LEED Gold office offers wearables to promote employee wellness

LEED Gold office offers wearables to promote employee wellness

The Texas Mutual Insurance Company’s new headquarters in Austin, Texas’s Mueller Development has earned both LEED Gold and Austin Energy Green Building 4-Star certifications in recognition of the building’s energy-efficient design and focus on occupant wellness. Designed by Texan architecture firm Studio8 Architects, the four-story office building is notable for its adherence to the “Design for Active Occupants” LEED innovation strategy to prioritize a healthy and active workplace as opposed to the traditionally sedentary office environment. Texas Mutual also provides occupants with wearable devices to track activity and employee access to an online portal for evaluating individual health scores and biometric data. 

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As one of the first members of the Austin Green Business Leaders group, Texas Mutual has used its headquarters as an inspiring example of the firm’s sustainable objectives. The four-story headquarters is strategically located in the LEED ND Gold-certified Mueller neighborhood, a mixed-use and mixed-income area that’s pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. The offices sit above ground-floor retail space — currently occupied by a restaurant and daycare facility — and a parking garage.

an outdoor courtyard full of greenery. a red exterior wall sits parallel to the green area.

To meet LEED Gold standards, architects wrapped the building with a highly insulating envelope punctuated with full-height windows and wove biophilic design elements throughout the interior. Daylight responsive LEDs and an HVAC system that draws chilled water from Austin Energy’s Mueller District Energy System help to further reduce the building’s energy footprint. 

Related: SUNY New Paltz Engineering Innovation Hub achieves LEED Gold

a covered walkway with concrete stairs leading to floor-to-ceiling glass walls and doors.

Natural materials, daylighting and greenery indoors further promote a healthy work environment. Occupant health is also targeted with ergonomic workstations with adjustable sit/stand desks, an on-site gym and a Green Housekeeping program to maintain a clean and non-toxic space. “Social spaces were sporadically placed to encourage movement across floors, a multi-story green wall, and a courtyard and rooftop terrace with Wi-Fi connection encouraged employees to be connected to each other and to nature,” the architects said.

a second story sitting area with tables and chairs next to floor-to-ceiling windows. to the right is a large greenery-covered wall.

+ Studio8 Architects

Images by Lars Frazer

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