Bringing the outside in at Ann Street

Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at AIB, so it’s only fitting that it’s reflected in our office and team spaces.

As our team members start returning to their office desks as part of hybrid working, we check out the recently refurbished Ann Street office in Belfast which has been reimagined using biophillic design, a concept which focuses on bringing the outside in and reconnecting buildings with nature.

What is Biophilia?

In workspaces, biophilia is all about creating access to natural light, the use of natural materials, living elements and incorporating the benefits of our external environment. Biophilic buildings can positively affect people’s health in many ways and this green ethos is proven to contribute greatly to stress level reduction, improved wellbeing and enhanced productivity.

It is estimated that people living in cities can spend up to 90% of their time indoors, so the more we can do to create healthy, green spaces the better!

The new AIB Ann Street building refurbishment was designed with employee wellbeing in mind, aiming to create a calm, healthy and happy workplace using a combination of biophilic design elements such as moss circles on walls, planter boxes lining walkways and a state of the art ‘living wall’ which creates a welcoming atmosphere in the space.

The living wall situated at AIB Head Office in Ann Street, as part of the new green office concept.

Mark Lockwood, Head of Sustainability for AIB UK explains; 

“AIB is playing a leading role in how sustainability contributes to the societies and communities we operate in and is a key strategic pillar for the bank.

“AIB Group has committed to reducing our own carbon footprint, and to achieving Net Zero by 2030. We are also supporting our customers to transition to a low-carbon economy with an ambition for green or transition to account for 70% of all our new lending by 2030. In early 2020 we launched a Green Mortgage option, and established new teams focussed on lending for renewable schemes.

“In many ways we believe sustainability starts at home, in the ways we work, and the impact this has on our colleagues and our customers.”

Planter boxers line the walkways in the new green office concept 

Rave reviews

The design has already received great feedback and was awarded ‘very good’ by BREEAM UK, an organisation which has an established code for the sustainable built environment.

Ruth Blakely, Health, Safety and Facilities Officer at AIB 

notes that the refurbishment is also receiving rave reviews from employees and visitors; “Many staff and visitors have commented very favourably on this aspect of our newly refurbished building.

“Having been involved with the project team, we are very proud of what was achieved; Ann Street is now a fabulous, state-of-the-art place to work in where our team can enjoy its many facilities and comforts.”

To find out more about our commitment to sustainability, visit our dedicated webpage – Sustainability at AIB

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