WELL Standard | MIND

Happy National Mental Health Awareness Month! It is important that employees feel physically and mentally safe in the places where they spend a majority of their time. Here’s a look at how we can provide better work environments by embedding mental health support into organizations: #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #WeAreWELL #WELLWednesdays

The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) MIND optimizes cognitive and emotional health through design, technology and treatment strategies.

MIND Feature 88

Intent: 

To nurture the innate human-nature connection within the project.

BACKGROUND

Until relatively recently in human history, people had constant interaction with living things and their natural surroundings. Biophilia, or the idea that humans have an affinity towards the natural world, is an emerging field that aims to address our psychological need to be around life and life-like processes. Exposure to views and images of nature can help to speed up healing and recovery time, boost positive feelings and reduce negative ones. Interior environments that are cold, sterile and devoid of life, on the other hand, can diminish our experience, mood and happiness. Modeled after the Living Building Challenge, the biophilia requirements involve conducting historical, cultural, ecological and climatic studies to inform biophilic elements and creating a biophilic framework that tracks biophilia at each design phase of the project.

PART 1
Nature Incorporation

A biophilia plan is developed that includes a description of how the project incorporates nature through the following:
a.13
Environmental elements.
b.13
Lighting.
c.13
Space layout.
VERIFICATION
Documents
Professional Narrative

PART 2
Pattern Incorporation

A biophilia plan is developed that includes a description of how the project incorporates the following:
a.13
Nature’s patterns throughout the design.
VERIFICATION
Documents
Professional Narrative

PART 3
Nature Interaction

A biophilia plan is developed that provides sufficient opportunities for human-nature interactions:
a.13
Within the building.
b.13
Within the project boundary, external to the building.
VERIFICATION
Documents
Professional Narrative

BETTER BUILDINGS ARE WELL

Join the movement to advance buildings that help people work, live, perform and feel their best.

Photo Credit: Kimball Chicago Showroom

CITATIONS

1. World Health Organization. World Mental Health Day 2017: http://www.who.int/mental_health/world-mental-health-day/2017/en/

2. World Health Organization. Depression: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/. Accessed May 25, 2016.

3. Jonathan Gardner, Steve Nyce. Workers Still Uneasy About Financial Security and Retirement: Results from Towers Watson’s 2013/2014 Global Benefit Attitudes Survey. Towers Watson; 2014.

4. Gallup. State of the American Workplace – Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders. 2013.

5. UK Department for Work and Pensions. Health and Well-being at Work: A Survey of Employees 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-wellbeing-at-work-…

6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental Health Basics, 2013. Accessed May 20, 2016.

7. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. Mental Health – Psychosocial Risk Factors in the Workplace. 2012: https://ccohs.ca.  Accessed December 1, 2016.

8. Mental Health Foundation. Doing good does you good:https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/doing-good-does-you-good