway station, tailored travel guide, car share scheme, cycle and scooter hire and EV charging points. The riverside setting and green space are proven to reduce stress, blood pressure levels, heart rates and productivity.
This isn’t the first prestigious award the building has secured having been the first in the region to secure WiredScore Platinum, one of only 10% of world-wide buildings along with the likes of London’s Shard and New York’s Empire States Building. This reflects its best in class design across all features of connectivity, including the number and quality of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) coming into the building, redundancy and resiliency of telecom and power infrastructure, wireless network infrastructure, ease of installation and future-proofing capacity.
£10m of social value has also been delivered through initiatives such as the dedicated on-site skills and training centre, Forging Futures Campus. CEG also partners with social enterprise The Skill Mill, working with ex-youth offenders, and local community groups. To date these initiatives have delivered 45 new local jobs, 45 training opportunities, with six jobs have been created for the long-term unemployed and 36 on the way.
Ultimately the £400million Kirkstall Forge 57 acre site will comprise 1,050 homes and 300,000 sq ft of high quality offices and 100,000 sq ft of leisure, shops and restaurants. The oldest continually industrialised UK site, its revitalisation intertwines placemaking, industrial heritage, sustainability, cultural values and quality, providing arguably one of the largest and most inspiring regeneration projects in the North of England.