Summer is here, and many of us would far rather be outside enjoying the season’s benefits rather than spending our days in the office. Architects, designers, building operators and developers are all keenly aware that amenities drive occupant and tenant satisfaction, so having well-designed outdoor living spaces in a commercial office building is a huge plus.
It’s not just for simple enjoyment. Corporate health and wellness initiatives can benefit from elements such rooftops patios, terraces, and park-like areas outside the building surrounds where employees can reduce their stress levels by either relaxing or getting some exercise. This can also help a building qualify for WELL Certification. Outdoor areas can also be designed as flexible spaces, with wifi and power connections, so employees can work.
Architecture firms such as CookFox Architects have gone all-in. Per the New York Times:
CookFox Architects, a firm in Manhattan that focuses on sustainability, makes green outdoor space a prerequisite when agreeing to design a building. The firm, which grows kale and tends an apiary on the terraces of its own office, recently completed 512W22, an office building in Chelsea, for Vornado Realty Trust and the Albanese Organization. The 172,700-square-foot building has an additional 16,920 square feet of terraces and a common roof, all planted with native grasses and trees selected by MKM Landscape Architecture.
Rooftop amenities can also help boost a building’s energy efficiency and can be incorporated into an existing building’s layout. Per CE Center:
The actual roof deck surface can be comprised of both hardscape materials and green planting areas. Roof deck areas can benefit the environment and human health and well-being by meeting certain Sustainable SITES and LEED criteria. In large part, they can help to reduce the effects from urban heat through the use of light-colored pavement surfaces and planting areas rather than the traditional roof surfaces of dark gravel and asphalt materials.
The strong labour market is making it harder for building operators to attract top tenants, and employers are in a similar position as they look to lure top talent. An office environment with the right outdoor offerings can only help.