April 2016 Professional Only Event

April Professional Only Event

By Sara Gilbert

The GTC of IFMA hosted a Professional Members Only Event in April on “The Implementation of the WELL Standard” featuring Panelists Steve Kooy, LEED AP ID+C, Haworth, Inc., Carolyn Rickard-Brideau, AIA, LEED BD+C, WELL AP, Little and Molly Fowler, Wells Fargo & Company. The panelist led a dynamic discussion highlighting components of “WELL Building Standard”, the benefits, certification and application process, highlighting how Wells Fargo is implementing components of the WELL standard.

The WELL Building Standard is performance and research based focusing on the human environment comprised of seven concepts: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The WELL standard incorporates salutogenic design considering human neuroscience to help people function at the highest level possible.

In any company the largest investment is in the human component. The WELL standard creates environments focusing on the health of the workforce. Concepts discussed included:

  • Mind/body connection – biophilic design can decrease stress and lower blood pressure.
  • Directed attention fatigue – Go outside for 5 minutes to wake up and provide restoration when you hit the wall.
  • Circadian rhythm of our bodies considers the right lighting
  • Promoting activity and movement – Potential options
    • Signage promoting stair usage
    • Sit stand work surfaces
    • Balance balls

The WELL certification is relatively new, so there are very few experts. WELL does have a relatively new Accredited Professional (AP) program and the building certification process oversight is provided by the USGBC.

Ms. Fowler walked us through Wells Fargo’s five pilot projects with varying space types: office, training, call center, older building and new building. The focus was to investigate and implement health and well-being of team members. Wells Fargo has incorporated a team member centered approach, considering the right space in right markets incorporating sustainability, security, wellness and workplace 2020. Wells Fargo Program goals for the pilot projects incorporate the following WELL concepts:

  • Air – optimize and achieve optimum indoor air quality by enhanced cleaning protocol, testing and monitoring, ventilation and moisture control
  • Water – optimize quality while promoting accessibility
  • Nourishment – Encourage healthy eating habits by providing healthier choices, behavioral cues and knowledge about nutrient quality.
  • Light – minimize disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm to improve team members energy, mood and productivity
  • Fitness – provide opportunities for activity enabling team members to accommodate physical activity within the daily schedule.
  • Comfort – distraction free workplace, productive and soothing. Solutions include flexibility and adjustability in desks, chairs and monitor arm components.
  • Mind – support mental and emotional help including cultures of volunteerism, employee assistance, biophilia, artwork, beauty and culture

As a professional member I would like to thank the Chapter for continuing to provide informative programs combined with fun networking events allowing the IFMA family to grow.