CBRE's New Ottawa Office Signals Belief in Downtown
July 4, 2023 3 Minute Read
The new office is hyper-focused on wellness and is seeking WELL Platinum certification, the highest level.
The WELL Building Standard is a certification system that spotlights buildings that enhance people’s health and wellbeing. The standard is based on criteria across 10 categories of building performance: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community.
“There’s so much discussion right now about the future of office. Well, call us believers because we wanted cutting edge office space that reflected our brand and our employee’s needs,” says Karam.
“We wanted an office space that we could be proud of, allowed us to do our best work and got us excited to come to work every day.”
Constitution Square checked all the boxes for the things Karam and his team were looking for in a new office: Central location, ease of access (via public transportation and parking facilities), fitness centre, bike storage, on-site retail amenities, and conference facilities.
“We have built an innovative office space that supports our culture, reflects our commitment to real estate excellence, and facilitates our continued growth.”
Surroundings Fuel Creativity
Karam believes in the power of vibrant surroundings to fuel creativity and teamwork. “And we can already feel the benefits of the changes we’ve made with our new space.”
Employees now have multiple ways to work in activity-based environments. They can work at their desks, in huddle spaces or in lounges. They can join video meetings with voice activation in specially equipped Zoom rooms. Or they can set up in a dynamic café environment and work while sipping coffee and chatting with colleagues.
If employees need a breather or to go somewhere to focus in solitude, the CBRE Ottawa office is equipped with a Wellness Retreat Room, including a massage chair, yoga mats, heated blankets, and plenty of natural light filtering through big windows.
“We now have an office that promotes wellness, encourages collaboration and keeps the needs of employees at the centre of it all,” Karam says.
The space is also providing new and better ways for CBRE to connect with clients. “We can host more
networking events and give our clients the special treatment.”
Employees Guided the Process
CBRE Ottawa’s employees provided the roadmap for the office transformation, notes Operations Manager Connie Marszowski.
“Our people wanted options so they could work in whatever way was most supportive of the task at hand,” she says. “The biggest change that is reflective of our new work environment is a significant increase in collaborative meeting space options.”
And wellness was top of mind at all points during the design process, adds Aileen Terrien, a senior graphic designer in the Ottawa office, who points out that the calming blue-green paint on the walls is a nod to the patina of the Parliament Building’s copper roof.
“Our workstations are all equipped with sit stand desks, large monitors and everyone has access to natural light,” she says. “Because doing great work shouldn’t mean sacrificing your mind and body for results.”
All Hands on Deck
The move to Constitution Square saw CBRE live its own process and outcomes. That process involved the company’s brokerage, workplace strategy and project management advisory teams.
“CBRE teams worked hand in hand to deliver something great here,” Karam says. “They stickhandled changing workplace requirements, increasing construction costs, and supply chain disruptions, just like they would for our clients, to deliver outstanding results.”
“We now have a space that inspires wellness and fosters collaboration,” he adds. “It’s an environment that nurtures mind, body and spirit and promotes a balanced approach to work and life.”
“It’s good for our employees day-to-day and good for our clients.”
CBRE Ottawa is poised for another decade of industry-leading real estate outcomes in the nation’s capital from fresh new, downtown digs. Reach out to the team to find out how they can help with your real estate solutions.
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