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Architecture firm COOKFOX gains LEED certification for its Manhattan office

COOKFOX, known for environmentally responsible, progressive architectural design, announced that its new office space at 250 West 57th Street, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, has just received both LEED Platinum Certification from the USGBC and WELL Certification at the Gold level from the International WELL Building Institute.

Rick Cook, founding principal of COOKFOX, explained, “We pursued WELL Certification because most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, so the spaces we create have a huge effect on health. COOKFOX has made high-performance buildings and biophilic design the focus of our work; LEED ratings help make our systems intelligent and help us to reduce resource use, while WELL helps us measure our efforts on health.ˮ

Widely known and adopted, the LEED Green Building Rating System for Commercial Interiors is a set of performance standards for certifying the design and construction of tenant spaces for offices.

The intent is to promote healthful, durable, affordable, and environmentally sound practices in tenant space design and construction.

The WELL Building Standard marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based health and wellness interventions, using metrics in seven WELL concepts: Air, Light, Nourishment, Water, Fitness, Mind and Comfort.

COOKFOX achieved its high rating by implementing strategies, programs and technologies that are designed to encourage healthy, active lifestyles, boost productivity and reduce occupant exposure to harmful chemicals and pollutants.

At 250 West 57th Street COOKFOX occupies the 17th floor; the architects chose this location for its efficient floorplate with abundant natural light and close proximity to Central Park and public transportation.

Their space features three terraces for planting and large amounts of windows that connect people to natural-light cycles.

High-quality air filtration, fresh air delivery, CO2 monitoring and use of low-VOC materials and the studio’s natural cleaning program ensure the best possible indoor air quality, along with an ionization system to remove odors, particulate matter, toxins and allergens.

In addition, zoned air-conditioning may
be individually controlled according to occupant needs using the management app Comfy.

The lighting system prioritizes daylight, and the studio is primarily lit by reflected light to approximate more natural, dynamic lighting conditions. When electric light is required, task lights allow personalized lighting with color temperature controls to support healthy circadian rhythms.

A commuter’s shower encourages biking, running and walking to work; a secondary kitchen is designed to encourage healthy eating; office planning includes spaces for communal dining to encourage creative social engagement.

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