Pinsent Masons’ Edinburgh office is first in Scotland to achieve well-being accrediation

Pinsent Mason partners Michael Watson, Ewan Alexander and Jacqueline Harris at their new Capital Square office.

Professional services firm Pinsent Masons’ new Edinburgh office has become the first building in Scotland to be awarded a prestigious distinction certifying its well-being credentials.

The firm’s 25,000 sq ft office in Capital Square – home to 200 lawyers and business operations staff – has received WELL Certification by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).

The WELL Building Standard in the world’s premier accreditation which focuses on enhancing people’s health and well-being through the buildings where they live, work and play, and is the result of seven years of rigorous research and development working with leading physicians, scientists and industry professionals.

The Standard is a performance-based certification which marries best practice in design and construction with scientific research, and covers seven categories of performance, including air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind.

Pinsent Masons’ design team introduced measures including Circadian lighting systems which work in harmony with occupants’ 24-hour biological clocks, ensuring there is ample access to daylight and when daylight is comprised the system compensates to create a healthier and more naturally lit environment.

Air quality standards have been enhanced with increased air filtration and an air flush programme was carried out before occupation of the building, while greater focus has been put on healthy nutrition and mindful eating, with organic and sustainable products available in the office café.

A biophilic approach to the office design was used to create a harmony between modern architecture and the natural world with sustainable materials used wherever possible, and a large well-being zone and contemplation room was created with a library of materials covering mindfulness, stress management and healthy habits.

Other features include a third of workstations designed to be height-adjustable for standing and sitting and staff can take advantage of a range of fitness activities in the office, including yoga classes.

Luke Richards, Pinsent Masons Head of Facilities, UK & Ireland, said: “From the outset we wanted to take our people-centric workplace approach up a notch by targeting a globally-recognised standard, such as WELL, and challenging ourselves to deliver a more sustainable office fit-out project. We researched and sought out elements which created an amazing space that supports the wellbeing of the colleagues who work here, while minimising our impact on the environment throughout.

“This is the first project of its kind that Pinsent Masons has undertaken and we are delighted to be leading the way in Scotland as occupying the first building to have been awarded the WELL Certification.”

Ongoing monitoring and reporting will ensure the WELL standards achieved within the first six months of taking occupancy in the Morrison Street building will be maintained and improved, and other measures which meet the WELL benchmark will be introduced as part of a rolling programme.

Ewan Alexander, Partner and Head of Office in Edinburgh, said: “It was our objective to achieve WELL accreditation and to meet the IWBI’s incredibly high standards and we are delighted to have done so.

“Working closely with the design experts, we were able to adjust certain features during the fit-out to make better use of space and design in light of post-Covid working preferences. The result is a stunning fit-for-purpose office which underlines our commitment to fully supporting our clients engaged in multiple sectors across Scotland and in international markets.”