Finland’s first WELL certificate granted to Säterinportti campus
Säterinportti office campus at Leppävaara in Espoo obtained a Gold WELL certification in late 2019. Consulted by Green Building Partners, a consulting firm Raksystems acquired early this year, the WELL project is Finland’s first Gold level certification and also Finland’s first property-specific WELL Core & Shell certification.
The focus of WELL certification is on the health and wellbeing of property users. By investing in the wellbeing and comfort of users, a company can also be made more attractive and more productive. Managed by the International WELL Building Institute™, the WELL certification is a real estate industry rating system developed in 2014 that is based on leading medical research of the industry. It aims to create facilities that are proven to promote the health and wellbeing of people. The certification is rare: only a couple of properties in the Nordic countries have obtained one.
Green Building Partners supports the certification
Green Building Partners supports the selection of the most appropriate certificate and quality level, as well as develops the most efficient, profitable and best solutions in terms of the quality of the project. The certification starts with a comprehensive feasibility study to identify the site’s goals and potential environmental classification level. Experts familiar with the requirements of the certificate provide support and guidance throughout the design and construction project to ensure compliance with the criteria.
“It was great to be involved in implementing one of Finland’s first WELL certification projects in a property where wellbeing has been emphasised. As WELL certification experts, we were able to use our experience and expertise to guide the project team in the right direction. We were responsible for the completion of the project in its entirety, from guidance to collecting and documenting evidence, to make it as easy as possible for our customers to obtain the certificate,” explain Jennifer Pitkänen-Lundsten and Konsta Tuokko, the Green Building Partners experts who worked in the project.
The certification covered buildings B and C in the office campus, which house most of the property’s shared facilities, such as restaurants, a gym and a wellness area. All of the buildings at the Säterinportti office campus are of the same quality level, so the certification reflects the high quality of the entire campus.
Solutions to improve wellbeing
The wellbeing of employees was the key when the Säterinportti office campus was being renovated. The Gold level certification is an indication of the investments in the wellbeing and comfort of the property users in all the different WELL sectors: indoor air, water, nourishment, light, movement, comfort and wellbeing. The property needs to invest in each of the seven sectors in order to be eligible for the certificate. The scores for all the categories are based on academic research. In addition, an on-site audit is carried out to take verification measurements pertaining to air quality and acoustics, among other themes.
At Säterinportti, many building technology solutions aim to improve people’s wellbeing and health, as well as to make the facilities more pleasant. The building technology solutions focus on, for instance, high-quality indoor air, adequate ventilation, lighting to suit the people’s needs and a sufficient amount of daylight. Plenty of natural materials, nature motifs and plants have been used as interior decoration elements.
Spaces to encourage healthy living
The property users are motivated to move by, for example, encouraging them to take the stairs, as well as by offering them group exercising opportunities and personal training. The property owner, Nordika from Sweden, also offers a high-quality gym and a wellness area for the tenant companies. The latter is meant to be used as a resting place or a relaxed working space.
The office campus also has mobile workstations, a massage therapist and a place for group exercise. In addition, there is a cafeteria and a lunch restaurant, which encourage people to eat healthy local food.
The concept was implemented with Trevian Asset Management as the local partner.
“Working with Green Building Partners was very smooth! Experts ensured that each of the WELL certificate sectors could be easily achieved, and the project proceeded smoothly under their management. We were in awe of their active and expert attitude; all the worries and concerns about the certificate were left entirely to them. It was indeed a pleasure to work with them. We hope to see similar projects in the future, so that we make the world a little better place together.”