The developer of 177 Bothwell Street, set to become Glasgow’s largest single office building, is implementing a series of health and wellbeing measures that will see the development reflect the new, post-Covid-19 reality of working life.
With human touch identified as a major factor in transmission, all the building’s ‘touch-points’ have been reviewed. 177 Bothwell Street’s occupiers will be able to arrive and reach their chosen floor – via reception, security turnstiles, and lifts – without having to touch any part of the building’s exterior or interior, whether they enter the premises by foot, bicycle, or car.
The property’s existing intelligent building technology will be further enhanced to simplify how people use and interact with 177 Bothwell Street. For example, visitors’ mobile devices will be pre-accredited, allowing them to operate security gates and lifts with an app, while touchless, app-activated lighting will remove the need to physically operate switches.
Water, soap, hand-drying facilities, and toilet flushing will also be fitted with sensor technology to remove the need for touch and automatically inform the facilities management team when supplies run low. A dedicated loading bay and centrally located delivery lockers will mean that mail and packages can be delivered directly between supplier and customer.
Meanwhile, 177 Bothwell Street’s ventilation system is being reviewed to incorporate new filtering methods and enhance heat recovery safety. Underfloor heating will replace air-based systems, particularly in small, high-density areas – such as toilets and reception – meaning there is 100% fresh air ventilation supplied without recirculating air.
Set for completion in the summer of 2021, a large section of 177 Bothwell Street has been pre-let to Virgin Money for its new headquarters, while HFD Group’s serviced offices business will occupy 65,000 sq. ft. in the building. An independent economic impact assessment concluded that the development will generate £2.8 billion of gross value added (GVA) to the Scottish economy over 25 years.
Stephen Lewis, managing director of HFD Property Group, said: “As lockdown measures ease and office-based businesses return to work, there is a lot to consider for landlords and occupiers before any kind of normality can resume. The health and safety of people are the foremost concern for every organisation, and property developers and landlords have an important role to play in supporting their efforts.
“Covid-19 has prompted us to review the building design and operation of 177 Bothwell Street, ahead of its delivery next year. Factoring in what we know about the disease so far, our review has focussed on a number of aspects of the development, particularly people’s physical interaction with the building, along with the use of technology and amenities. We have removed the need for people to physically touch the building with their hands as far as possible, while taking a range of other steps including a review of ventilation systems and air circulation. As we come to know more about the disease, other enhancements may be incorporated.
“177 Bothwell Street has been designed with occupiers at the heart of it, so we started this review from a very good place. Many of the workplace trends that were present before – such as flexibility, sustainability, and agility – have now been ‘super-accelerated’ by the virus, and that is only likely to continue in the months and years ahead. These changes mean occupiers have much to consider when it comes to choosing the property that will support their objectives, keeping them and their staff safe and well throughout.”