TLC Engineering Solutions announced today that it has been awarded WELL Certification at the Gold level for its Orlando Office by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The prestigious distinction was awarded through IWBI’s WELL v2 pilot, the next version of the WELL Building Standard. WELL is the premier building standard to focus on enhancing people’s health and wellness through the buildings where we live, work and play.
TLC Engineering Solutions’ (TLC) Orlando office is located in the historic Citrus Center in beautiful downtown Orlando, Florida. TLC has retrofit three of the building’s 18 habitable floors to achieve the company’s newest certification, WELL v2 Gold! Many traditionally think of WELL certification as an option only for new builds but take note that the Citrus Center was built in 1971 and has served as TLC’s headquarters for 15 years. WELL certification was sought to further TLC’s commitment to its most important asset; its people. For decades, TLC has been supporting its clients’ desire to improve their quality of life while reducing their carbon footprint; it was time to focus inward.
What Does WELL Certified Mean?
Created through seven years of rigorous research and development working with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based scientific research. There are 166 features and 59 preconditions within the 10 concepts and are measured to ensure a building’s occupants are as comfortable as possible. The concepts span from lighting and building material design to the community built around the occupants and the nutrition of food made available. These parameters required the inclusion of not only TLC’s Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing MEP teams, but fostered the opportunity to collaborate with the human resources department, acoustics department, and corporate board members.
There are four levels of certification available: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. A standard set of preconditions are required for all four levels, but to achieve WELL bronze the building has to earn 40 points, while silver requires an additional point per concept, totaling at least 50 points. WELL gold means TLC earned at least two points in every concept with a total of at least 60 points. Platinum requires 3 points per concept and at least 80 points total. Some preconditions, and features if earned, require annual reporting to WELL, reconfirming the environment you are providing to your building’s occupants is as healthy as the day your WELL certification was achieved.
On June 10th, 2021, TLC received 66 total points toward earning gold. This chart shows the points earned in each of the concepts. The excellent air and water quality inside the office yielded points with no additional cost to the project. Many other benefits offered at TLC were recognized by WELL with additional points at no cost. Examples of these benefits include quiet rooms (also known as mother’s rooms), hot and cold filtered water dispensers, reusable plates and cutlery in place of disposables, scent-free soaps, and healthy foods available in the café.
One of the greatest challenges during the process was overcoming the energy inefficiencies that the dated glazing on the building created. TLC invested in a high-performance film that reduces heat and glare, while still allowing enough visible light into the space to support the occupants’ healthy circadian balance. The type of glazing film was important because it needed to allow the window to remain transparent, with unobstructed views of nature from almost all locations allowing a biophilic connection to nature throughout the space. Our in-house acoustical engineers also participated in the process by creating supporting plans, and design documentation to achieve several acoustics credits.
What Does This Mean For Your Building?
TLC is always thinking boldly, listening attentively, and creating passionately. As trends deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces, TLC can be your guide to bring your firm up to the WELL Building Standard. TLC has proven that even with a workspace that has been standing for over 50 years, efficiencies are achievable. With TLC’s outstanding members that have already surmounted the learning curve, take the next step towards creating a healthier and more valuable space.