In the spring of 2017, Structure Tone’s Manhattan headquarters achieved the first WELL Certification in New York City. Designed by Gensler, the 82,000-square-foot office space incorporates innovative wellness features and designs to make the space more collaborative, and to provide the best opportunities for employees to interact with their environment in ways that will positively impact their overall happiness and well-being.
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. Structure Tone earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind.
The WELL café provides on-site healthy food and beverage choices including fresh fruits and vegetables. An automated system allows employees to customize their own health profile so that they can see what choices they are making. All beverage in the café contain under 25g of sugar and all food selections prioritize whole grains.
To encourage physical activity, the office offers employees subsidized membership to CitiBike, the New York city-wide bike share program, so that employees can commute to or from work via bicycle. Employees also receive discounted membership to the nearby Planet Fitness gym. Additionally, the space is designed to encourage movement over the course of the regular business day through a central staircase feature and a central printing station. Every employee has a sit/stand desk, encouraging them to move and to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
During construction, care was taken to select paints, sealants, adhesives, flooring, insulation, furniture and other materials that contain no or low volatile organic compounds. Air quality was checked through scientific testing during performance verification to ensure the office meets the low-emitting requirements set by WELL.
Lighting levels, fixtures and windows were optimized to match the human body’s circadian rhythms to help employees be more productive and alert during the day and to achieve better sleep patterns at night. Additionally, lighting locations, glare control and illumination levels were designed to provide employees with the highest level of functionality for the tasks required at their work zones.
New York City has access to some of the best quality water in the world. However, point-of-source water filters were still installed at all points of water distribution in the office to ensure that sediment, metals, organic pollutants, herbicides/pesticides, disinfectants, fluoride and other contaminants and additives are screened before water is consumed.
Productivity and concentration can drop by as much as 15% in noisy spaces. In order to keep disruptions in the open office area minimized, acoustical consultants were brought in to ensure that the space was designed within WELL’s noise criteria.