HOW MILLIKEN ACHIEVED WELL PLATINUM CERTIFICATION FOR ITS LONDON SHOWROOM

In 2021, Milliken’s Clerkenwell Showroom was the first building of its kind in the UK to be awarded the IWBI’s highest level of certification for its WELL Building Standard. With insights into the features and practices of Milliken’s impressive showspace in London’s iconic design district, you will learn in this blog what it takes to reach and maintain WELL Platinum Certification.

THE WELL BUILDING STANDARD AND ITS TEN CONCEPTS

As a performance-based certification system, the latest WELLv2 Standard aims to drive the design of more thoughtful and intentional building spaces that enhance human health and well-being. Assessment involves a rigorous review of ten ‘Concepts’ of building performance including Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community, each with ‘Features’ or distinct health intents that are awarded points.

Platinum Certification is the highest of three levels achievable for a single building space. Basic certification requires the Standard’s mandatory foundations, or ‘Preconditions’, while higher levels of certification require Features that have a greater impact on wellness. These are awarded additional points or ‘Optimisations’. Platinum Certification requires 100% of Preconditions and more than 80% of Optimisations or 48 Optimisation points.

WELL Accreditation

ACHIEVING WELL v2 PLATINUM CERTIFICATION

Milliken’s three-storey London showroom includes a basement, ground and first floor. Having extended its footprint into the mid-century, former warehouse building in 2015, as part of an extensive refurbishment, the showroom now has a 617m2 floorplate. The very definition of a multi-functional space, while primarily a gallery of Milliken’s flooring collections, it serves equally for sample storage and distribution, client meetings, hospitality events, meetings and is a flexible work and well-being hub for the company’s employees. 

Following a meticulous process of reviewing the showroom against each of multiple Features of the Standard’s 10 Concepts, a dedicated Project Team, including Milliken’s own trained WELL Accreditation Professionals, prepared the documentation and an action plan required to achieve certification. Supported by a WELL Coach from IWBI, the team worked through the various assessment stages over several months to learn, improve and re-assess.

KEY WELL OPTIMISATION FEATURES OF THE MILLIKEN SHOWROOM

Focusing on the main Feature Optimisations that the project team reviewed and acted on, the following narrative paints a useful picture of the changes made and ongoing work that Milliken continues to undertake to maintain the highest standards of health and well-being at its London showroom.

1. AIR

The showroom’s windowless basement presented a potential challenge in ensuring the air quality was optimised. Installation of indoor air quality monitors, air filtration upgrades, with the assurance of frequent maintenance, were key adpations made to ensure that good indoor air quality was maintained. The windows and mechanical ventilation systems of the 1950’s building were also re-evaluated to ensure maximum effectiveness. With regular basement inspections for microbe and mould control a part of the process, Milliken’s cushion backed carpet provides a breathable solution for moisture management. 

2. WATER

From a hygiene perspective, the showroom has a scrupulous cleaning plan in place and features fragrance-free hand soap dispensers and disposable paper towels. Plentiful water dispensers throughout the building encourage employees and visitors to be aware of keeping themselves hydrated. Any water delivered to the building is subject to a regular testing programme.

3. NOURISHMENT

With hospitality a core element in welcoming visitors into the building, Milliken staff ensure that all food and beverages provided are clearly labelled, include allergy-free options. These are limited in refined ingredients and at least 50% have no added sugars. Education in healthy nutrition is provided to all employees and there are specific areas of the showroom designated for mindful eating and meal breaks.

4. LIGHT

With 30% of the building’s workspaces within 6 metres of a window, nautral light levels on the Ground and 1st floors are excellent. Careful consideration of adjustable, flicker-free, ambient, display and task lighting allows for a full range of activities and for occupants to control lighting for preferred brightness levels. Crucially as a business built on colour, the gallery space has lighting specified with a high Colour Rendering Index. 

Milliken WELL Accredited London Showroom -72dpi

5. MOVEMENT

The showroom is cleverly designed to aid circulation and promote engagement. Alongside clear ‘point-of-decision’ signage, the floor coverings guide you through the building which features a prominant staircase at its centre to encourages movement through the space. Adjustable height desks and screens enhance the ergonomics of working while Milliken’s showroom manager, a yoga teacher, offers free, monthly yoga classes for employees and customers. From its exterior, the building’s front façade offers full visibility of what you can expect to see inside.  

6. THERMAL COMFORT

As part of the assesment process, the building’s thermostats were adjusted to allow controllable thermal zoning. For individuals wishing to manage their own thermal comfort, Milliken Polartec® blankets and fans are also available if required.

7. SOUND

Using sound mapping, the building’s noise levels are carefully assessed and managed. Background noise is managed with Milliken’s sound absorbing cushion backed carpet, while window units and HVAC equipment are of a standard that ensures minimal noise pollution.

Sound masking furniture and closed meeting rooms allow for additional acoustic comfort.

Milliken was also awarded an additional INNOVATION credit in this Concept for its sound aborbing carpet which covers a significant proportion of the showroom’s flooring area.

Milliken London Showroom -WELL Accredited

8. MATERIALS

Discipline in material recovery, recycling and waste reduction is vital to full Optimisation compliance in this area. There is a diligent programme that ensures materials coming into the building are screened, cleaning products are low-hazard, cleaning protocols are maintained and training in the use of PPE is provided. Alongside Milliken’s own low-VOC, Declare® and Cradle-to-Crade Silver certified floor covering products, the showroom’s furnishings are also low-VOC certified.

9. MIND

Milliken has a comprehensive and proactive positive mental health programme for it’s employees which includes:

  • Access to internal online advice, tools and assistance programmes
  • Counciller support
  • In-house health education programmes
  • Stress management support programmes
  • An 8-week interactive restorative support programme - ‘Mindfulness on the Move’
  • Sleep support which includes a sleep awareness month
  • Support with prevention and cessation of tobacco and drug use

Mood-enhancing, biophilic design in Milliken’s floor covering products are also installed throughout the building. 

10. COMMUNITY

This final concept considers how an organisation instills a culture of health, accomodates inclusivity and fosters an engaged community. Milliken provides its employees with health and wellness benefits that incudues health education and seasonal flu vaccines. In addition there is a full empergency preparedness plan in place and the showroom’s permanent employees are fully certified First Aiders. From a transparency perspective, Milliken complies will all accessibility laws and codes and reports annually on its ambitious Sustainability Goals.

WELL Accreditation - Milliken London Showroom

Following its WELL Platinum Certification of 2021, Milliken’s continues to set the leadership bar in workplace well-being among its contemporaries in this sector with continual awareness and improvement in its own high standards.

Read our related Blog and discover 5 WAYS IN WHICH FLOORING CAN IMPROVE WORKPLACE WELL-BEING

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