Joel Colthart discusses Challenging the norm at Edward Street Quarter

C-19 has led to fundamental changes to the way we live and work.  Whether it’s the acceleration of flexible working or the increased use of public spaces, many of us are demanding more from the spaces and places that we use on a day to day basis.

As an urban developer, we are acutely aware about the impact that cities have on our health and wellbeing.  That is why we have always incorporated into the design a number of initiatives to enhance physical and emotional wellbeing.

An example of this is our Edward Street Quarter development in Brighton.  Currently on site and mid-build, the development will see the delivery of 150,000 sq ft of Grade A office (the largest office development in the city for 25 years).  In addition, 169 new homes will be available alongside three distinct public spaces.

With wellbeing already a major factor in the design of Edward Street Quarter, including encouraging active movement with visible stairs and first class cycle facilities, open public realm for people to relax and recharge and generous planting to maximise fresh air; we wanted to place a greater focus on helping our residents to be healthier; and importantly to ensure that we are well equipped to keep people COVID safe.

We have explored various initiatives which could add real benefit to users and occupiers.  An example of this is the use of antibacterial and air purifying paints which benefits residents and occupiers, as well as the painters and decorators, because the materials are free of VOC emissions.  Antibacterial surfaces have clear benefits in today’s and tomorrows’ environment and we are exploring the use of this in high traffic communal areas.  Air purifying paints work by absorbing CO2 from the environment in their carbonation process which leads to cleaner and more climate-friendly spaces.

In addition, we will also be pushing for App based activation across Edward Street Quarter to enable lifts and door entry, checking in guests and ordering food and catering.  Outside air will be fully filtered, we will purify all the water coming into the buildings and importantly, hand sanitising and washing will be commonplace.

Keeping healthy and staying well has always been important; however C-19 has brought this to the forefront of everyone’s minds. We are pleased to be leading the way at Edward Street Quarter so that our community will work and live in a safe and healthy environment.