Real Estate

Jo Staffelbach Heinz: Designing for Worker Wellness

Companies have stepped up to support sustainable buildings; now, the focus has turned to wellness for employees. 

staffelbach-heinzjo-_staffelbachA new building standard certification is with us. It’s a building standard that focuses on enhancing individual’s health and well-being through the built environment. Although companies have responded to the move for earth-friendly environments by promoting LEED-certified and sustainable buildings over the last 10 years, the focus has now turned to wellness for employees. There is much more attention being given on how a facility contributes to the health and well-being of its occupants.

The (IWBI) a public benefit corporation that is third party-certified by Green Business Certification, the same group that administers LEED certification.

The WELL Building Standard was developed over seven years and it combines a three phase peer review process across scientific, practitioner and medical experts. It considers seven factors: air, water, nutrition, light, fitness, comfort, and mind—all of which are based on medical research concerning how environments affect human health. The WELL requirements are intentionally designed to enhance the overall health, mood, sleep, and performance of a building’s occupants.

It’s a thoughtful way of encouraging healthy behavior, such as providing more water bottle filling stations, installing air purification systems, making stairwells pleasant means of travel between floors, and locating printers in central areas so employees are encouraged to move more.

Companies such as Wells Fargo, CBRE, Symantec, and McKesson are leading the charge with WELL Certification. When companies make a sizable investment in their workforce, it only makes sense that the health and wellness of those employees is a prime concern. These companies are putting their best foot forward in certifying that they consider the wellness of their work force to be a prime concern.

Jo Staffelbach Heinz is president and principal in charge of Staffelbach, a Dallas-based interior design firm. 



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