International multi-disciplinary engineering company, Cundall’s new London office at One Carter Lane has become the first building in the UK and Europe to achieve WELL Certification through the WELL Building Standard (WELL).
Created through seven years of rigorous research and development, working with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, WELL is a performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research.
Cundall’s 15,400ft2 CAT A London office which has been WELL certified to Gold level earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance—air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind.
The firm collaborated closely with its architects, Studio Ben Allen to work through the details of the relatively new standard and to apply its features in a short design period. Products such as recycled flooring and acoustics panels were selected from key suppliers that could contribute towards satisfying the features of WELL.
According to Cundall, the new office has demonstrated how applying a selection of carefully thought out features can create a healthy, efficient and future-proof space that puts the well-being of the occupants at the heart of the design.
Pursuit of WELL Certification was only a part of the office’s aim to improve employee well-being. Cundall has also incorporated a specially developed active green wall, a planted trellis divider and acoustic baffles integrated within the tall shelving units reflecting its research into acoustics and biophilia, as demonstrated in the specialist green and acoustic laboratories installed within the office.
Speaking about WELL, Alan Fogarty, sustainability partner at Cundall, said:
“Many businesses are seeing WELL as providing a means of demonstrating the quality of office space to attract and retain good staff. At Cundall, we have taken the refurbishment of our own London office and used it as an exemplar project, not only for ourselves, but also for our clients and collaborators. We’ve created a living, working example of how the WELL Building Standard can be applied, without breaking the bank. Our figures show a total uplift in the project costs of £200 per head. We are putting in place control measures to see exactly how the WELL building elements will improve staff welfare against our old office. However anecdotal feedback from our staff has confirmed the new office as a great hit.”
Cundall engineers have applied WELL criteria such as testing and monitoring air and water quality. The lighting design combines the careful layout of the office to maximise the use of natural daylight with light level sensors that reduce or increase lux levels when appropriate.
Some required Preconditions or recommended Optimisations of WELL were incorporated into the planning of the building, for example changing facilities, showers and cycle racks to facilitate activities like cycling to work. Others are more concerned with day-to-day office life and activities, like weekly yoga classes and access to fresh fruit in the café.
Along with the office’s WELL Certification, One Carter Lane has also achieved BREEAM and SKA ratings, Excellent and Gold respectively.