Did you know that we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors? That’s roughly 22 hours each day. This means that the quality of our indoor environments – from the amount of daylight we experience and the indoor temperature and humidity, to the quality of water that we drink and so much more – has a tremendous impact on our overall health and well-being.
At HB Reavis, people’s health is our priority. We believe that improving a workspace can positively impact every employee’s health and well-being.
We have collaborated with teams of designers, architects and building scientists to introduce an array of positive, health-focused changes. Advanced air purification, high- quality water standards, access to natural daylight and outdoor physical activity spaces are just a few wellness features we’ve incorporated that are driven by the WELL Building StandardTM (WELLTM).
WELLTM combines the best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research – harnessing buildings as vehicles to support human health and wellbeing.
And that’s not all. In times when people may have concerns about returning to indoor spaces, we applied 17 strategies from the WELL Health-Safety RatingTM. It’s a science-backed, third-party verified rating that focuses on addressing a post-COVID-19 environment.
Interested in learning more? Here in this guide, you can read about the features we have implemented into this office building to help you feel safe in your workplace and maximise your wellness benefits.
You can also learn more about our certification at wellcertified.com or ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indoor air quality directly impacts our productivity. Pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dust increase the CO2 levels in our blood and decrease oxygen saturation. Unfortunately, both factors kill our mental work efficiency. The negative effects of poor indoor air quality may impair our performance by 10%.
The implemented air quality standards in this building aim for optimal indoor air quality to support your health and well-being. You can breathe easily in your office space knowing that the air quality standards set for this building are supported by advanced ventilation and a filtration system.
Take a deep breath
Forest is situated in a busy urban area in Warsaw, just a stone’s throw away from transport interchanges. Moreover, there are construction sites in its vicinity. Therefore, we stressed the importance of designing a superb HVAC system. We used an advanced ventilation design to make sure that you breathe fresh and high-quality indoor air.
Feature 01 Air Quality Standards
Feature 03 Ventilation Effectiveness
Breathe healthily, live happily
Globally, tobacco use is responsible for killing half of its 1.1 billion users, including more than seven million people a year. Even though it might sound unlikely, addressing the environment that makes smoking possible can be imperative in helping people with tobacco cessation. According to Health at a glance, 20 to 25% of the adult population in Europe smokes, and that number in Poland is 21%. However, not only smokers are subject to the health risks of smoking. Second-hand smoke exposes non-smokers to the same toxins. Both indoor and outdoor smoking on terraces and the rooftop is prohibited, and we have set aside a special spot for smokers away from entrances, openable windows, and air intakes.
Feature 02 Smoking Ban
Keep an eye on it
The advanced air ventilation design of this building is important for providing high-quality air in the building. However, to keep it as good as it was at the beginning, you need to take care of the system regularly. That is the reason why we perform periodic maintenance checks. We report every single check to a 3rd party – the International Well Building Institute – the authority which oversees the WELL Building StandardTM.
Feature 05 Air Filtration
No moulds allowed
The advanced air handling units which provide great air for this building aren’t resistant to basic elements like moulds. We check and clean them regularly and then provide detailed reports to the International Well Building Institute.
Feature 06 Microbe and mould control
Feature SA5 Manage Mold and Moisture
Make an entrance
You may think the revolving entrance doors are not a big thing. Let us tell you it’s a valuable prevention measure that improves indoor air quality. They were designed to reduce the amount of dust, dirt, and other contaminants from outside that enter the building. For added impact, we have added walk-off mats to doorways.
Feature 08 Healthy entrance
There is no need to explain that pesticides used for gardening may be harmful to our health. However, we looked at this issue from another perspective. Pesticides reduce the quality of the air we breathe. Therefore, we applied a green maintenance principle when taking care of external greenery. Every pesticide and herbicide must meet strict criteria defined by the European Regulation.
Feature 10 Pesticide Management
Say NO to dangerous materials
No asbestos is a truism for Europe. But there are still some other materials used in construction which are hazardous to humans and should be reduced to a minimum. Besides asbestos, WELLTM set limits on lead and mercury use.
