Well Living Lab to evaluate methods and establish guidelines to reduce air and surface viral transmission, strengthen physical-distancing measures and enhance employee performance as organizations contemplate their return to offices
ROCHESTER, MN, April 27, 2020 – The Well Living Lab, a Delos and Mayo Clinic collaboration dedicated to researching the indoor environment’s impact on human health, today announced a comprehensive plan to study the design and operation of workspaces to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. This will include research conducted in the lab, along with applications and interventions into corporate offices in the U.S. and internationally.
The Well Living Lab, adjacent to the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota, will use its configurable “living lab” office space to generate insights and evaluate technologies for reducing the risk of respiratory virus transmission in work environments. Rich in sensor technology and highly configurable, the lab is designed to simulate a number of indoor environmental settings. Cushman & Wakefield will contribute their expertise in workplace strategy and design practices, including protocols for maintaining physical distancing policies and other concepts for returning to offices. Delos will contribute expertise in air filtration strategies for reducing particulate matter concentration, surface hygiene protocols, algorithms designed to remediate indoor environmental concerns, and software to promote occupant adoption of behavioral changes necessary to support healthy environments. Hines will contribute lessons learned from their six-decade history of creating innovative, sustainable real estate with thought leadership and management expertise from many of the firm’s key leaders in development, engineering, innovation and property management across product sectors.
“We know that buildings have a tremendous impact on our health and well-being, and the role of indoor spaces has now become more important than ever,” said Paul Scialla, Delos Founder and CEO. “As we contemplate reopening our offices in the wake of COVID-19, it is critical that we take an evidence-based approach to make our workspaces safer when we return. We are excited about the opportunity to extend the Well Living Lab’s pioneering research at the intersection of health, building and behavioral sciences into the field with leading organizations such as Cushman & Wakefield and Hines.”
To advance return-to-work guidelines, the Well Living Lab will leverage its field study capabilities for interventions in Cushman & Wakefield’s and Hines’ offices, along with Delos’ global headquarters in New York. Hines has a global management portfolio of more than 500 properties and is identifying locations, buildings and workspaces that will complement and fuel this research. Collectively, the information gathered from all participant sites will be aggregated to inform the continued advancement of guidelines. The study is also designed to include participation in other field locations from additional corporate tenants and landlords.
“We look forward to this continued collaboration with Delos and the Well Living Lab as we work together to promote a safe workplace as offices reopen,” said Brett White, Cushman & Wakefield Executive Chairman & CEO. “We’re planning to demonstrate scientific, evidence-based studies to our ongoing product innovation as we help our clients prepare for the coming recovery.”
Hines CEO Jeff Hines commented, “Our people have been pioneers in creating progressive real estate that advances the built environment, so joining this effort is a natural way for us to give back, while continuing to anticipate and meet the needs of tenants, clients and investors.”
Well Living Lab researchers will evaluate ways to optimize the effectiveness of reducing air particulate matter concentration, surface decontamination, behavioral patterns of physical distancing, building entry protocols such as thermal screening, as well as the performance, emotional resiliency, and satisfaction of employees. Delos’ health, building and behavioral scientists will provide advisory support throughout the study. The Well Living Lab’s framework of discovery, translation and application, adapted from Mayo Clinic’s research approach, will move findings into the field to impact lives.
“Our clients are very interested in new workplace strategies that align with the science at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19,” said Despina Katsikakis, Head of Workplace Business Performance, Cushman & Wakefield. “We’re pleased to expand on our 6 Feet Office prototype with further testing in areas like advanced air filtration and surface hygiene technologies.”
Since 2016, the Well Living Lab has assembled leading alliance organizations to study the convergence of building sciences and health sciences. This includes the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a public benefit corporation and Well Living Lab alliance member. IWBI established a COVID-19 task force in March 2020 to advance the role of buildings in protecting and enhancing health. Over 450 public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics and business leaders, as well as architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals have been collaborating on principles of prevention and preparedness, resiliency and recovery as it pertains to creating safer and healthier workplaces, both in terms of the physical spaces as well as the policies and protocols that support employee health overall. Members of the task force include 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona; Well Living Lab Scientific Advisory Council member and distinguished professor at UCLA in the Fielding School of Public Health and the Geffen School of Medicine Dr. Jonathan Fielding; assistant professor of exposure and assessment science and Director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Joseph Allen; former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO and distinguished professor of population health and health equity at the University of Pennsylvania Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey; Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Workplace Business Performance Despina Katsikakis; Hines Global Sustainability Manager Adam Slakman; former Director-General of Chinese Center for Disease Control & Prevention and distinguished professor at Center for Healthy Cities, Institute for China Sustainable Urbanization, Tsinghua University Wang Yu, M.D., PhD. Insights and conclusions from this task force will inform the ongoing research conducted by the Well Living Lab, and the IWBI will assess the findings of the research platform to continue to advance the WELL Building Standard.
“The Well Living Lab is uniquely positioned to bring together building and health sciences expertise and technologies to generate and disseminate discoveries,” said Dr. Veronique Roger, Well Living Lab Director of Research and Mayo Clinic cardiologist. “This knowledge will help prepare the world for post COVID-19 safe environments in office and other settings.”
About the Well Living Lab
The Well Living Lab, a collaboration of Delos and Mayo Clinic, is dedicated to identifying how indoor environments impact human health and well-being. It conducts scientific research with human subjects in a simulated real-world environment and shares practical findings that can be applied to improving indoor spaces where people spent approximately 90 percent of their time. The lab has 5,500 square-feet of sensor rich, reconfigurable space in downtown Rochester, Minnesota. Learn more at welllivinglab.com
Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company with a mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play. Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for the built environment. Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute and the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The International WELL Building Institute administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Registrations under the WELL Building Standard have surpassed 4,100 projects in 59 countries, encompassing more than 530 million square feet. Delos collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to create the Well Living Lab, a scientific research center that uses exclusively human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments. The company’s advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, healthcare, government policy and sustainability, including the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra, and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. For more information about Delos, please visit www.delos.com.
About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 53,000 employees in 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2019, the firm had revenue of $8.8 billion across core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, valuation and other services. To learn more, visit www.smokinstud.com or follow @CushWake on Twitter.
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 205 cities in 24 countries. Hines has approximately $133.3 billion* of assets under management, including $71 billion for which Hines serves as an investment manager, including non-real estate assets, and $62.3 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 165 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,393 properties, totaling over 459 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 539 properties, representing over 232 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit www.hines.com for more information. *AUM includes both the global Hines organization as well as RIA AUM.