New York real estate and technology firm Delos and global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK announced a new partnership to start a wellness program focusing on developing healthier buildings for its occupants into the built environment. Based on the International Well Building Institute's (IWBI's) Well Building Standard, a performance-based certification system that monitors buildings on their success in promoting the wellness of its occupants, the collaborative effort will follow the seven-part program that ensures a thriving environment for people working, living, and playing in buildings.
This collaboration will help leverage HOK’s standing in sustainable design by educating and professionally accrediting its design teams through the Well Accredited Professional program, which emphasizes the importance of promoting health and well-being in the built environment. To support Well’s program, HOK will also work with the IWBI to provide research and insight on the subject matter.
Additionally, HOK CEO and president Bill Hellmuth, AIA, joined the Delos Advisory Board, whose members vary in profession, and include science, medicine, real estate, sustainability, and government. In this role, Hellmuth will lead the design aspect, providing strategies to ultimately make healthier buildings.
HOK is no stranger to this type of work. Earlier this month, it received Well Gold Certification for its 25,000-square-foot renovation of Canadian multinational banking and financial service corporation Toronto-Dominion's headquarters, in Toronto.
To achieve Well certification, projects must meet criteria in seven categories: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and mind. Potential strategies include installing specialized HVAC systems to improve indoor air quality; providing occupants healthy food; encouraging physical activity within the built environment; and nurturing mental health with the provision of relaxation spaces.
Currently, Delos and HOK are working with developer Strategic Property Partners, of Tampa, Fla., on a 53-acre mixed-use, multi-building development for downtown Tampa. The massive endeavor is slated to be the world’s first Well Certified city. The buildings will include the 320,000-square-foot University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, an adjacent 300,000-square-foot medical office, and additional parking, residential, and retail buildings.