Can Design Innovation Improve the Health and Well-Being of Its Occupants?
BLOG: Can design innovation improve the health and well-being of its occupants? The answer is yes, holistic design can. Just as its name implies, holistic design treats the whole person: body, soul and spirit, through the built environment. Do health and happiness enhance productivity? Yes, and wellness in design can accomplish that. It’s no secret that a link exists between health and human performance. Few would argue that those who are experiencing optimum health are most likely high performers. “Health and wellness have a direct impact on productivity through improved employee engagement and morale, better teamwork, enhanced social networks, and reduced absenteeism.” 1 Buildings designed with wellness in mind are the foundation for health, productivity, efficiency, communication, and sustainability.
Workspaces have changed greatly, from tightly packed cubicle spaces that fostered isolation and individuality to large open offices that foster collaboration. Designs that are holistically well-defined and pay homage to wellness create spaces that evoke distinct emotions while enriching the lives of its inhabitants. A building design with open workspaces promotes communication between people that fosters creativity.
People typically spend more time at work than they do anywhere else. Holistic design in commercial buildings aims to make workspaces beneficial to daily productivity, mood, and health of employees, clients, and customers. By thoroughly integrating natural lighting, fresh air, proper ventilation, open spaces and even water quality, greatly improves the building atmosphere. Proper ventilation throughout the building as well as natural light affects both the moods and health of all occupants. Healthier people are typically more productive and efficient overall.
A building that integrates open workspaces (for collaboration), relaxation rooms and access to the outdoors (for re-charging), and even some small private areas (for thoughtful times) allows workers to manage their daily tasks in a manner that is tailored to each individual; a flexibility in each person’s approach to work that leads to a greater sense of wellbeing for all, balancing needs and preferences with the essential work while fostering a creative, productive atmosphere.
When this concept is embraced and adopted into the design of commercial spaces, the end result is an environment that is very pleasing to its users. So pleasing that people: employees, clients, customers, and visitors, look forward to spending time in that space. It’s what designers might call ‘inspirational architecture’; it changes people, even if it’s just for the amount of time spent there.
About the Author: Dominique Lee recently earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and is one of our Architectural Designers. She has always had a passion for Architecture and thoroughly enjoys seeing the design come to completion, while being a part of the process. At TMA, she is responsible for plans, elevations, redlining and drafting.
Outside of work, she enjoys car detailing and has been a lifetime roller-skater
If you think TMA might be the right fit for you and your project, please give us a call at 732-262-0046. Our staff of talented designers is waiting to work with you!