Feature 11 Fundamental Material Safety
You can feel it in the air
Your office in Forest is supplied with almost 20% more air than is required by local standards. Scientific research suggests that an airflow rate significantly exceeding the recommended standards is needed to minimise sick building syndrome symptoms and to improve human performance and productivity.
Feature 15 Increased Ventilation
Feature SA1 Assess Ventilation
Did you know that more than half of your body is composed of water? You probably did. But are you aware you should drink up to 2.7 l of water per day if you are a woman and up to 3.7l if you are a man? Even mild dehydration may be the reason you feel tired and sleepy during the day. Drinking water can improve your brain’s ability to complete tasks that require a rapid response.
Clean water is essential to our health. It transports valuable nutrients, removes waste from the body, helps to regulate internal body temperature and even serves as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord. Therefore, we make sure the water in Forest is of high quality and tastes great too.
The water quality standards required by WELLTM ensure that the tap water has been tested for inorganic contaminants, organic contaminants, and agricultural contaminants, as well as public water additives that can be harmful in large quantities. What’s more, this helps the water in your office taste good so you can stay hydrated.
Feature 30 Fundamental Water Quality
Feature 31 Inorganic contaminants
Feature 32 Organic Contaminants
Feature 33 Agricultural Contaminants
Feature 34 Public Water Additives
Legionella under control
We bet you have already heard of Legionnaires’ Disease, a form of pneumonia that is potentially fatal for the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. It is caused by inhaling a mist contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The bacteria are naturally present in water at low concentrations, but it may colonise recirculated water systems used, for example, in cooling towers, hot tubs and large central air-conditioning systems.
Aware of the fact that bacteria may accumulate in a building’s pipes, fixtures, showers, and hot zones in cooling towers, we have prepared a thorough plan to prevent Legionella from spreading. It assesses all the building’s water assets, identifies locations where checks are required and sets requirements for an ongoing maintenance and operations program.
SA3 Develop Legionella Management Plan
Proper hand hygiene is key to reducing the transmission and incidence of various infectious diseases. However, hands can only be as clean as the surrounding environment. For this reason, we made sure all the sinks in the lobby provide enough space for you to comfortably wash your hands without hitting the sides of the sink or the faucet. Why? Sinks may harbour pathogenic bacteria that can migrate onto hands while washing them. Additionally, all soaps are fragrance free and non-antibacterial – to not also kill the good bacteria on your hands – in dispensers with disposable and sealed soap cartridges. Lastly, once an individual’s hands are clean, they can more easily become reinfected when wet compared to when dry.
Feature 41 Handwashing
Feature SC1 Support Handwashing
Do you remember your last meal? How did it taste? Do you remember finishing it? Busy lives and longer workdays are encouraging unhealthy behaviours, including eating meals on the go and in front of screens, snacking between meals and eating large portions. Eating unhealthily is linked to a 66% increased risk of productivity loss.
Since you need nourishment throughout your time in the office, the workplace and its surroundings should provide easy access to healthier food options. The goal is to support you in making healthy eating choices every day while you’re in the office so you can stay energised and focused.
Food fuels our body throughout the day. However, the increasingly fast-pace of life makes us eat in a rush and more prone to distracted eating.
Creating a dedicated eating space where you can eat your lunch or snack without distractions and in a social atmosphere may reduce overeating. Another way we want to support a better food culture in Forest is by providing a great variety of herbs and vegetables from the herb and vegie garden located on Forest’s green roof.
Feature 51 Food production
Light plays an important role in synchronising sleep/wake cycles in humans. All light – not just sunlight – can affect your internal biological clock, sleeping patterns, energy levels and mood. Proper lighting ensures good visual acuity in a variety of tasks to avoid eyestrain and minimise productivity loss and headaches. The WELL Light concept promotes exposure to light and aims to create lighting environments that are optimal for visual, mental, and biological health. What does it mean for you whose workplace is in Forest? The lighting conditions in this building may support your circadian rhythm, improve sleep quality, and should even positively impact your mood and productivity.
