Alvine Headquarters Becomes WELL Certified™ Gold
The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) acts as a map, creating a customizable path that leads building owners and designers to create a space that inspires healthier, more productive, and happier people. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) explains this as, “a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
What Does Our WELL Certified Gold Building Look Like?
Air: The mechanical systems were designed to provide even more occupant comfort than typical office systems. The underfloor air distribution systems used throughout the office allow each workstation to have control of the airflow at each desk. Users can open or close the diffuser to release more or less cool air from the supply plenum to circulate around them. Our air handlers feature activated carbon filtration even after the initial MERV 13 filtration. We conduct quarterly mold and microbe inspections, in addition to other cleaning protocols that reduce the likelihood of transmitting illness.
Water: Being water conscious can take many forms: from encouraging hydration to reducing water use during daily chores, such as dishwashing, little changes make a big difference. A hydration station is located within 100 feet of all regular work stations. Commercial under-counter-style dishwashers found in the dining areas use less than one gallon of water per 90-second cycle, while cleaning and sanitizing with a 180 degree rinse.
Nourishment: A healthy diet is an essential part of our overall health. We support the nourishment of our employees by offering healthy food and beverage options. Food items sold in our dining space cannot contain partially-hydrogenated oil, more commonly known as trans fat, which can negatively impact heart health over time. At least 50% of beverage options provided have 1 gram of sugar or less per 16 mL.
Light: Wayfinding through specific light fixtures is one of the strategies used by the design team to encourage better physical health. Wayfinding is used in our entry, where linear fixtures are mounted vertically within the acoustic wood paneling, immediately catching visitors’ attention and guiding them up the stairs, rather than to the elevator. Once upstairs, a continuous recessed line of light running along the floor, then up the walls, serves as a visible marker of the suggested route to the upper level by the central circulation stair. Also, a curtainwall provides ample daylight in work and recreation areas. The shades and color temperature of the electric light fixtures are programmed to adjust from sunrise to sunset, blending cohesively with the daylight and reinforcing a healthy circadian rhythm.
Fitness: Encouraging physical fitness through building design may seem challenging, but we use some creative solutions, including wayfinding which uses building fixtures or architecture to promote a more physical route through the space. Sit/stand desks and under-desk bikes offer employees fitness options in personal workspaces. Locker rooms with showers provide employees with the opportunity to run over their lunch break.
Comfort: Employee comfort can also have an impact on productivity, which is why we try to give employees options from temperature to seating. The underfloor air distribution systems throughout the office allow each workstation to have control of the airflow at each desk, so users can control how much cool air circulates around them. Employees also have different workspace options throughout the office from tables to benches, sitting or standing.
Mind: Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand, making the mind a top priority when it comes to encouraging a healthy lifestyle. One way to do this in a building is to promote biophilia or a connection to nature. Our reception desk features light fixtures with custom controls that shift in color and saturation as outdoor temperature and wind speed change. Employees also enjoy access to an outdoor patio and views of the green roof.
One of the goals of our building was to create a living learning lab where engineering is on display for students, colleagues, and the community. Throughout the building, systems are exposed and available for demonstrations to visitors. In fact, over 100 tours of the space and systems have been given to visitors including architectural, engineering, student, and owner groups, many of whom have taken some of the concepts and used them in their own designs.