News Mar 8, 2019

Discover Italy’s First WELL-Certified Building, A Jacobs Office

The renovation at our office in Milan helped the location become the first WELL-certified building in Italy.

Jacobs office in Milan, Italy

More than 90 percent of our time is spent indoors, and the quality of our buildings can impact our productivity and the way we feel. Taking an opportunity to re-think the work environment, one of our local teams decided to ensure their recent office renovation helped promote an attractive, comfortable and healthy environment for those who call the Jacobs Milan office home.

When it comes to changing the architectural landscape of Milan and the work environment of corporate clients expecting innovation globally, our architects and interior designers are top-ranked. So, it’s no wonder that when it came time to move one of our own offices to a new location, Jacobs engaged the landlord for a full redesign of an existing mid-rise and later redesigned all the interiors based on latest trends in workplace, including infusing our own corporate focus on sustainability, mental health initiatives and the most innovative workplace strategies.

In 2018, our efforts paid off – Jacobs’ Milan office became the first WELL™-certified building in Italy, meeting excellent standards in air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind performance. Launched in October 2014 after six years of research and development, the WELL Building Standard is the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness.

Interior of a corporate office

To earn WELL Certification from the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI), our team needed to follow strict recommendations during the office’s recent renovation, including maximizing access to natural daylight for all desks throughout the layout to support circadian rhythms. Additionally, to ensure healthy, indoor air quality levels, all furniture, fixture and finishes contain a minimal content of Volatile Organic Component (VOC). Indoor plants also promote biophilia and new snacks at the vending machines (dried fruits and vegetables instead of sugary candy) encourages better nutrition habits. The office – which also offers filtered water at various locations to ensure hydration – underwent rigorous testing and a final evaluation carried out by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the third-party certification body for IWBI, to ensure it met all WELL-Certified performance requirements.

Two months after the completion of the renovation, we executed a survey to get feedback and understand employee satisfaction – 90 percent of respondents noted that the new office is more comfortable, and 84 percent recognized the new space as healthier.

“The new offices are the emblem of our Jacobs Culture of Caring, because they offer the employees a cozier work environment and encourage individuals’ meeting moments,” shared Jacobs Global Environmental Solutions Europe Manager of Projects Claudio Albano. “This increases employees’ sense of belonging to the company and ultimately creates the optimal conditions in which employees can perform better. Throughout the many years of my professional career, this is definitely the best work location I’ve ever had.”

In addition to being the first WELL-certified location in Italy, our Milan office is Jacobs’ first – of hopefully many – WELL-certified projects. In the U.S., our Philadelphia and Boston offices are Fitwel certified and we’ve committed to certifying more offices under the program, which also focuses on health, productivity and occupant satisfaction.