A right to light
Exposure to natural light can improve people’s moods, alertness, and overall health. Windows are therefore a key variable for ensuring that occupants receive enough light for positive physiological and subjective effects. In Forest, the floors were designed so that most work desks are close to windows with a view. This ensures an equitable distribution of light and views for everyone in the office.
Feature 61 Right to Light
No more dazzle
Though bright light during the day is conducive to good health, uneven levels of brightness in the visual field can cause visual fatigue and discomfort. Glare, or excessive brightness, is caused by light scattering within the eye, thereby creating a “veil” of luminance that reduces the luminance contrast received by the retina. In buildings, sources of glare are often unshielded or poorly shielded light and sunlight directly hitting the eye or reflective surfaces. In Forest, occupied areas are provided with shading systems, and the light sources have been designed to minimise discomfort caused by glare.
Feature 56 Solar Glare Control
Well views ensured!
Windows and skylights are not only important for natural light to enter the building, but they also connect people staying inside with the outdoors. In Forest we adopted a strategy which allowed us to place all workstations within 7.5 metres of windows. Being within view of a window may have several benefits for you like boosting your performance, having a positive impact on your mood, and improving your overall environmental satisfaction. The location of Forest ensures its occupants have great views of outside, which could reduce negative emotions and enhance their working memory and concentration.
Feature 87 Beauty and Design I
Regular physical activity is essential to achieving optimal health and addressing obesity, which is one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. In 2016, one in six EU citizens was considered obese. It is recommended that all healthy adults engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days per week and in muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week.
Recent studies have shown that the built environment may have a positive influence on the active lifestyle of its users. In Forest we have incorporated design elements that encourage the integration of activity and fitness into everyday life. Among the many of them there, let us mention the facilities for making cycling to work more convenient and the fitness opportunities on roof.
Forest is in the central area of Warsaw. Its vicinity provides easy walking distance to numerous bus, tram, underground and railway transport options as well as nearby restaurants and shops.
Feature 67 Exterior Active Design
We think about those who commute to work by bike regularly and encourage those who were hesitating. Secure bicycle parking to which they comfortably have access through a separate entrance, a dedicated cyclist lift, a great number of lockers, showers, and a planned repair station with all the necessary tools are here for their convenience.
Feature 69 Active Transport Support
Accessible to all
While designing Forest we made sure the space is also accessible and comfortable to use for people with limited mobility. The entrances were built to ensure a smooth entry into the building, there’s enough space to move around in the halls, the lifts are easy to use from seating positions and there are specially designed bathrooms in the lobby. Our accessibility solutions have been designed to meet the “Obiekt bez barrier” (Building without barriers) criteria. Our green roof terraces and community gardens are accessible to all people with disabilities. The standard has been developed by the Fundacja Integracja, one of the biggest non-profit organizations in Poland concerned with disabled citizens.
Feature 72 Accessible Design
The indoor thermal environment is believed to be one of the highest contributing factors that forms our overall satisfaction in a building. Thermal comfort is influenced by various factors like air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air speed and humidity, as well as personal factors like metabolic activity level and thermal insulation from clothing.
Achieving thermal conditions that fit everyone is a challenging task. When it comes to the ideal temperature, individual preferences vary significantly. However, by paying attention to this issue while designing the workplace conditions, it is possible to achieve baseline satisfaction for the largest number of people.
Thermal comfort in the body is provided through homeothermy, the balancing of heat gains and losses to maintain the body’s core temperature within its narrow range, 36-38°C, which is regulated by the hypothalamus. Thermal comfort can affect mood, performance, and productivity. However, temperature preferences are highly personal and differ from one individual to another. In Forest, we have balanced the energy requirements with the varied occupant preferences to provide the most pleasant indoor thermal comfort possible.
Feature 76 Thermal Comfort
The word “sound” is generally defined as the human response to mechanical vibrations through a medium such as air. “Noise” could be explained as an unwanted and disturbing sound. A good sound concept can improve occupant health and wellbeing. On the other hand, a poor office layout, used technology systems and appliances, and design features like exposed concrete finishes can have detrimental effects on the acoustic comfort of people working in a given space.
