Hospitality, the feel good space
Since its 2008 inauguration, the Actiu Technology Park has not stopped evolving, always in favor of the well-being and design at the service of people. It was Jose María Tomás Llavador’s project and it was based on energy efficiency, the use of sustainable materials and an architectural style reflective of the open and close-knit philosophy of the company. His proposal did not take long in gaining the LEED®Gold certification in 2011, and the LEED®Platinum certification in 2017. Two years later, the Actiu headquarters became the first industrial park in the world to receive the WELL v2 and LEED Platinum Certification, a standard which analyzes how the interior of a building directly influences the health and well-being of those occupying it.
With it, the company takes another step further, incorporating other sustainable aspects related to the exterior of the space where its employees work, from the most tangible measures, directly related to distribution or furniture, to others which are barely noticeable but no less important, such as thermal, acoustic and light comfort, or physical and mental well-being.
Air, water, nutrition, lighting, movement, thermal comfort, sound, material, the mind and community are the ten variables by which the WELL v2 Certification ensures that buildings have a positive impact on the health of their occupants. Actiu has worked in recent years on all of these aspects in the adjustment and improvement process of its offices, which has resulted in a healthy work space. From aspects already consolidated in the real estate, to the improvement of others already existing or the incorporation of new ones, all share the Cool Working® philosophy of the brand.
Ensuring good air circulation has been one of the priority objectives of the actions Actiu has carried out in its Technology Park. To this end, to already existing measures such as the automatic windows in more than 75% of the occupied spaces, the non-use of underfloor cooling, the self-closing doors between service and work rooms, or the air conditioning equipment with suspended particle filtration, a new measure has been incorporated: air quality sensors which measure the air’s quality according to the WELL parameters. Other measures, such as the anti-smoking and the mechanical ventilation for maximum air flow, have been reinforced.
Similarly, a system for measuring the water quality has been added which monitors the compounds through regular analyses. In addition to the existing purifying filters, drinking water points have been reinforced, ensuring they are present at least 30 meters from all occupied spaces, hand washing areas, and the protocol for the prevention of and action against Legionella.
Free daily fruit for its workers and a cafeteria with a large seating capacity for allthe building’s occupants are two of the measures Actiu has taken to always ensure its workers healthy nutrition. In addition to improving the services and benefits of the cafeteria, new measures to promote healthy eating have been added, such as messages, books and nutritional information, and the elimination of vending machine products classified as 'harmful'.
The lighting, both natural and artificial, is another aspect taken into account under the WELL certification when classifying a work space as ‘healthy’. To the original project’s already existent measures, which include glare control, a glass enclosed space that ensures outdoor views and the absence of significant lighting changes between rooms, now 70% or more of the workplaces are guaranteed to be within 7.5 meters of a glass panel. As was already the case with air and water, a measuring system has been incorporated.
Since its founding, the Actiu Technology Park has opted for the movement and physical exercise of its workers via a network of pedestrian streets and outdoor spaces with biophilic designs, vegetation, works of art, fountains and benches. Beyond what is required by regulation, the gym’s facilities have been improved to offer weekly training programs guided by a specialized trainer. In addition, the number of signs that promote physical activity and the use of the stairs rather than the elevator has multiplied.
Inside, this dynamism is materialized through the redistribution of space through furniture that creates and guides the flow and communication between different areas and work teams. A variety of folding, adjustable and multipurpose tables, such as Talent, Power and Mobility tables, are among the solutions which have been chosen in response to an increasingly active way of working. The high Prisma tables used in meeting rooms encourage quick and informal meetings, while the iconic Badminton armchairs add comfort to the reception and collaboration spaces. At the workstations, horizontally and vertically adjustable monitors have been opted for, as well as completely customizable tables and chairs, which allow work even while standing.
Thermal comfortis undoubtedly another aspect which causes worry in work environments, where pleasing everyone sometimes seems like an impossible task. This in mind, in addition to the already existing measures which ensure the appropriate temperature and humidity, the zoned and easily accessible thermostats, and underfloor heating, a biannual questionnaire is incorporated that gathers feedback from all users.
It is proven that sound directly influences the well-being and health of workers. In order to achieve optimum acoustic comfort, both in open spaces and in meeting rooms and in individual offices, Actiu has reinforced measures that it already had in place through sound-absorbing panels and acoustics that ensure proper reverberation and acoustic absorption.
As for the cleaning materials, soaps without toxic substances and a stricter cleaning protocol are included. Actiu has verified all the furniture and has lab-tested a range of products, such as Vital tables, melamine cabinets and TNK and Urban chairs, ensuring that none contain formaldehydes, halogenated flame retardants, VOCs or SCOV's; and that they comply with ANSI / BIFMA e3-2011 regulations regarding VOCs. The absence of these harmful compounds improves the occupants’ well-being in the work environment and their health and enables the realization of the WELL certification.
Just as important as physical well-being is mental health. With outdoor spaces for relaxation and contemplation, the interior is redesigned from a biophilic point of view, with views over the surroundings, interior gardens, green corners, soft and natural finishes, and organic shapes that evoke patterns in nature. To favor a more cognitive perception of space, there is a harmonious range of colors throughout the furniture arrangements, which facilitates orientation in the space. Annual health and management training programs are reinforced, and a wellness library is created.
To involve all workers in this new way of life at work, community is promoted through brochures and web content that raise awareness about health and the importance of a design aligned with the WELL certification. A WELL management team, a questionnaire with general information about the space, air quality, water, light, noise and temperature, ergonomics and aesthetics, cleaning and maintenance, health and exercise initiatives, productivity, and a new emergency plan with copies accessible to all users at the entrance of the building are some of the newly incorporated measures.
Well-being, health, innovation, collaboration, communication, motivation and efficiency are some of the terms that best define the Actiu Technology Park, aspace designed by and for its employees, which materializes the company's commitment to its most important asset: its people.
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