Transforming buildings and communities to create a healthier world
Perkins+Will believes that design should improve health by redefining the relationship between the built environment, people, and the natural environment. In this global model, buildings and communities are transformed into places that promote health and foster wellness.
We create healthier places through the following initiatives:
Healthy Building Materials
Perkins+Will is at the forefront of the healthy building materials movement and has helped raise awareness of how building materials and finishes may relate to human and environmental health. Some of the research and tools we created are available to the public on our Transparency website. We collaborated with Google and the Healthy Building Network to be the first architecture and design firm in the world to offer our clients, Portico, a web-based tool for building teams to collaboratively assess and choose healthy products and materials. We initiated the first on-product ingredient label for building materials, detailing the complete make-up of a product, highlighting critical lifecycle information and potential human health impacts per published governmental sources. We are advocates for improving the industry benchmark for material health, including considering whether there are potential toxic loopholes in the USGBC’s LEED V4 Standard.
We believe that by incorporating active design concepts, and making physical activity a natural part of our daily routines, we can promote general health and even begin to reverse the obesity epidemic. Perkins+Will is the first company to pursue—with the intent to achieve—Fitwel certification for all of its North American offices. Fitwel, a new evidence-based design standard developed by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), enables positive impacts on building occupant health and productivity through improvements to workplace design and policies. Design tactics in the workplace include accessible and highly visible staircases, centralized services such as printers and copiers, a diversity of collaborative and communal spaces to use throughout the day away from a “home” desk, and availability of indoor and outdoor spaces dedicated to exercise. Perkins+Will has been working with government and institutional entities, including the NYC Departments of Health, the NYC Department of Design and Construction, the Center for Active Design, the Center for Disease Control, and the General Services Administration, advocating for the broader incorporation of these tenets into buildings.
Communities around the world are promoting active, healthy lifestyles through changes to the built environment. Perkins+Will is leading innovative solutions for healthy community design by developing places where everyone can safely walk, bike, use transit, and access open spaces. We go even further to bring health to ailing urban landscapes, helping cities reclaim obsolete infrastructure systems like abandoned railroads, industrialized riverfronts, gridlocked freeways, and vacant malls, and reimagining them as conduits of healthy, urban life.
A Health District is both a place and a state of mind; the result of one or more healthcare facilities in collaboration with their surrounding community to improve health for all. The movement toward integrated Health Districts is in direct response to the shift toward a healthcare model that rewards providers for keeping people well and out of the hospital. Perkins+Will is pioneering the district approach by connecting community and hospital, public health and healthcare, and urban design and medical planning. We work closely with our clients to identify strategies, projects, and partnerships that address the unique health challenges faced by each community and deliver socio-economic benefits.