5-Star rating for new Pareto Interior Fitout
In December 2020, the Pareto Head Office in Sandton received its 5-Star Green Star Interior v1 certification for its custom designed interior fitout. The intention was to reflect the organisation’s brand, culture and ethos as well as to promote health and wellness for users of the space.7
As an established property investment group that actively invests, modifies and breaks new barriers in world-class shopping centres, Pareto is committed to sustainable building practices that include adopting new innovations to improve energy performance, water savings and waste management. The 1081sqm high-performance fitout is located in The Atrium on 5th building and comprises a series of dynamic spaces that can accommodate consulting, community and growth – including boardrooms, hot desks, a communal lounge and refreshment areas.
Well Mind & Restorative Spaces
Makhosazana Mthethwa, Sustainable Building Consultant at Solid Green, explains,
The design promotes mental health through strategies that influence cognitive and emotional wellbeing. Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which individuals are able to live to their fullest potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and contribute to their community.
As work-induced fatigue is common among office workers, the spaces are designed to promote restoration and encourage relief from mental fatigue and stress. The Pareto offices provide a meditation room for individuals to step away from the stress of the office environment, in order to recharge and refocus – a space that can be used by individuals with a wide variety of beliefs, religions and traditions. This allows people to mentally distance themselves from work and engage in restorative activities that are linked to overall well-being, higher life satisfaction, improved mood, maintained workplace performance, lower burnout and fewer health complaints.
The office also provides opportunities for employees to take short naps during the day. Insufficient sleep is associated with a number of chronic adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, impaired immune function, increased pain and anxiety, impaired performance and productivity, increased errors and greater risk of accidents. The ‘sleep pod’ is a private quiet room with a comfortable bed. Employees are encouraged to use this room to take power naps of 20 to 30 minutes to re-energise during working hours if necessary.
On-site childcare facilities help working parents balance family needs and work demands; and knowing that they can bring their children to work when necessary can help reduce employee anxiety. Positioned conveniently for passive surveillance, the children’s playroom is located adjacent to the open plan office space and next to the break area. The room is designed to child-scale, is fitted with appropriate furnishings, and houses children’s books and other sensory stimulating toys.
The interior material palette reflects the brand’s banner of growth with the inclusion of timber, natural textures and soft furnishings. Designed with the Biophilia framework in mind, greenery has been incorporated in the spaces, and natural daylighting reduces the need for artificial lighting. Fresh air is supplied at a minimum rate of 12.5l/s/person for 100% of the usable area; all adhesives, sealants and carpets have low VOC emissions; and furniture, fittings and flooring have been responsibly sourced.
The majority of lights have been fitted with motion sensors which helps to prevent energy waste and light pollution as internal lights automatically switch off when the office is unoccupied. Very little hot water is supplied to the office; and all water closets, urinals and tap fixtures were specified to reduce water consumption – with the intention being to reduce the consumption of potable water by at least 30%. An integrated BMS system records and logs all energy and water usage within the building and is displayed in real time at their reception area. This display helps to educate the office occupants on the environmental initiatives undertaken in their fit-out, and identifies any energy and water consumption irregularities timeously.
A waste recycling storage area was provided to encourage recycling of resources used within the building to reduce waste going to landfill for paper and cardboard, plastic, glass and cans, general waste, electronic equipment, mercury-containing lamps and batteries, and durable goods and furniture. Waste is collected from the tenancy by the Sandton City Centre Management on a daily basis. This is then taken to the central waste facility for Sandton City where it is sorted by the appointed waste collection company into general waste, glass, paper, plastic and metal, and then sent for recycling.
Mthethwa says that a comprehensive Occupant Users’ Guide was developed for the office, which aims to identify and describe green initiatives that ensure an environmentally responsive and resource efficient building; inform occupants and users about the project’s service and management systems in order to optimise the building’s performance; and ensure that all future alterations, additions and program changes are consistent with the intent of the purpose of the project.
Located within easy walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain Station, bus and taxi links, the building encourages cycling as opposed to vehicle commuting by offering storage for 45 staff bicycles and 30 visitor bicycles in a convenient location on parking Level 2 close to the central lobby. Cycle routes have also been demarcated from the main vehicle entrance on 5th street.
Dedicated parking areas within the existing Sandton City development have been allocated for the Atrium on various levels, with access to each area controlled by means of automatic boom gates. 35 bays have been demarcated for the use of hybrid vehicles and 35 motorbike bays have been provided on Level 7 in preferential areas closest to the core.
This year, health and productivity have taken centre stage for company owners, alongside environmental concerns. The Pareto Head Office responds to these demands with a holistic design approach that demonstrates sector-leadership and due concern for employee wellbeing.