- New York-based wellness real estate and technology company Delos has teamed up with the Mayo Clinic to evaluate human responses to changing and stressful environmental work conditions with the goal of building a prototype of the optimal office space, according to Nature.
- The immersive lab environment allows controllers to fluctuate lighting, temperature, humidity, ambient noise, ventilation, auditory interruptions and more while computers track worker biometrics, stress responses and productivity rates.
- As part of the experiment, 18 participants complete a survey each day rating their comfort and overall productivity and stress levels to changing conditions in order to determine the optimal office environments for influencing employee positivity.
Delos and the Mayo Clinic aren’t alone in the race to immerse humans in adjustable working environments to study sustainable productivity. Syracuse University’s Total Indoor Environmental Quality Lab and the Sense Lab at the Delft University of Technology in Holland are also trying to find ways to tap into the hidden responses of workers to their office environments, according to Nature. While promising, the labs also come with a hefty price tag. The WELL Living Lab is courting corporate sponsors to pony up to $300,000 as part of a Well Living Lab Alliance.
The WELL Living Lab is part of a continued effort by Delos to define and optimize the impact of office space on worker health and productivity, as well as to fill in perceived gaps in the data regarding environmental influence on employee wellness and positivity. The Well Building Standard, which spans from offices to multifamily projects to retail and restaurant spaces, has certified more than 10 projects and nearly 30 million square feet. IWBI representatives said offices have been quicker than other sectors to pursue the WELL Building standard, as the trend toward workplace wellness picks up steam among offices of all sizes.
In March, Delos CEO Paul Scialla told Construction Dive that the firm is looking to address human biological sustainability as a complement to environmental sustainability in the built environment.