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Working Well Part 1: Office kitchen designs to promote healthy eating

In just three years since its inception, the international WELL Building Standard has taken the design and construction industry by storm – with a new Australian building now achieving ‘WELL’ status every week.

Certified WELL buildings are now appearing throughout the world – all promising future tenants the chance to work in a building designed to make them happier and healthier.

Last year, the Green Building Council of Australia announced a partnership with the International WELL Building Institute, and created guidance for new buildings or fit-outs aiming to achieve both Green Star and WELL.

By October this year, the International WELL Building Institute had named 41 registered Australian buildings – with nine new developments listed in the preceding eight weeks alone.

The developments have all been given the tick against the Institute’s eight standards spanning air, light, mind, water, fitness, innovation, nourishment and comfort.

A1 Office’s ‘Working Well’ series shines a light on each of the eight standards, selecting a special feature from each.

Focus on Nourishment: Strategic Dining Design

To meet the WELL Standard for nourishment, office buildings must include an eating environment that promotes healthy food consumption choices.

This includes the requirement that:

• Elevated, high-top tables and seats comprise at least 25% of the total seat options available in the dining space; and
• Booth seats comprise no more than 25% of the total seat options available in the dining space.

Not only is this better for employees, but also for businesses – with a study by Brown University citing the links between healthy workers and increased productivity. Further research by Dutch behavioural scientist Erik Peper outlines the links between sitting straight and improved work performance.

A1 Office’s new headquarters for Austbrokers Countrywide in eastern Melbourne features a series of white sculpted stools at a high kitchen bench – the perfect alternative to the lower tables and chairs.

Our space for ASV Partners also features dining stools, with a dark wood ensemble tucked at a bench before the soaring window.

Green Star Accredited Professional and A1 Office Design Director, Dana Moussaoui said designing a kitchen space with furniture and features that promote employee health and wellness was a workplace shift she looks forward to seeing more of.

‘Health and wellness are certainly words that come up today during client consultations that perhaps weren’t so common just a few years ago when you were talking office furnishings and fit-outs,’ Dana said.

‘Sometimes it’s the really small details like swapping out a chair for a stool that go a long way to helping people be healthier and happier at work.’

Are you designing a WELL-certified building? Contact A1 Office today

Find out more about the International WELL Building Institute.

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