A picture of health – Well Building Standard at Cundall
Cundall’s new office is the first project in Europe to receive Well Building Standard certification. Liza Young finds out what this involved, and how it affects staff wellbeing and productivity
For many years, workers have been treated like machines – not people with different subtleties as to what makes them comfortable. Consideration of building users’ health and comfort has been fundamental to the role of services engineers, and now developers are becoming more aware of the importance – not least because healthy buildings could potentially attract higher rents.
The emergence of the Well Building Standard has been one reason for the higher profile of workplace comfort. It is an accreditation system that attempts to measure how building features impact on health and wellbeing.
The first European project to receive the Well Building Standard accreditation is the London office of multi-disciplinary engineer Cundall. Being engineers the company was in the perfect position to assess the standard’s scientific credentials.
Compliance requirements for the standard fit into seven key areas: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Each category is scored out of 10 and, depending on the total achieved, silver, gold or platinum certification is awarded.
After attaining the preconditions – 36 out of 102 features for fit-out – the Cundall office at One Carter Lane, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, aimed for silver certification through additional credits (called optimisations), including monitoring and testing of air and water quality on a quarterly basis.
However, after tallying up its provisional scores, gold appears to be within reach. The team – including architect Studio Ben Allen – now awaits formal certification, which Cundall believes will help it to retain and attract staff, as well as make them more productive.