Students and faculty at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are working out of a new $29 million space that enhances health and wellness. While the building is in the higher education sector, Indianapolis-based architectural firm RATIO Designs says it is seeing growing interest from corporations to build WELL-certified workplaces. The New Academic Building has earned Silver level WELL Certification as recognized by the International WELL Building Institute.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business of Health reporter Kylie Veleta, RATIO Design’s David Shaffer explains how it could be a blueprint for building designs of the future.
“Attraction of new employees is a big thing. And just making sure that people are happy and healthy and in a good working environment. I think is also something that we’re seeing a lot of corporations asking for us in our workplace designs,” said Shaffer.
The organization recognizes structures that meet IWBI building requirements that address human health and well-being for students, faculty and staff. Those include such things as air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, and comfort.
The school says its 70,000-square-foot building is Indiana’s first building to earn full WELL Certification for design and technology.
To meet the standard, a building must pass a series of tests for air and water quality and noise reduction. Lighting is designed for alertness and focus with a major focus on natural light.
“It also helps productivity or helps encourage productivity. It’s just common sense that if you’re wanting to be in a space and you feel comfortable in the space, then you’re going to feel better work. That’s definitely part of it as well,” said Shaffer.
The three-story building opened for the 2021-22 school year. In addition to classroom space, it has state-of-the-art chemistry and biochemistry laboratories, a food science research lab, and student-faculty collaborative workspaces.