Skyfold introduces a guide to show specifiers how its movable walls can contribute points for buildings seeking WELL Certification

The pandemic has made health and wellness in shared spaces a mainstream concern. But, for architects, property owners and corporations, wellness is more than a trend—it’s an essential component in designing residential, corporate, educational and hospitality spaces.

WHAT IS WELLNESS IN DESIGN?

Most people think that sustainability is only concerned with the natural environment when in truth, the concept is constructed of three dimensions: environment, economic, and social. According to WSP Global's article, “The Pursuit of Wellness: Designing Healthy Buildings”, in a zealous effort to create green buildings, “efficiency might have caused designers to lose the plot” by forgetting to include people in the equation. In comes wellness as a “new sustainability” that advances the construction of efficient buildings while placing the experience of people occupying these spaces at the forefront. New sustainability, or “wellness”, thereby includes everything from air, water and light quality, to access to public transit and company benefits. Why? To make occupants healthier, happier, and more productive.

Certification programs, such as WELL™, Fitwel®, Living Building Challenge and LEED®, have made it easier for buildings to make wellness a reality by providing a structure to follow.  

WHAT IS THE WELL™ BUILDING STANDARD?

Launched in 2014, WELL™ is an internationally recognized rating system that measures how the construction of a building and everything inside can improve comfort, productivity, health, and wellness of its occupants. WELL v2 (the most recent standard) sets guidelines founded on 10 concepts centered around mental wellness, physical health, personal comfort, and the environment. Each concept is broken down into categories with point recognition. Buildings that earn a certain number of points can earn WELL Certification.

WHAT IS “SKYFOLD’S GUIDE TO WELLNESS”?

Looking over the 10 concepts outlined in WELL v2, Skyfold engineers found that its automated movable walls can potentially help buildings accumulate points in the following three concepts: Sound, Light and Materials. “Skyfold’s Guide to WELLness” explains Skyfold products' applicability to some of the sub-categories within these concepts. The guide also directs specifiers to additional information to support their claims. Although Skyfold cannot guarantee that the use of its products will make it more likely for buildings to attain certification, its guide can help specifiers understand how Skyfold walls, in conjunction with other products and design innovations, promote wellness in the built environment.

HOW DOES SKYFOLD PROMOTE WELLNESS?

Skyfold is committed to helping architects design spaces that enrich people’s experiences. With automated controls and multi-purpose features, Skyfold provides individuals with the ability to adapt their environment to accommodate their minute-to-minute needs, whether it’s in the office or in the classroom. Let’s take a closer look at the three WELL™ concepts that Skyfold fits into:

1. Sound

When deployed, Skyfold walls become double-sided, rigid walls with air chambers to become acoustic barriers between sub-divided spaces. Skyfold’s high acoustic rating of up to STC 60 (Rw 59 dB) ensures acoustical privacy and comfort while also contributing to sound masking, lowering sound pressure levels (SPL), and reducing reverberation time.

2. Light

Quality light is essential for human well-being and the success of any building. Skyfold’s acoustic glass system, Mirage®, allows for natural light to travel through sub-divided spaces and ensures access to uninterrupted views.

LED lights on any solid-panel Skyfold system are optional, but they can provide a space with additional sources of light. These LED lights help to achieve optimal light levels, ensure color rendering quality (CRI) and manage flicker. With a dimming feature, Skyfold walls fitted with LED lights also provide occupants with control over their lighting environment.

3. Materials

With zero traces of asbestos, lead, mercury, PCBs and VOCs, Skyfold’s movable walls are able to check quite a few categories within this concept, including Hazard Material Management and Abatement and Volatile Compound Reduction. The recently released Health-related Product Declarations (HPD) disclose 100% of the ingredients used to produce Skyfold walls, thereby offering material transparency for specifiers who choose Skyfold for their spaces.  

CONCLUSION

Wellness doesn’t cancel out environmental sustainability. What the WELL Building Standard™ demonstrates is that many of the efforts to create spaces that positively impact an individual’s health and well-being also positively impact the natural environment. With certification programs like WELL, architects and owners now have the resources to construct buildings that can improve overall wellness through design.

Click to read Skyfold’s Guide to WELLness.

 

Photo: © RMA Photography, Inc. 

July 6, 2020