Converting office or schools into 'healthy buildings'

KING 5's Amity Addrisi reports.

Instead of "sleek" or "modern," a downtown office is being called "nurturing."

Design firm Tsoi Kobus shows off their space as an example of their focus on providing a healthy office space for workers.

“I think taking seriously people's health, especially in the workplace, is critically important,” says Rick Kobus, co-founder of Tsoi Kobus Design.

The office kitchen uses small plates, which equals less food, which equals a better diet. Nourishment is one of seven ingredients used to certify a building healthy.

Focusing on the occupants inside of the building rather than just the building performance itself has been an afterthought.

Since we spend about 90 percent of our time inside, Harvard professor Joe Allen says that’s why this new building movement is important.

“Things like air quality and lighting, and noise and dust and pests. All of these are going to influence our health indoors, and we have an opportunity to create these healthier indoor environments when we control these factors,” said Allen, an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health.

Even factors as small as our chairs become a big asset for those who sit in them all day.

“Motion chair provides a lot of flexibility so you can literally swivel on it. You are supposed to move around when you are working; pretty good for your muscle,” said Peining Lu, an architect at Tsoi Kobus Design.

Professor Allen says a healthy building means healthier workers who call in sick less, produce more and improve their company’s profits.

This design movement isn’t just for new buildings.  Old offices and schools can all be converted into healthy, well buildings.

Today more than 300 buildings around the world are seeking their well certifications. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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