Hilson Moran’s Manchester office located in Bruntwood’s Neo Building on Charlotte Street is the third project to be WELL Certified within the UK and the first UK project outside of London to receive a Gold level certification.
The international multi‑disciplinary practice offering design consultancy services for the built environment, completed the fit-out of its 5th floor office in July 2017 and as strong advocates for improved health and wellbeing within work spaces, committed early in the project to reach the Gold level certification. The project was successful in reaching this goal receiving one of the highest certification ratings in the UK.
Created through seven years of rigorous research and development working with leading scientists, healthcare and industry professionals, the WELL Building Standard (WELL) is a performance-based certification system that measures how a project’s design and operations can benefit occupants’ health and wellbeing.
Hilson Moran is now amongst only a small selection of firms who have met the required standard to receive a certification in the UK and also one of the UK’s first companies to have a team of in-house, expert WELL APs (accredited professionals) working to achieve the same for their clients.
Chris Birch, Director of Sustainability at Hilson Moran, commented: “To achieve the WELL Certified Gold rating is testament to our belief in health and wellbeing in the workplace environment. We work with a variety of commercial clients on Wellbeing consultancy projects across the UK, but to be leading the charge in the North of England is brilliant and we hope other organisations follow suit as a result.”
Hilson Moran’s Manchester offices earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance — air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind. In addition, a great deal of emphasis was placed on the look and feel of the interior design of the space to achieve this WELL Certified Gold rating.
The office designs emulate nature to create a vibrant and stimulating workplace, with the use of green moss walls, an assortment of indoor plants, and various other elements that invoke the natural world, whilst the layout of the space was designed to encourage collaboration, movement and interaction; the ‘refresh’ space for example, was placed centrally to create a comfortable place to eat, drink and meet up whilst providing a variety of spaces where occupants can interact. A mixture of ergonomically designed workstations were also included to give the flexibility for occupants to work at different seating/standing positions and at different locations within the office.
A key element of WELL is focused on the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions from fit-out materials in order to ensure an optimum air quality within the space. Hilson Moran undertook extensive research to source suitable products – particularly furniture – that complied with the standard. As part of the certification, air quality within the office is continuously monitored for a range of indoor and outdoor air pollutants, and CO2 levels, to ensure a healthy environment for staff. Furthermore, Hilson Moran’s own in-house acoustics experts used digital modelling to create the acoustic signature of the working environment, thereby creating optimum acoustic conditions.
Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute, said: “The work of innovators such as Hilson Moran is helping to propel the healthy building movement forward in the UK and globally. As the newest member of the family of WELL Certified projects, Hilson Moran’s Manchester office is a strong representation of our growing movement.”