Healthy buildings and workplaces

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Does your office have the power to keep you healthy? Or make you sick? Is it possible or worth it making a building 'well.' 

Instead of 'sleek' or 'modern' one downtown Boston office is being called 'nurturing.'

Rick Kobus, co-founder, Tsoi Kobus Design says, "I think taking seriously peoples' health especially in the work place is critically important." 

Mike Proscia, architect says, "This space is new. It's fresh. It's got the views. It's got these cool lights; this great meeting area." 

Peining Lu, architect, Tsoi Kobus Design says, "Look at our beautiful kitchen. It is a healthy space because you know we are promoting wellness." 

Proscia says, "Even the plates are designed to encourage healthy eating." 

And small plates equal less food which equals a better diet. Nourishment is one of seven ingredients used to certify a building healthy.

Joseph G. Allen, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Environmental Health, Harvard says, "Focusing on the 
occupants inside of the building rather than just the building performance itself." 

Since we spend about 90 percent of our time inside, Allen says that's why this new building movement is important.

Allen says, "Things like air quality and lighting and noise and dust and pests all of these are going to influence our health indoors and we have an opportunity to create these healthier indoor environments when we control these factors." 

Factors as small as our chairs.

Lu says, "Motion chair provides a lot of flexibility so you can literally swivel on it. You are supposed to move around when you are working; actually pretty good for your muscle." 

This healthy concept is new to Boston thanks to Rick Kobus' firm and others. 

Kobus says, "And it was an important test case for us. We wanted to put our self as the guinea pig before we tried it on our clients." 

Allen says a healthy building means healthier workers who call in sick less, produce more and improve their company's profits. 

Allen says, "In fact if you factor in the cost of peoples health the benefits far out way the costs."

And this design movement isn't just for new buildings. Old offices and schools can all be converted into healthy well buildings. 


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