Culture and Environment
Whitney Austin Gray, PhD, LEED AP, WELL Faculty
Senior Vice President, Delos Insights, Delos®
To design a healthy workplace, we can no longer depend on the building professional alone. In fact, 32% of real estate and property organizations surveyed as part of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) program indicated that a senior sustainability decision maker also led their office health promotion efforts (n=174). These new hybrid professionals have emerged as a key resource in the drive toward healthier workplaces and as such require new training and skills to bridge the divide between the building and HR professional. New building certification systems such as the WELL Building Standard support the development of this new hybrid professional while also encouraging building and HR professionals work together to make design and operational decisions. These include ways to activate design strategies such as staircase use, interaction zones, and respite rooms. With the first case studies of WELL Certification completed, the results demonstrate the strengths of this approach, while also challenging the fields of design and human resources to build stronger models for collaboration. This session will review the WELL Building Certification features that pertain to building and HR professional collaboration. It will cover the strengths and challenges of these new building certification systems, and discuss the impact this can have on training the new hybrid professionals charged with bridging the gap between the fields.
At Delos, Dr. Whitney Austin Gray leads research and the development of innovative strategies that seek to improve human health and well-being through building design. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Georgetown University. Dr. Gray received her PhD from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and was the first public health professional to become LEED AP.