A brand new commercial development in Fremantle is aiming to deliver one of the state’s healthiest and happiest workplaces as the first mass timber-framed office development in Western Australia.
Developed by Yolk Property Group in partnership with Harris Jenkins Architects and Josh Byrne and Associates, hArbour by Yolk will feature a vast range of sustainable design features.
Situated in the heart of Fremantle, just 100 metres from the new King Square development, the innovative six-storey project will offer a dense vertical garden across more than half of the building’s exterior and an operable glass façade which has been designed to circulate fresh air and delivering optimal sunlight to all levels.
Yolk Property Group Director, Pete Adams, said that a significant percentage of materials used in the project’s construction and fit-out would be from natural sources and an abundance of plant life would be incorporated into the building’s exterior and interior design.
“Office workers spend around eight hours a day indoors, often in offices that lack adequate sunlight and fresh air while being surrounded by manmade materials like plastic – this really isn’t a healthy environment. In contrast, studies have shown workplaces that utilise natural materials like wood, incorporate plant life and allow for natural light, resulting in happier and more productive employees,” Mr Adams said.
“Our aim with this project is not just to develop a highly sustainable building but to create an environment that has a positive impact on those within it. We want to reimagine the idea of an office, producing spaces that employees will enjoy spending time in,” he commented.
Mr Adams further commented that Yolk and project partners presented research on mass timber construction, highlighting the dual benefits on the environment and on occupants to aid in securing approval for the ambitious development.
“Timber is one of the most sustainable materials available and has also been shown to boost productivity and mood, with research indicating satisfaction and wellbeing in the workplace are improved with the inclusion of wood and other natural materials,” he added.
A recent research paper on the subject titled Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity, produced by research firm Pollinate and the University of Canberra was released at the Green Cities conference in March. The paper presented results from a survey of 1,000 indoor Australian office workers and revealed that natural-looking and timber surfaces in the workplace, along with the incorporation of natural elements indoors like stone, wood, water features, plants and natural light, are strongly associated with increased employee well-being and satisfaction, with an expected result of improved productivity.
Additional sustainability features that will be incorporated into the project include:
- a solar photovoltaic and battery storage system
- sub-metering of electricity and water for each tenancy with demand management software and visualisation
- a green façade to aid in thermal protection
- an operable façade to ensure emptying of warm air and drawing-in of cool air
- storm and grey water collection, distribution and recycling
- a new commercial greywater system using filtration and ozone disinfection to recycle shower and hand basin water to the planters in the green façade.
The development will take approximately 18 months to build, with completion expected by mid-2020.
More information on the project can be found here.