Sneak Peek: CBRE Showcases Its State-Of-The-Art Canadian HQ
CBRE threw a party yesterday to mark the official unveiling of its new Canadian HQ, a two-floor space at 145 King St W it’s touting as the office of the future. Bisnow dropped by to find out more.
We snapped CBRE corporate strategy VP Ashley O’Neill with GTA regional managing director and EVP Werner Dietl in the boardroom of the firm’s new downtown digs, on floors 11/12 of LEED Gold 145 King W. (CBRE was previously on the sixth floor.) This is the sixth new office to launch in the past two years as part of CBRE’s nationwide workplace transformation program (others opened in Toronto West, Vancouver, Halifax, London and Montreal). Ashley tells us the office revamp strategy is aimed at creating both forward-thinking workplaces for CBRE staff and state-of-the-art spaces that facilitate client engagement.
CBRE’s TO HQ, which CEO Mark Renzoni calls the “crown jewel” of its office portfolio, is pursuing WELL Building certification, the first standard centred exclusively around occupant health and wellness. The office offers seven types of workspaces, and all employees have standing desks (above) and sit within 25 feet of natural light/views. Eating at desks is a no-no; instead staff gather at RISE café (below). Office lighting automatically adjusts to outside natural light levels, minimizing the effect of electric light on circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycles. “This is turning the tables on the focus of built environments,” Ashley says.
Being on the WELL forefront puts CBRE in a better position to coach clients who may wish to pursue it themselves, says Ashley. The entire process that led to the creation of CBRE’s new HQ has been a significant learning experience, Werner says. The project was executed exclusively by CBRE’s service lines. “We ran it from start to finish all with our own people and our own vision.” It's given him a new appreciation for what clients go through when it comes to moving and change management. “All those little micro-details and challenges you don’t think about until you’re actually doing it for yourself.”
CBRE’s commitment to client relationships is built into its HQ, says Werner, pointing to dedicated co-working spaces and a concierge service that enables visitors to set up shop and work anywhere in the space. CBRE was a CRE pioneer 30 years ago when Mark Renzoni says his firm introduced the idea of the open-concept to the industry. And Werner says CBRE continues to be on the vanguard with its new head office, which it's billing as one of the most advanced workplaces in the country. “It shows how you can use real estate to transform your business and create positive change and momentum.”