BuroHappold contributes to ‘Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail’ report
Today the World Green Building Council (WGBC) release their highly anticipated report on Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Retail: The Impact of Place on People and Profit.
The UK Green Building Council in collaboration with the World Green Building Council sought to adapt existing ways of measuring health and wellbeing set out in last year’s Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices report for the retail sector. The aim of the report is to strengthen the business case for sustainable stores. The framework presented in the report is the product of two groups. The first of which was the Retail Task Group, made up of owners, retailers, agents and consultants. BuroHappold’s Anthony Davies and Phil Hampshire provided input from the engineering consultants perspective. The second was the International Retail Group which represented similar actors from around the world.
The framework provides an approach to considering and measuring the environmental, experiential and economic aspects of retail environments with the premise that “better environments lead to better experience for people and that leads to better economics for retailers”.
BuroHappold’s input included helping to define a set of metrics under each of the ten Environmental Factors that can be used as a basis of design for better environments. Anthony Davies of BuroHappold explains that, “The retail framework provides a good start to what is needed; to be able to design the built environment for future generations, understand the interplay between the environments we occupy, our experience, and the resulting impact on our productivity and economic factors, whilst being mindful of the impact on minimising resource consumption.”
The Environmental Factors include:-
- Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
- Thermal comfort
- Interior Layout
- Look & feel
- Active/inclusive design
- Community space
All of which can be heavily influenced by the design and engineering of buildings from the site selection to optimisation of the façade through to the selection of fixtures, fittings and surface finishes. The report summarises research into the impact that each of the above factors can have on retail performance. This includes studies where stores with poor daylight were refitted with skylights. The resulting increased profits per meter square were twenty times greater than the savings in energy costs, highlighting the significant impact that such factors can have.
Through mining and analysis, the vast quantity of raw data from people in buildings and public spaces can be transformed into rich intelligence that can be used to inform the design of the buildings of tomorrow.
BuroHappold also contributed to the Social Media Guidance Note. BuroHappold’s Phil Hampshire explains that “Today, the vast quantity of data available from people in buildings and public spaces can be used to understand how design impacts on peoples’ experience. Through mining and analysis, this raw data can be transformed into rich intelligence that can be used to inform the design of the buildings of tomorrow.” The opportunity this provides is a relatively low cost evaluation method to understand people’s opinion on retail stores and design better places for people.