The Melbourne CBD office tower at 500 Collins Street has become the first existing building in Australia to earn WELL Certification at the Platinum level, the International WELL Building Institute’s highest rating.
Completed in 1973, 500 Collins Street is a 26-storey tower featuring approximately 26,000m2 of net lettable area comprising an office tower with a retail plaza at ground level.
It is owned by private property group Kamirice.
A performance-based certification system, the WELL Building Standard combines best practices in design and construction with evidence-based scientific research. It is considered by some to be the premier building standard to focus on enhancing our health and wellness through the built environment.
500 Collins Street earned the distinction based on its performance across 10 categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.
“The WELL accreditation is actually the bookend of 20 years of work,” says Tony Arnel, former Global Sustainability Director for Norman Disney & Young (NDY), which provided consulting services throughout the project. “500 Collins Street was a trailblazer in the early 2000s with the research that went on regarding indoor air quality and occupant productivity.”
To achieve the Platinum WELL certification, the building endured rigorous testing on its air quality, ventilation, thermal and acoustic comfort, and water systems. Other initiatives include the use of non-toxic cleaning products, mindful eating promotion through healthy food in vending machines, and the creation of an online tenant portal to share nutritious recipes and promote mental health.
“500 Collins Street sets a benchmark in how existing office buildings can be transformed to lead the way in workplace health and wellbeing,” says Kamirice Managing Director Mark Ross. “It shows how an older existing building in which investment has been consistent and focused, and which has been upgraded over the years, was in a position to achieve WELL Platinum Certification, without requiring top-to-bottom refurbishment. By putting tenant health and wellbeing first, we were able to invest where it really mattered.”
The WELL certification also recognises some of the building’s recent multi-million-dollar upgrades. These include construction of a high-quality end-of-trip facility with bicycle parking, showers and lockers, and a new ground-floor business lounge. Both were designed by Gray Puksand.