We're all spending more and more time indoors, and doing so can negatively impact our health, happiness and wellbeing.
Most of us live, work and socialise (apart from those few fleeting days of summer) inside and the growing disconnect that we now have between the world outside and ourselves is growing.
Science tells us that our mental and physical wellbeing can suffer due to our increasingly urban lifestyles. As a result, healthy and sustainable buildings are becoming increasingly popular within the construction industry. And alongside these, there are now a multitude of guidelines, certifications and regulations which help architects to design and building occupied spaces with our health and wellbeing in mind.
In 2015, the WELL Building Standard made its way over from the US to our shores here in the UK. The certification has been warmly received by both the construction industry at large and by those who design and oversee workspace fitouts.
Launched by the design agency Delos, the WELL Building Standard intends to improve the way people live by developing spaces that enhance the quality of life of their occupants. The Standard measures the performance of the architectural features within a building and assesses them to see how they impact both health and wellbeing.
The thinking behind WELL Building is that by integrating more wellness into built environments, healthy lifestyles are passively encouraged and instances of employee absenteeism is reduced. There is also evidence that offices with an emphasis on wellbeing have higher levels productivity, leading to a clear business need to implement these standards where possible, and design new buildings and spaces with them in mind.
The WELL Building Standard focuses on seven key areas of building health, those being; air, comfort, fitness, light, mind, nourishment and water.
The intention being to encourage architects and builders to design and create built environments that improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance of the people within them.
There are strict requirements to meet before a building can be certified as meeting the Standard, and this includes a rigorous process of verification by a WELL-affiliated assessor during a site visit.
The assessor completes performance tests to evaluate air and water quality, ambient temperatures, and noise and light levels within the building.
Only when each of the seven areas of building health is satisfied can it be officially awarded WELL status. And once it's achieved that status, the building will be globally recognised for meeting standardised benchmarks for performance and commitment to human health.
However, things don't just end there. The fitting out of the building is just as important as its design and the materials used during its construction. There is a requirement within the Standard that the fixtures, fittings and furniture used must also work to improve the health and wellbeing of the space's occupants.
At Creatif, we know that it's possible to marry sustainability and wellness certifications with architectural and office design. That's why all of our products can be used to create healthy, positive offices that improve employee engagement and boost staff wellbeing.
The future of employment is not just about having a good work-life balance, it's also about having a quality of life whilst working the 9-5. Along with our fitout partners, we're working hard to help shape happier, healthier and, ultimately, perfect workspaces.