A brighter shade of Green

Taking green building up a notch with WELL certification

I confess, I’m captivated.

Ever since my post on the growing design and build practice of healthy building (I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want to work in a building with circadian lighting?), I can’t stop thinking about commercial buildings that dedicate attention and resources to employee wellness. I started doing a bit more reading and discovered the (relatively) new WELL Certification Standard that works in partnership with green rating systems by assessing similar, but different criteria – impact on people through factors like clean air, clean water, great light, wellness and nutrition initiatives, green spaces and access to health care.

The WELL standard measures seven factors, what they call Concepts. They’re detailed on the website:

  • Air: Optimize and achieve indoor air quality. Strategies include removal of airborne contaminants, prevention and purification.
  • Water: Optimize water quality while promoting accessibility. Strategies include removal of contaminants through filtration and treatment, and strategic placement.
  • Nourishment: Encourage healthy eating habits by providing occupants with healthier food choices, behavioral cues, and knowledge about nutrient quality.
  • Light: Minimize disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm. Requirements for window performance and design, light output and lighting controls, and task-appropriate illumination levels are included to improve energy, mood and productivity.
  • Fitness: Utilize building design technologies and knowledge-based strategies to encourage physical activity. Requirements are designed to provide numerous opportunities for activity and exertion, enabling occupants to accommodate fitness regimens within their daily schedule.
  • Comfort: Create an indoor environment that is distraction-free, productive, and soothing. Solutions include design standards and recommendations, thermal and acoustic controllability, and policy implementation covering acoustic and thermal parameters that are known sources of discomfort.
  • Mind: Support mental and emotional health, providing the occupant with regular feedback and knowledge about their environment through design elements, relaxation spaces, and state-of-the-art technology.

So much of the value of an organisation stems from the people working for and within it. Considering personnel represent the largest expense in the 30-year costs of a building, investing in keeping employees physically and mentally well makes solid business sense.

By placing people at the heart of design, construction, operations and development decisions, we have the ability to add meaningful value to real estate assets, generate savings in personnel costs, and enhance the human experience, health and wellbeing.

In Australia, the Macquarie building at 50 Martin Place, Sydney (pictured above) earned WELL Pilot Certification.

Macquarie’s approach to workplace is built upon enhancing the client and staff experience via a connected, flexible and sustainable environment – one which encourages teamwork, cross-group collaboration and facilitates our entrepreneurial culture.

Although this project didn’t include EDGE Architectural systems, the recognition of the interconnection of people with the building strikes a chord with the culture of Ai and plays such a large part in why we did what we did with the development of our ranges.

Windows hugely impact the livability of a building through light, air flow, thermal comfort and air quality. Our team took this into account and developed ranges that offer benefits in all these areas and I’m super excited to know, more and more, the international design and build community chooses to create purposeful projects for sustainability and wellness.

And to make green projects even greener.

Contact Kath for help choosing the right EDGE window and door system for your next green and healthy project.

image source: http://www.macquarie.com/concierge/50-martin-place/about-the-building