Live plants and the enhancement of exterior green space are helping boost staff wellbeing following a recent rebrand and refurbishment at Orchard Brae House.
When the team at Eden Property Asset Management embarked on a rebranding exercise, wellbeing and bringing colour to the predominantly white interior of the Edinburgh office space were priorities.
Taking inspiration form the building’s name an orchard fruit theme was devised and a tree logo designed incorporating seven colours emulating a variety of fruits. Each vibrant shade is now reflected on one of the buildings seven floors.
Lush aglaonema, installed in bright planters coordinating with the lift lobbies, grace the staircase landings, adding a natural element to the indoor environment on every level.
Kathleen Tully, asset manager, Eden Property Asset Management said: “We want to make sure that wellbeing is at the forefront of everything we do in the building and live planting has a positive mental effect on peoples working lives.
She said: “Everyone loves live planting, and we try to use it wherever we can.”
While every floor has its own specific colour, in the main reception all the tints come together in a rainbow of planters.
Pink and purple desk bowls adorn the reception desk, with the café and seating areas decked out with planters in the five remaining orchard fruit tones.
The backdrop is bright, and the space feels alive with staff and their dogs (more on that below) milling around, conducting meetings and taking breaks away from their desks.
Maximising wellbeing on the exterior grounds
Located on the busy Queensferry Road in Edinburgh, Orchard Brae House occupies a large triangular plot, with much of the exterior space being designated as car parking for 200 cars, leaving the corners as shrubland.
Close to the city centre, the urban location lacks proximity to open green space.
Once again, the team at Eden spotted an opportunity to improve wellbeing at work and set out to utilise these spaces more effectively.
Surrounded by almost 250 mature trees, the leafy corners were the perfect spots to locate a sanctuary garden and dog walking area.
Eden’s asset manager said: “We decided we needed some space for people to go outside and have their lunch or do some work, so we created the sanctuary garden.”
The projects team at GP Plantscape, cleared and removed the vegetation from the site, created a winding path, covering the area with woodchip and lowering the step access for accessibility.
In the opposite corner, the GP team got to work fencing and gating the area, before clearing the vegetation and applying woodchip to create a play area for the staff’s canine companions.
Kathleen explained the rationale behind creating a dog walking area: “Since COVID we are finding a lot of our tenants have dogs and now that they are going back to work they don’t know what to do with them so the entire building is dog friendly, including the café, toilets and office space.
“But we needed a space where people could exercise their dogs and let them run free.”
On average, Kathleen estimates there are about 400 people per day in the building and accompanying them can be up to 50 four legged companions.
During the week there are also around 40-50 cyclists travelling to work at Orchard Brae House and making use of the 100-capacity bike store on site.
To ease safe access on site, GP Plantscape added line markings in the car park for pedestrians heading to either the sanctuary garden or the dog walking area and for cyclists on route to the bike park.
With a mission ‘to asset manage property by putting people and the environment at the forefront of all decisions and designs,’ the team at Eden have championed their ESG principals in the rebrand and redesign of Orchard Brae House.
The addition of live planting and access to green space have been scientifically proven to improve both mental and physical wellbeing.