Architectural Office Receives 'WELL' Gold Certification

By: 
Sean Belk
 
Imagine working in an office complex that offers on-site yoga classes, wall-mounted bike racks, a basketball court and daily catering of healthy, low-sugar food options. 
 
Such amenities are the cornerstone to a new office complex that is home to architecture firms Retail Design Collaborative (RDC) and Studio One Eleven (S111) in Downtown Long Beach and is one of the first office complexes in the United States to receive a WELL Gold certification. 
 
Re-purposed from a former Nordstrom Rack at 245 E. 3rd St. at the former City Place shopping center downtown, the 34,000-square-foot space received the WELL Building Standard certification through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which measures, certifies and monitors features of buildings that impact “human health and well-being, focusing on air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind,” according to a statement announcing the recognition. 
 
Similar to criteria for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification for environmentally-friendly and sustainable building standards, WELL is a new building standard based on “holistic, scientifically-based measures that promote maximizing comfort, productivity and, most importantly, health for the people who spend 90 percent of their time indoors.” Such buildings incorporate “people-driven policies,” placing value on employees at the workplace.
 
While both RDC and S111 are dedicated to enhancing environments through  creating sustainable retail developments and urban design projects, the process for the WELL Certification involved a variety of factors, including “studying the quality of the building’s air, water, acoustics, comfort and light as a means of ensuring optimal spatial quality,” according to the statement. 
 
For instance, since daylight is “one of the most impactful attributes to employee satisfaction and productivity,” according to the IWBI, the workspace is consistently flooded with natural light through 20 large 25-foot-high skylights. 
 
A premier offering at the workspace is a “living lab” in which a sustainability department can examine the quality of air, water, light, acoustics, comfort, utility consumption and related initiatives in real-time. The firms have also expanded their health and wellness program to include yoga, meditation, cross training, a running group, strength training, biking and team sports. 
 
While employees are able to easily get out of the office and explore the surrounding area that offers a “Walkscore” of 97, the sustainability team has also initiated a bike-share membership for staff. Workstations are adjustable to suit the needs of each individual and to promote standing, proper posture and elimination of chronic back pain through the use of new technology.
 
For more information on the offices, visit www.rdcollaborative.com and www.studio-111.com. 
 

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