Designing for Health

Meeting the WELL Building Standard means fully incorporating health into the design process

When it comes to using design to improve public health, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting and Boeman Design couldn’t be more similar.

Little, a mid-sized architectural firm, and Boeman Design, a husband-wife team in Chicago, are both using healthy building design as a market differentiator. Both have clients interested in healthy building design as a way to increase employee productivity, recruitment, and retention. And both work on projects that feature new design techniques as catalysts for improving the health of people all over the world.

So it was natural for the two organizations to pursue WELL Certification on their projects. “We got in on the ground floor of the healthy building movement because we strongly believe that designing for human sustainability provides a more holistic approach to architecture,” says Carol Rickard-Brideau, AIA, partner and workplace global practice leader at Little. Rickard-Brideau started doing research into how architecture intersected with the field of human neurobiology more than a decade ago.

At a conference where she was giving a presentation, someone told her of a new standard focused exclusively on the health and well-being of people in the built environment—the WELL Building Standard™, which was pioneered by Delos. Today, WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI) and third-party certified by GBCI. She soon met with Paul Scialla, founder and CEO of Delos, and was part of the first cohort of architects that participated in the WELL Building Standard training at the Cleveland Clinic. “It was a lucky happenstance,” she says.

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