A focus on health and wellbeing in the workplace has helped one company achieve the first gold level WELL certification outside London.
WELL is a global building standard established by the International Well Building Institute (IWBI). Features of buildings that affect the health and wellbeing of occupants, such as air quality, lighting and ventilation systems, are measured and monitored.
There are now three buildings in the UK that have reached the gold standard, with Hilson Moran’s Manchester office the first outside the capital. The fifth-floor office fit-out was completed in July 2017 and features elements that invoke the natural world, in a bid to create a more vibrant workplace.
The company has since observed a change in the way people work, thanks to the “fresh, healthy and flexible” conditions. “To achieve the WELL certified gold rating is testament to our belief in health and wellbeing in the workplace environment,” said director of sustainability Chris Birch.
Seven categories were assessed for the certification: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind. Air quality is monitored for indoor and outdoor pollutants as well as carbon dioxide levels, while the layout is designed to encourage collaboration.
WELL and BREEAM compliance
The IWBI recently released updated guidance alongside BRE, showing how projects can achieve both the WELL standard and a BREEAM certification. The latter is a well-known sustainability assessment method, with more than 2.2 million building registered worldwide.
Designers and developers can use the guidance to identify features of one assessment that can aid compliance with the other, making for a more efficient approach. Alan Yates, technical director of BREEAM, said the aim of both is to enhance lives.
“Since its development over 25 years ago health and wellbeing factors like air quality, lighting, ventilation and ecology have been a key part of the BREEAM standard,” he said. “WELL introduces further complementary factors and post occupancy measurement.”
For more information on how BREEAM and WELL standards can be used to improve your own working environment, contact the 361 Degrees team.