Science-Based Building

Staff’s well-being comes first at these certified spaces
By Gail E. Jamentz
Photo submitted

The building industry is making it more appealing for employees to leave their remote work setup and return to the office, as landlords are investing in WELL-certified spaces that focus on their staff’s well-being and engagement. 

Science-backed WELL building features include improved indoor air quality, advanced water filtration, circadian rhythm lighting systems, better sound mitigation and height-adjustable desk systems, as well as increased access to gardens, natural light, rest areas and organic food.

Employers are implementing these strategies to earn their accreditation and demonstrate their commitment to employee health. 

One local office landlord setting new standards for healthy office environments is Coretrust Capital Partners, which recently completed a three-year capital improvement campaign in the public areas of its three-tower Pasadena office campus Pasarroyo on Lake Avenue.

It is the nation’s first office building to have Robots by UBTECH roaming the building’s public areas nightly disinfecting surfaces.

“We have had a very positive response from our tenants,” notes Thomas S. Ricci, managing principal and a co-founder of Coretrust Capital Partners LLC. 

“We believe we have a civic and fiduciary responsibility to renovate our buildings to best-in-class status. And our ongoing education campaign informs our tenants of the continuing health and wellness initiatives we are implementing.”

Achieving WELL accreditation — not to be confused with building industry LEED accreditation, which focuses on the sustainability and the energy impact of buildings — is no easy feat. 

A WELL-certified building must attain a certain percentage of compliance on pre-conditions covering air, water, fitness, comfort, light, sound, nourishment, mind and community as established by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The accreditation evaluation process is administered by the Green Business Certification Incorporation (GBCI), which also assesses buildings for the much-coveted LEED certification.

Ricci highlights that the Pasarroyo office campus has garnered LEED and WELL building certifications after a significant investment of time and capital. 

Other area WELL-certified workspaces include Hilton Pasadena, JP Morgan Chase, Lincoln Property Company and WeWork Pasadena.

And employers will concur providing staff a health-centered environment that values employee well-being has many benefits. 

Employee retention, productivity and morale noticeably improve, while employee absenteeism reduces. And staff engagement typically rises because working in a well-lit space that offers a connection to nature, quality air and water systems, flexible desking, healthy foods, areas for movement and connection with others sets people up to thrive. 

A WELL workplace has also been reported as a key recruitment tool as employers compete for top talent among today’s younger generation who significantly value wellness and sustainability when assessing a potential employer. 

More than 19,000 buildings worldwide have achieved WELL accreditation, and 15,787 are in the process of evaluation reports the IWBI. 

And this people-first, health-centered movement shows no signs of slowing down. 

“Buildings are living and breathing things, and you have to invest constantly to meet evolving building standards and tenant needs or risk becoming obsolete,” Ricci says.

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