Flexible workspace specialist celebrates being shortlisted in the categories of Commercial Property Deal of the Year and Commercial Property Health and Wellbeing Initiative
BE Offices today announces it has been shortlisted for two awards in Property Week’s prestigious Property Awards 2023, an event which brings together all the key players in the UK’s commercial property market. Now in its 28th year, the 2023 Property Awards ceremony will take place on 13th June at London’s Grosvenor House.
The Deal of the Year award recognises the organisation which has pulled off a ground-breaking property deal, be that a trail-blazing joint-venture, the merger or acquisition of another organisation or the acquisition or sale of a property. BE Offices’ entry was for an innovative venture to create a pioneering space-as-a-service workspace in one of Belfast’s most historic and iconic buildings, retaining original ornamental features but with the sharp juxtaposition of a contemporary fit-out, embedded technology, local artwork installations and environmental reporting tools.
This ground-breaking project captured the headlines as it returned this much-loved building back into local hands with ownership taken by a Belfast-based property company whose partnership with BE Offices was formulated to harness the strengths of both entities in terms of property investment and contemporary, hospitality-based flexible workspace delivery.
BE Offices has also been shortlisted in the Health and Wellbeing Initiative category. This award aims to celebrate the organisation or individual that has done the most in the past year to support the health and wellbeing of staff, occupiers or the local community. Judges were looking for an exemplary initiative, scheme or project which has raised the bar in terms of health and wellbeing, be that a building which has achieved WELL certification and/or a best-in-class environmental accreditation standard rating.
When BE Offices were appointed to create the new 60,000 sq ft flexible workspace offering in the historic Belfast landmark, health and wellbeing was key, and the iconic building is now on track to achieve Platinum WELL Certification, a first in Northern Ireland, delivering a “best in class” offering with occupier wellbeing at its core.
From the moment the decision was made to pursue WELL Certification, the building’s refurbishment was aligned with WELL’s ten concepts targeting wellness interventions related to building design, maintenance protocols and organisational policies, those being air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.
WELL’s holistic and multifaceted approach improves the health and wellbeing of all occupiers, helping to facilitate a good night’s sleep, support their cognitive and mental health, and help them do their best work every day.
Adaptations to the development lifecycle to meet WELL Certification criteria included a revised aircon provision, installation of air quality sensors, changes to the electrics, additional biophilia, reconfiguring the spacing of drinking water stations, installing a gym, yoga studio, wellness pods, cycle storage, showers and a refrigerated food counter to create an environment where the healthiest food choice is the easiest food choice.
The building opened in January 2023 at well over 50% occupancy, with rates well above market levels and many clients citing wellbeing, hospitality and enhanced technology as key decision factors, including a very well-known retail brand who moved their regional headquarters into the building.