ESa-designed DPR Nashville Offices achieves WELL Platinum Certification

The first Platinum certification in Tennessee, the DPR Construction Nashville office meets the cutting-edge WELL Platinum Building Standard, that focuses exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness.

Nashville architecture firm ESa has designed a building that has achieved the first WELL Platinum designation in the state of Tennessee. The building is the new Nashville office for DPR Construction.

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, organizations and communities in ways that help people thrive. IWBI delivers the cutting-edge WELL Building Standard, the first standard to be focused exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness.

“Achieving building certifications needs to be driven by the owner,” said Eric Klotz, principal at ESa. “We can talk about best practices, we can talk about the program and what the benefits are for employees and when people are working in the space, but if the owner is not bought into the idea, or not committed to some of these programs, then the design part is secondary.”

DPR selected the former Habitat for Humanity ReStore as the ideal location for their Nashville office. The adaptive re-use of the nearly 10,000-sq.-ft. building could provide not only office space, but storage and warehousing space to accommodate DPR’s self-perform capabilities in Nashville.

“It really goes back to DPR’s philosophy of people first,” said John Vardaman, DPR’s business unit leader in Nashville. “WELL focuses on having a really healthy environment and healthier, happier people.”

Deciding to pursue WELL for the Nashville office came a little later in the planning process after it had already decided to pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

“LEED came down first and then someone said, ‘can we fit WELL in there too?’” said Jordan Fay, project manager for ESa, the architect on the project. After conducting a feasibility survey, the team concluded that pursuing WELL was achievable for the workspace that would become the new Nashville office. “I think that speaks to the fact that the design was already in a good place, we really just needed to tweak a few things rather than holistically change the structure to achieve WELL.”

DPR Nashville’s new office earned WELL Platinum based on 10 categories of building performance—Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community—achieving the highest points possible in the Mind and Community categories. Eighty points are needed to earn WELL Platinum, but DPR’s efforts exceeded that threshold with 90 points.

“Other building certifications are about making sure the building functions in a certain way. But WELL is all about the people inside the building,” said Alex Henry, a project manager with DPR who is based in Nashville. With more than 120 buildings nation-wide WELL Certified to the Platinum level, the DPR Nashville office is the fourth of their 30 locations world-wide to have fully achieved WELL Certification.

For more information on this and other exciting commercial office projects, check out our portfolio.

Learn more about WELL certification by checking out the International Well Building Institute’s site.