London office first non-U.S. Fitwel facility

London office first non-U.S. Fitwel facility

Photo courtesy of Fitwel

Integral Group has certified its London office under Fitwel, becoming the first Fitwel certified workplace outside of North America, according to a press release.

Fitwel is a third-party certification system designed to help organizations enhance health, well-being and productivity in the workplace.

Integral Group became an official Fitwel champion only six weeks ago, and already has a dozen Fitwel ambassadors trained on the evidence-based connection between design and health. With this capability in place, the company integrated many Fitwel strategies within the London office to achieve a 2-star Fitwel rating.

“There is a growing recognition that where we live and work has a dramatic impact on our health,” said Joanna Frank, executive director for the Center for Active Design (CfAD).

Integral Group’s London office is home to Elementa Consulting, a member of Integral Group. In 2016, Elementa searched for a new space to house its growing team of MEP engineers and sustainability consultants, which resulted in a move to 80 Cheapside – an eight-story, multitenanted building in the heart of London’s financial district.

The 6,000-square-foot space on the second floor had previously been home to insurance underwriters. Integral Group retained, reused and repurposed all of the existing furniture, flooring and partitions.

Having moved into the new space, London-based Principal Edward Garrod, sought to maximize health and happiness for staff with a budget of about $5,600. After canvassing staff for ideas and feedback, the Integral Health team led by Garrod set about improving daylight and views by stripping away privacy film from windows, upgrading break room facilities, introducing active workstations and installing full-height panoramas of the Bay Area, Vancouver and views of forests, a hydroponic salad system and air quality monitoring systems. Meeting rooms were transformed into collaborative spaces where project teams could draw on the walls, and each space was named after a tree native to an Integral Group region.

Many Fitwel inspired measures were effortlessly implemented at little to no cost, including reorganizing desk layouts to maximize daylight and views and encouraging creation of a staff yoga club with out-of-hours access to a multi-functional room.

Having achieved their six-week certification goal, Garrod stresses how smooth the process was, and how simple it will be to roll out in other Integral Group’s offices in North America and the UK.

“Fitwel’s platform is designed to make enhancing health and wellbeing accessible to every workspace,” he said. “Uploading our evidence was quick and painless, and the third-party review by Center for Active Design was focused and fast. Based on our experience we’re already working with clients across the UK to apply Fitwel strategies to their own offices.”

Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Certifications, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Daylighting / Skylights / Natural Lighting, Energy Saving Products, Exteriors, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Office Buildings, Windows - Glass and Glazing Strategies and Systems

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