However, by addressing the issue of acoustic comfort holistically through research-based design interventions, a workspace without unnecessary sound distraction is achievable. The environment of Forest aims to minimise external noise and distractions to optimise your productivity and overall satisfaction.
Working in the heart of the city is for sure a nice perk, but it’s fair to say it has some disadvantages, too. Did you know distracting noise may influence your performance causing a decrease in it of up to 66%? We are aware the Forest is in a busy area. Therefore, we made sure the heavy traffic around the building won’t bother you that much. The triple glass façade prevents exterior noise from reaching your office.
Feature 74 Exterior noise intrusion
Keep it clean
We implemented a comprehensive cleaning protocol for the common spaces, complete with dated cleaning logs and a list of cleaning products and materials that can be used in the space. Any professional carrying cleaning in the Forest must undergo training to get familiar with the sequence of cleaning steps, which cleaning products and materials are allowed to be used and how to properly store them. The annual training also covers cross-contamination prevention via hand hygiene. Cleaning products are eco labelled, all vacuums contain HEPA filters, only microfiber rags are used for cleaning and mops cannot be wrung by hand.
To address the post-pandemic challenges, we took several measures to ensure the safety of the building’s occupants – we prepared a list of high-touch surfaces and disinfect them at extended frequency, we limited the touch and face-to-face interaction spots in the common areas, and we installed hand sanitisers at building entrances and other defined crucial places.
Feature SC3 Improve Cleaning Practices
Feature SC4 Select Preferred Cleaning Products
Your mind and your body are impossible to separate, meaning you need to be in a healthy mental state to obtain optimal physical health, and vice versa. Exercise, for instance, triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, which improves your overall mood and helps regulate your sleep cycle.
Mental health plays a vital role in an individual’s overall health and wellbeing, and therefore, an atmosphere that supports mental health and wellness can have significant benefits throughout life. Therefore, we have implemented design elements in this space, from indoor plants, and external greenery, to art both inside and outside Forest that can improve your cognitive and emotional health.
Health literacy is essential for optimal health and well-being. Interested? There’s a library focusing chiefly on mental and physical health publications available in the lobby. Take a break, grab a read, and learn how to boost your well-being.
Feature 84 Health and Wellness Awareness
Feel the spirit of the place
Did you know Forest celebrates the spirit of the place with its design? Forest has been designed to reflect the interactions between people and inspire the communities to connect. It is naturally interconnected with public, cultural, and commercial spaces of the adjacent Arkadia shopping and thus becomes a gathering place with its art gallery / events, parklands (courtyard) restaurants and cafes that available to the public. There are unforgettable views of the city centre landscape from every part of the green roof terraces accessible to the public and occupants of the building. A telescope is available free of charge for visitors to further enjoy details of the skyscape.
Feature 87 Beauty and Design I
Love of life and all living things
Until relatively recently in human history, people had constant interaction with living things and their natural surroundings. It is important, especially nowadays for mental health purposes, for people to have access to plants and natural patterns both inside and outside. You can see a lot of greenery around Forest. Apart from nature-based materials and plants located in the lobby, you can enjoy the green patio and roof. You can find there 200 trees, meadows, a community garden, and quiet spots in a natural environment for your refuge.
Feature 88 Biophilia I – qualitative
Feature 100 Biophilia 2 – quantitative
Expecting the unexpected
We like the saying “better safe than sorry” and keep our focus on prevention and preparedness. We have developed a Healthy Re-Entry plan with adjustment of facilities management policies and protocols to support a safer and healthier re-entry, including crowd management and spacing and physical distancing of individuals, heightened security measures (e.g., temperature screening, security personnel to monitor masking requirements, additional sanitization supplies and other cleaning or maintenance protocols. In case of emergency, we are ready to provide you with helping a hand. Having a first aid kit on each floor is a no-brainer, but you should be aware there are several AEDs available directly in the building, which the security team and receptionists are qualified to use if needed.
Feature SE3 Plan for Healthy Re-Entry
Feature SE4 Provide Emergency Resources
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