Focusing on Fitwel

At Perkins+Will, we believe in well-being at every level. Fitness Friday is an annual firm-wide event that embraces healthy activities and has evolved from a fun-filled, one-day event into a week-long wellness extravaganza. We encourage each other to increase physical activity and healthy “feel good” activities, like smoothie tasting, group exercise classes, and storytelling around our own wellness journeys. But well-being isn’t restricted to one day or week of the year; one way we seek to contribute to long term well-being is by creating a year-round healthy working environment.

Group activities during Wellness Week

Group activities during Wellness Week

Perkins+Will has committed to making all North American offices Fitwel certified. Fitwel is an evidence-based design standard developed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which enables positive impacts on building occupant health and productivity through improvements to workplace design and policies. Fitwel certification assesses building and workplace features—like the design of stairwells and outdoor spaces, proximity to public transit and fitness facilities, indoor air quality, and healthy food standards—against a baseline of criteria that create a health-promoting environment. It is administered by the Center for Active Design (CfAD).

In aligning with our firmwide commitment to Fitwel certification, we are using our re/fresh as an opportunity to make our office meet the standard. We're already off to a pretty good start; seven designers are Fitwel Ambassadors who are educated in the impacts of design upon employee well-being. At the beginning of our re/fresh, we completed a gap analysis to learn how our office - before any changes - stacked up to Fitwel standards. Although our office is only a few years old and is LEED Certified, we would not meet the criteria to be Fitwel certified. For example, we don’t have a dedicated mothers room or wellness room, but instead a combination wellness/mother’s room. We also have a great model shop, but it doesn’t have a separate ventilation system for our laser cutter. Right off the bat, the Fitwel standard has provided us a variety of ideas for improve our space - and our well-being. Stay tuned for more information on how we're leveraging Fitwel to maximize the health of our space and what design elements we have focused on make our workplace a healthy and fun place to work.