Design Engine’s new £50m landmark West Downs Building at the University of Winchester is one of the first university projects in the UK to be registered to pursue WELL Certification, an accreditation scheme which recognises buildings which support and advance human health and wellbeing.
Delivered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the WELL Building Standard (WELL) is a performance-based rating system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact on human health and wellness in the built environment. The ten concepts of WELL are: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.
Healthier people: better buildings
Features of the West Downs development that boost wellbeing include a contemplation space for practising mindfulness; healthy food options; access to nature through the courtyard garden; landscaped areas for encouraging outdoor use; reduced harmful buildings emissions, including air and water testing. In addition, many workstations have height-adjustable sit-stand desks.
Construction started in January 2018 and the building will open in early 2020. The new development will provide state-of-the-art facilities for learning and teaching including an art gallery, cafe, food hall, library and social learning areas and will house the University’s Digital Futures computer and digital-related degree programmes.