The following blog was originally published on Work Design Magazine
Earlier this year we visited ASID’s new headquarters as they were awarded LEED and WELL Platinum Certification status. Wendy Feldman Block has followed up with additional background information on the development of this groundbreaking project, from the point of view of the real estate advisory team.
Introduced only a few years ago, WELL Building Standard has become the next-gen in building standards. With some similarities to LEED, which rates a building’s performance and the impact on the environment, the WELL certification applies to the design and policies that improve human health and well-being.
The WELL standard can be implemented in buildings of all types – new build or adapted reuse. It is customizable to fit individual needs, but spaces must address seven guiding categories: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.
In spring 2015, the American Society of Interior Designers [ASID] retained a team at Savills Studley, led by Wendy Feldman Block, to assist in finding a new headquarters in Washington, D.C., that could improve their employees’ health and well-being, using the WELL Standard as guide.
To kick-off the project, a planning meeting was arranged with key members of ASID’s executive staff; project team members from Savills Studley, who would serve as brokers and project managers; and the architectural and design firm Perkins+Will.
Next, the leasing agent and the building owner, Carr Properties, were brought on board to discuss WELL requirements and how it can be implemented to improve the performance of the space.
Although WELL is now being broadly implemented, at the time of planning and construction, the standard was relatively new. The ASID headquarters set records by becoming the first space in the world to achieve both Platinum Level Certification for the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) under WELL v1 and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), under the LEED ID+C rating system.
Learning from the Experience
Although WELL standard was relatively new, Savills Studley and ASID outlined a process, which ultimately led to success. Here are four recommendations, based on first-hand experience.
1. Bring in experts. Early.
Owner Carr Properties engaged a third-party advisor to assist in understanding the recently- introduced WELL Building Standard and the impact on the collective process of signing a lease and building out the space.
The Savills Studley and ASID teams met with engineers of GHT Limited, who would handle mechanical, electrical and plumbing, and general contractor, rand* construction corporation, to ensure all participants were fully engaged in the design development and pre-construction phases.