Technically, this Feature in the WELL Standard is called Thermal Comfort. And to meet the standard you just have to make sure it’s comfy at first, and tell WELL about it.

But how do we define ‘comfy’?

Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash

I’ve worked in offices so thoroughly air-conditioned in the summer that I had to pack a hoodie. Which I definitely did not find comfy at all. That said, my coworkers may not have had the same issues as I did, seeing as I grew up in the tropics. This points to the root of the problem. …


Well, brace yourself.

This may be the single most complicated WELL Feature, ever.

First off, you need to make sure that the computer monitors can be adjusted in height AND angle. I mean, how could you even do that?

But what if you just give everyone laptops? Those need they need to have a monitor too!

Photo by Muhammed Abiodun on Unsplash

The horror! The unbridled madness of it all!!

Then, to add insult to injury, you need to include seats at these desks. Seats that can adjust their height, their depth and backrest angle? Will the complexity never end?!

Then, like some sort of dark…


So far we’ve covered Air, Water, and Snacks. Now, we’re gonna cover Light.

Well, more specifically how to meet the requirements of the Light Feature in the WELL Standard(but you already knew that).

Photo by Rohan Makhecha on Unsplash

All you have to do is keep everyone within 20 ft of the windows and make sure all the lighting follows any one of these five standards below.

  1. IES Lighting Handbook 10th Edition
  2. EN 12464–1&2: 2011
  3. ISO 8995–1:2002(E) (CIE S 008/E:2001)
  4. GB50034–2013
  5. CIBSE SLL Code for Lighting

Meeting those standards might be as simple as curtains and as complicated as the right kind of light bulbs.

Also…


So, I’ve covered Air and Water. Now onto Snacks…I mean, Nourishment!

Let’s start with the assumption this is not, I repeat NOT, a commercial dining space. Why? Because if you’re handling food, your requirements are going to be a lot harder than if you’re just providing snacks.

If you’re going to provide snacks, you need to offer at least two fruits and two vegetables. And no, french fries are not a vegetable. Nor is ketchup. Think “produce section of the supermarket”.

Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash

Next, put those four things somewhere visible. My suggestion would be in front of the other options. …


Full disclosure: one of my client’s businesses focuses on water filtration in NYC. So I’m fully aware of how complicated this problem is, and also that my perspective on the right solutions are biased. To that end, I’m going to avoid name-dropping or saying one product is better than another.

Meeting the WELL standard for the Water feature in NYC is remarkably simple. And not because NYC has such great water, which is arguable, but because the city’s done half the work for you.

NYC is one of the few cities in the US that gets a waiver from the…


(Check out How This Works, Episode 11, with Skipper Chong Warson. I discuss some of things I cover below, but also some neat facets of human behavior, the problems with ‘fitting in’, and the majesty of a hot Krispy Kreme donut.)

https://www.howthisworks.show/11

After I wrote Brushfire, I took a step back and asked, “Okay, now what?”

Brushfire is the bedrock of my thinking, the core of my approach to designing a workplace. That’s fine, from a purely philosophical, theoretical perspective. But, as much fun as navel gazing can be, what good is a philosophy if there isn’t a way to apply…


One of the common complaints about the WELL standard is that it’s just too hard to meet. The amount of additional work being tossed into the maelstrom that is construction is unmanageable, in their eyes.

To help simplify things, I’ll be writing up the simplest ways to meet the WELL standards in NYC. Why NYC? Because I work here and it would be foolhardy to claim I can do the same thing for another city that I know nothing about.

First up, the Air Feature.

Photo by Michal Matlon on Unsplash

In the new WELL v2.0 standard, the following are the bare minimum requirements for the…


In one of my previous positions, I worked in a really dry office. Like, need a humidifier to get through winter without a nosebleed, kind of dry. Some of my coworkers had similar issues and cobbled together solutions. In one case, there were several plants on the desk, a humidifier, an air purifier, a sun lamp, and regular desk cleaning. Okay, almost hourly desk cleaning.

Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

New employees were given the rundown about which desks were the driest, which ones were too hot, which ones were too cold, etc. HR said they didn’t have any control over the environment and that…


After a year or so of Covid-y goodness, I doubt there are a lot of people who remember their offices fondly. Oh sure, you miss your coworkers, you miss the camaraderie, you miss the stability of having physical separations between your work and your personal life, and so on.

But missing the actual office? The actual four walls and drop ceilings and carpet? The times you could tell someone was microwaving Thai leftovers? The way your eyes stung if you went to the bathroom too early in the morning?

a dreary, horrible, yet common office

What about the one sad, abused Brita pitcher in the fridge…


Photo by 贝莉儿 DANIST on Unsplash

Back in 1993, the LEED standard was created. It was based on the idea that a building, a constructed thing, should be as environmentally friendly as possible to the outside world. There have been some questions and concerns since its inception, but the LEED standard has been adopted globally as an environmental benchmark.

Thejus Chakravarthy

if i’m not optimizing some operations puzzle or the other, i’m probably reading (or writing, apparently)

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