Why it's much easier being green in the Thames Valley
Published by Savills UK Ltd on 2nd December 2019 -
With the rise of wellness and biophilia, access to the great outdoors has become increasingly important to employees who relish fresh air after a day cooped up in the office. In fact, more than 55 per cent of respondents to the Savills What Workers Want (WWW) survey agreed that proximity to green space was important when it came to their ideal workplace.
This is particularly true in the Thames Valley, where 70 per cent of those surveyed placed it as the highest importance, closely followed by good environmental performance. This is an increase of 25 per cent on 2016, when we last ran the WWW survey, proving just how much attitudes have changed towards our surroundings in recent years.
For the most part, those who work in the Thames Valley are in luck, as the large landscaped business parks such as Uxbridge Business Park and Chiswick Park are well placed to satisfy this need. For those looking for quiet contemplation, Arlington Business Park in Reading has its own lake.
Even for those who are in more dense urban environments where green space appears to be limited, there are techniques which landlords and tenants can use to get their nature fix. One of these is to adopt and encourage biophilic design, this doesn’t just mean increasing the number of pot plants, but actually improving the quality of access to natural light and air quality.
One example of this is Thames Tower in the heart of Reading town centre. While the city is not known for its expanses of green space, those who occupy the building can find solace on the 14th floor where the roof terrace is teeming with plant life. The scheme, developed by Landid, has effectively created an oasis in the midst of what is essentially an urban jungle.
Another example is Aberdeen Standard Investment’s The White Building, also in Reading, where the 3,000 sq ft roof space can be used by tenants at lunchtimes to host informal meetings; it can also be hired out for private events.
Biophilic design has been found to heighten and stimulate emotional and intellectual senses which can act as a catalyst to forming a connection between people, in this case the employees, and place, the office building they occupy. This can consequently reduce stress levels among office workers, which can only be good for a business’s bottom line.
What’s clear is that this is not just a gimmick designed to lease space, but rather something that people feel increasingly passionate about. Therefore, to continue to attract occupiers, landlords need to go green.