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HGA Minneapolis and Sacramento Achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating

HGA’s commitment to employee and client wellbeing is demonstrated through the newly achieved WELL Health-Safety Rating by the International WELL Building Institute. All HGA offices are expected to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating.

HGA Minneapolis and Sacramento Achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating

HGA’s commitment to employee and client wellbeing is demonstrated through the newly achieved WELL Health-Safety Rating by the International WELL Building Institute. All HGA offices are expected to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating.

Published 09-29-22

Submitted by HGA

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HGA’s Sacramento office features various collaboration spaces, including booths and work islands.

September 29, 2022 /CSRwire/ - The WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by the WELL Building Standard and includes guidelines for health, safety, and well-being of building occupants. At national interdisciplinary design firm HGA, we view sustainable practices within our own buildings and operations as equal in importance to bringing a sustainable lens to every project with our clients. 

The HGA team has experience working with the WELL rating system—the world’s leading tool for advancing health and well-being in buildings—whether pursuing full certification, seeking the WELL Health-Safety Seal, or to use the principles and research outlined in WELL to guide the design process. Research has shown access to daylight and nature to have positive physical and psychological benefits. Water quality, healthy food availability, indoor air quality, and encouraging movement through design can also influence the health of occupants, which is why we center human health and well-being in all our work. With a focus on operational policies, maintenance protocols, occupant engagement and emergency plans, the WELL Health-Safety Rating was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the strategies incorporated apply to a variety of health and safety issues. 

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Bike parking in the Minneapolis office.

“Pursuing the WELL Health-Safety Certification for our offices shows a strong commitment to our people. As a part of the certification, we reviewed the buildings and spaces we use for our work, our policies that affect the health and safety of employees, and the preparedness of our business to handle a wide variety of change and stressors,” says Sarah Berseth, Director of Operations at HGA. 

HGA’s founding office in Minneapolis occupies the LEED Platinum-certified historic Ford Center. Built in 1914 and once home to the Ford Motor Company, our team carried out a complete modernization of the historic building in 2011, restoring the building envelope and replacing all building systems. The four-story, 83,000- square-foot office space showcases our expertise in sustainable, forward-thinking, flexible and efficient office environments. Private and collaborative workspaces are spread throughout the four floors with office amenities including a roof deck, a fitness center, and commuter bicycle storage. Sustainable design features include the use of low-VOC materials, under-floor air distribution for individual occupant temperature adjustment, 28% reduced water use beyond industry standards, and green power fueling portions of the building. The building features an abundance of natural light, including a combination of rebuilt original windows, historically compatible energy-efficient new windows and tall windows overlooking the downtown Minneapolis skyline. 

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Meeting spaces, a coffee bar, and private work stations are scattered throughout HGA’s Minneapolis office.

When the HGA Sacramento office relocated in 2015, it strived to be a place of employee health and well-being. The 12,000-square-foot office space promotes collaboration and fosters creativity with a variety of workspaces scattered throughout the office, including booths, bar-height critique areas, large work islands, private meeting rooms and larger conference rooms. Workstations include ergonomic seating, adjustable height worktables, task lights and pullout storage towers. Sustainable strategies are infused in the design of the space with finishes such as reclaimed wood, regionally sourced materials, low-VOC materials, renewable resources, and LED lighting throughout. Diffused interior skylights were added as well to enhance the amount of natural light in the office. The building is LEED-Gold certified.

“Being located in the capital of California, where our state government pushes the envelope with zero net energy, resiliency in the face of climate change, and carbon neutrality, Sacramento has a deep legacy of sustainability. Pursuing the WELL Health-Safety Certification for our office and across the firm demonstrates HGA’s commitment to elevating sustainability as part of an equitable, holistic approach to design, serves as a model for our clients, and places a focus on employee wellness in alignment with our vision of a future flexible workplace,” says Beth Young, Office Director and Principal at HGA in Sacramento.  

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Large meeting rooms in the Sacramento office.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating focuses on six health-safety themes including: Cleaning and Sanitization Procedures, Emergency Preparedness Programs, Health Service Resources, Air and Water Quality Management, Stakeholder Engagement and Communication, and Innovation. The Health-Safety Rating requires a building to obtain a combination of at least fifteen features from the indicated themes. In addition to the existing office features focused on employee wellness, both offices achieved eighteen of twenty-seven possible features in six core health and safety areas. These features include supporting handwashing, reducing surface contact, emergency preparedness planning, providing sick leave and mental health recovery, assessing ventilation, managing air and water quality, and promoting health and wellbeing through communication and occupant education.  

The WELL Health-Safety Rating symbolizes HGA’s ongoing commitment to health and safety for our clients, our staff, and all who walk through our doors.  

Learn more about HGA’s Sustainable Design services, inclusive of WELL certification, here.

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HGA is a national interdisciplinary design firm committed to making a positive, lasting impact for our clients and communities through research-based, holistic solutions. We believe that great design requires a sense of curiosity—forming deep insight into our clients, their contexts, and the human condition. We are a collective of over 1,000 architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, researchers, and strategists. Our practice spans multiple markets, including corporate, cultural, education, local and federal government, healthcare, and science and technology.

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