Design Engine's new £50m landmark West Downs Building at the University of Winchester is to become one of the first university projects in the UK registered to pursue the WELL Certification, an accreditation scheme for recognising which buildings support and improve people’s health and wellbeing.
Delivered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based rating system. WELL measures, certifies and monitors artificially constructed environmental features which have an impact on a person’s health and wellness such as air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community. These are known as the ten concepts of WELL.
Better buildings, better beings
Features of the West Downs development which boosts wellbeing includes a space for contemplation to practise mindfulness; healthy diet options; access to nature through the courtyard garden; landscaped areas for encouraging the use of the outdoors; reduction in the buildings harmful emissions and the inclusion of air and water testing. In addition, many workstations have height-adjustable, sit-stand desks thus enabling an environment beneficially customizable for every working individual.
Construction began in January 2018 and the building is scheduled to open in early 2020. The new development will provide state-of-the-art facilities for learning and teaching. This will include an art gallery, cafe, food hall, library and social learning areas and will house the university's digital futures computer and digital-related degree programmes.