Cycling facilities at work are becoming increasingly necessary. Here are 5 factors to help landlords and developers cater for a sustainable, profitable future.
Together with company culture, office standards are changing, and with incentives like the Cycle To Work Scheme in place, tenants are now turning to office landlords and developers for cycle provision in the workplace.
So, what are the factors to consider when developing a bike-friendly office?
1. Indoor cycling facilities
According to the BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 manual, "cycling facilities may be located anywhere on site. However, the total route that cyclists must take to access the nearest cycle storage, cyclists' facilities and building entrances must be no greater than 500m via a safe and convenient route."
Including cycle provision at the shell and core stages of office development, of course, much easier than retrofitting an existing office building. If, however, you fall into the second category and find yourself with restricted space for indoor cycling facilities, think about moving internal refuse stores outside the office building. This will free up some space for your much-wanted in-office bike storage.
2. Number of cycle spaces
The New London Plan plans aims to increase the minimum standards for cycle parking in B1 offices developments from 1 space per 90 sqm to 1 space per 75 sqm. This applies to areas with higher cycle parking standards (highlighted in red in the map above).
It goes without saying that these figures are only a minimum requirement, but let's put this into context. An office building like The Leandenhall Building, aka. The Cheesegrater, totals 56.671 m2 of office space and includes parking spaces for 400 bicycles and 129 motorcycles.
Now, The Leadenhall Building is home to 24 companies, one of which is AON with its 500+ employees spread over 10 floors. Following the 1 space per 90 sqm. rule, it should offer 630 parking spaces; but still, compared to its City neighbours, The Cheesgrater scores considerably above average.
Of course, not every single occupant is a cyclist, but let's turn to leading sustainability assessment method BREEAM and make predictions a little more realistic. BREEAM ‘Tra 03 Cyclist facilities’ states that landlords and developers should provide 1 bicycle parking space for every 10 occupants.
Forward-looking companies may also want to think about opportunities for expansion, should more employees opt for a two-wheel commute in the future.
3. Lockers & storage units
Providing bicycle parking is only half the battle of developing a bike-friendly office. Cycle provision also includes convenient storage units and lockers designed to help create a better working environment.
Anyone who has ever ridden a bike through peak-time London can imagine the challenges of storing wet clothes in an office that does not have appropriate storage facilities. Together with bike parking, lockers are an advantage for tenants and can, therefore, raise the leasing potential of your office development.
Taking a line from our much-loved BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 manual:
Shower facilities should be located near the bike parking and ideally, profit from naturally ventilation. Direct access to the core lobby should also be provided. In order for your office development to be BREEAM-compliant, it should include one shower for every 10 cycle storage spaces. Also worth noting that any building comprising eight showers or more is considered compliant, regardless of the number of parking spaces provided.
Your office can be fit for cyclists as early as the shell & core stage. There is, therefore, no requirement for office cycling facilities to be finished to a high standard. However, here are a few tips to take away with you.
- Keep it well-lit.
- Use slip-resistant flooring.
- Keep room heights equal or higher than 2.2m.