By Sara Xiaoran Wang
Yesterday evening (June 28), a joint presentation and tour of Arup and Tsoi/Kobus Design brought together more than 40 professionals in the green building industry. Both located at 60 Street, Arup and Tsoi/Kobus Design have designed their offices with sustainability and wellness in mind.
These two leading-edge firms prepared a joint presentation and tour on how they each approached the design of their new spaces. The discussion included design process overviews, comparing and contrasting requirements of LEED, WELL, and Fitwel certifications, lessons learned, and the benefits of implementing WELL, Fitwel and LEED. The tour began at Tsoi/Kobus Design on the 18th floor before we head to Arup’s office on the 10th floor.
In order to meet WELL-compliant features, both offices incorporated the following strategies including material selections that promote good indoor air quality; circadian lighting systems that simulate daylight; “active movement design” layouts with sit/stand desks; ventilation to optimize air quality through filtration; and furniture and finishes with minimal VOCs and contaminants.
Tsoi/Kobus Design's open project space, an unconventional combination of a waiting room, a presentation room, and an open kitchen, took an alternative approach towards not only the spatial design but also the requirements to meet the WELL certification. The Arup office, the first WELL Gold certified in New England, was also designed to meet LEED v4 Platinum and Fitwel 3 STAR certification, serving as a living laboratory to test its own wellbeing assessment to help quantify the impact of health and well-being strategies in the workplace. As practices in the green building industry that promotes people-centered design and social sustainability, it is important that both offices represent these core values with their own office design as paragons, inspiring more industry leaders to follow.
Huge thank you to Arup and Tsoi/Kobus Design staffs for holding the tour and all the attendees for participating from the USGBC MA Chapter!