Buyers’ Wish Lists May Soon Include Wellness
February 1, 2017
Wellness-minded design is gaining traction in the construction world as younger generations demand healthier environments in their workplaces and homes. That means developers are devoting more attention to the air quality, potential toxins, and impact of lighting in their projects. The resulting shifts affect everything from the numbers of particulates in water to even the kind of food being sold in a building's vending machines.
Learn how some are integrating health and wellness in office space.
Offices have become a major testing ground for wellness features, says Dave Hubka, director of commissioning for Transwestern’s Sustainability Services group. These companies may offer open-desk environments, window seating, quiet rooms, mindful eating areas, and stress and addiction counseling. The idea is that happier and healthier employees will be more productive.
In homes, systems that can introduce and circulate probiotics in the air, diffuse homeopathic scents throughout the home, and purify water are becoming more popular.
Measuring wellness in a building, however, can prove challenging. With "wellness features, it's more difficult to quantify the effects on people," says Hubka.
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has partnered with the American Institute of Architects, the Cleveland Clinic, and other sustainability certification programs, such as LEED, and design firms like HKS to devote more attention to how to create healthier environments for occupants.
Millennials are really driving the wellness trend, says John Kirk, architect and partner at Cooper Robertson.
"It is a kind of milieu we're in, that we're probably going to stay in, driven by younger people who are much more sensitized to everything from environmental issues to sustainability to wellness and quality of life," says Kirk.
Hubka adds: "It seems like LEED and sustainability has become more mainstream. The next wave of what's to come is the people."
Source: “‘The Next Wave’ of Design: Why Wellness-Minded Spaces Are on the Rise,” ConstructionDive (Jan. 26, 2017)
Updated: February 21, 2020