Metrocon 2019: Setting a Standard for Building Health and Wellness


Increasingly, buildings have adapted to the personalities of the businesses that inhabit them. Flexibility in the workplace has changed corporate functionality, but also brought about new challenges.

Not only are businesses looking for a certain aesthetic and design, but research has shown that elements of the office place can make a deeper impact.

“The built environment: buildings, places, spaces where we spend time, can have a real impact on human health and wellbeing,” Jessica Cooper, COO at International WELL Building Institute said.

Cooper recently delivered a keynote speech at Metrocon 2019 in Dallas, Texas, an architecture and design conference.

WELL Building Institute seeks to transform offices to improve performance of workers within them, not only at work but in life.

While it has been proven that design choices affect employee efficiency, health and morale, there is no universal blueprint, and Cooper must consider the obstacles unique to each individual project.

“There are other things related to region or culture that might impact the types of solutions project teams implement to achieve those same health outcomes,” she said. “You may have a different aesthetic, different technology, different design solution or even a different policy that works in one place better than another.”

There is no question that working standards and practices vary greatly across the globe and not every solution is applicable to all, but Cooper said WELL is focused on several key areas.

These include air and water, nourishment, light, movement, sound, thermal comfort, materials, mind and community.

Worker expectations continue to evolve as fast as the places where their work is done, and perhaps more companies will take these considerations into account moving forward.

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