Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Designing office spaces for cycling to work

  • Comment

Impacts of increased cycling activity on the modern workplace

Recently Footprint attended an event held by the British Council for Offices (BCO) in which Neil Webster of Cyclo Consulting chaired a discussion entitled ‘Cycling and the Modern Workplace’’. The event focused on the impact of increased cycling on London’s architecture, infrastructure and the wider workplace. Speakers included:

Many practices attended the discussion, including architects from John Robertson Architects, Glenn Howells, Make, EPR Architects, Woods Bagot, Hawkins Brown, and ORMS.

The benefits of cycling such as improved health and well-being, better time management, reduced travel expenses and smaller carbon footprints were stressed.


Basement Bikeworks at Deloitte’s Stonecutter Square.

A survey conducted by the BCO found that the demand for workplace cycling facilities was increasing and for some employees it is a deciding factor in where to work. The most important facilities were showers and drying space. The provision of infrastructure to facilitate these increased cycling trends is attracting greater consideration by developers and large companies. Lend Lease’s Duncan Young says providing good infrastructure creates good value buildings and makes business sense.

Rob Colley showed two London Deloitte offices with cycle amenities retrofit into basesments at Stonecutter Square and Athene Place. All lockers provided were occupied and wet and dry facilities utilised, evidencing significant demand. However, Young added that changes in weather affect the occupancy levels of cycle storage and numbers actually cycling to work.

Accident liability and where the responsibility of providing such infrastructure lies is currently not clear. It is common for individuals to provide their own safety equipment and cycles, whilst the building owner ensures there are provisions for storage and changing. Responsibility becomes more of a concern when the whole building is let to several offices.

Folding bikes eliminate large storage concerns for retrofitting into existing offices, allowing more funding and space allowance for crucial wet and dry areas.


Folding Brompton bicycle

There is increased utilisation of car parking space for cycle storage. Currently retrofitting solutions into existing basements is expensive due to adding mechanical ventilation and working with spaces not designed for the purpose. Usually car park spaces with steep ramps ideal for motor vehicles, are not ergonomically designed for cycle access.

The future will see integrated design considerations which are easier to successfully accomplish in new office buildings. Different local authorities have recommended cycle parking for new B1 (Business) Use Class developments. The London Plan (July 2011) sets a standard for B1 as 1 cycle space per 250m2 gross floor area. BREEAM do not have any figures per gross floor area, but calculate via percentage of building occupants.

Once government grasp the economic benefits of nurturing cycling, it is anticipated that funding opportunities will be released to meet increased demand. 

Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week

Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library

Are you a student?

Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.