HOK has become the latest AEC firm to form a partnership with Delos, the New York-based real estate developer whose International WELL Building Institute’s WELL Building standard establishes performance criteria for occupant health in the built environment.
Within the next 12 months, HOK has committed to put more than 100 of its designers through Delos’s program to become WELL Accredited Professionals (WELL APs).
Bill Hellmuth, AIA, LEED AP, HOK’s chief executive, has joined Delos’ Advisory Board, and will provide strategic counsel on design. HOK will also offer its experts in various practices to provide Delos with research and insight.
Advocates are attempting to promote wellness as the next big thing in nonresidential design and construction, like high performance and sustainability. BD+C’s September issue includes an extensive feature on this movement’s progress. One of the projects cited in that article is a HOK-designed interior renovation of office space in the TD Centre in Toronto to the specifications of the WELL standard for New and Existing Interiors.
“This project for TD is an example of how designers can uses WELL’s performance standards to elevate our ability to create exceptional workplaces,” said Kay Sargent, ASID, IIDA, CID, LEED AP, director of strategic accounts for HOK.
HOK and Delos are now working with Strategic Property Partners, a real estate developer, on the design of multiple buildings within SPP’s mixed-use development on 53 acres in the Channelside district of Tampa, Fla., between Amalie Arena and the central business area.
SPP is a joint venture between Cascade Investments LLC and Jeff Vinik, who owns the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL franchise and has a stake in the Boston Red Sox. This project aspires to be the world’s first WELL-certified city district under the WELL Community standard that is in its early pilot stage.
Components of that standard include enhanced walkability, robust green spaces with low-pollen trees, sound barriers to support acoustic comfort, access to healthy foods, green infrastructure, the daily monitoring and reporting of district air quality, and access to amenities of the urban waterfront.
The redevelopment of Channelside district will include the new 320,000-sf University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute, an adjoining 300,000-sf medical office building, and a parking, residential and retail building. It will also feature a 650-room luxury hotel.
SPP intends to begin vertical construction on this project late next year. When all three phases of this district are completed, sometime in the next decade, the redevelopment will have up to 9 million sf of commercial, residential (including 5,000 housing units), educational, entertainment, cultural, and retail space, with total investment exceeding $2 billion.