Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has moved its 420-strong Newcastle workforce into The Spark, relocating from the Quayside into a new and improved office within landmark innovation quarter Newcastle Helix.
The transformational move has environmental considerations at the forefront, creating a viable workplace of the future in the centre of an “inspiring” new community of businesses.
Energy transition is an area WBD champions and specialises in, so the overall design concept was centred around limiting the office’s ecological impact, while providing its people with a collaborative and dynamic workplace in a thriving location.
Spanning four storeys and designed to deliver an “activity-based working concept”, each area of the office is intended for a different purpose, including soundproof booths, open group working areas, quiet working zones, traditional desks and office space as well as audio-visual kits to support hybrid and flexible working.
Where possible materials and products were selected from the same manufacturer to minimise carbon impact from transportation.
The majority of the furniture was supplied by Sedus Stoll which was the first in the world to achieve EMAS III certification, channelling profits into foundations to fund social and ecological projects around the world.
Using perimeter walls and shared walls between workspaces minimised the amount of construction materials needed, with partitions and ceilings made from recycled materials that can be recycled at the end of their life.
Sustainable travel is also a key feature of the location and people are encouraged to cycle, walk, or run to work. The office is surrounded by public transport links as close as 0.1 miles away and has secure storage, showers and lockers.
WBD has a long-standing relationship with Newcastle Helix having advised on the district green energy scheme, a centralised energy system for the entire 24-acre site that uses emerging energy technologies, housed in a building designed to blend in with the rest of the quarter.
Nigel Emmerson, partner and head of office at WBD Newcastle, commented: “Newcastle Helix is already renowned as a hub of innovation in Europe and as a firm dedicated to embracing and driving innovation in the legal sector, its values aligned perfectly with ours making it an obvious choice for our new office.
“It’s fantastic to have moved into The Spark as we first made this commitment during the pandemic to play our part in the economic recovery of the region.”
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