Commercial property: Recognition for a workplace fit for the future

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Registers of Scotland – SVP Platform in St Vincent’s Plaza, Glasgow, was named among the best workplaces in the UK at the British Council for Offices (BCO) annual national awards in London.

On 2 October, the project, which was delivered by Cushman and Wakefield, took home the Fit Out of Workplace award at the event, which recognises top-quality design and functionality.

It impressed judges with its groundbreaking application of new technology to create a SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound – working environment, moving the Registers’ office from traditional paper-based operations to a digital-enabled flexible working environment.

Delivered in nine months, the project saw 17,000sq ft of office space being transformed into a workplace of the future leading to changes to the public body’s working practices, the wellbeing of employees and the environment.

It also helped deliver an annual cost saving of £400,000 and a carbon reduction of 75 per cent –
the equivalent of 176 tonnes. The Energy Performance Certificate rating has also been enhanced from a B to an A.

The BCO judging panel described the Registers’ platform as a great example of the public sector leading the way in delivering excellence in office design.

Nigel Clark, chair of the BCO’s national judging panel, said: “Registers of Scotland – SVP Platform is a brilliant example of what is possible when designers and occupiers work seamlessly together.

“The result is a fit-out that is purpose-built and reflects a broader cultural shift within the business. It is an exemplar for other companies, across both private and public sectors.”

Employee wellbeing was at the forefront of the project, with technology enabling flexible working practices and common facilities with bicycle storage, together with shower and drying areas, offering workers a more ecological choice for their commute.

There is a dedicated ‘town hall’ area where staff can eat, meet and socialise. Employees are encouraged not to eat at their desk, stimulating interaction and idea sharing.

In addition, there is a comfortable room with soft seating for prayer, rest and first-aid purposes.

Real plants and herbs support wellbeing, and rural and urban imagery on digital display screens is designed to encourage a sense of calm.

Lighting throughout was upgraded with programmable white LED and smart wireless lighting controls to help staff remain healthy and productive by tuning light conditions to work with their circadian rhythms and reduce the affects of seasonal affective disorder.

Stuart Dorward, head of Scotland at Cushman and Wakefield, said: “This was an exciting project to work on... it really is a ground breaker and will lead the way as a benchmark for future office design.”