The Southwest Central Dispatch Center in Palos Hills, Illinois has been awarded WELL Certification by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The prestigious distinction was awarded through IWBI’s WELL Building Standard (WELL), which is the premier building standard to focus on enhancing people’s health and wellness through the buildings where we live, work, and play.

The Southwest Central Dispatch Center, designed by Wight & Company and completed in 2021, serves communities in the southwestern Chicagoland suburbs with 911 service. The center was designed and constructed to align with the WELL Building Standards, which support occupant health and wellness by focusing on design elements that improve comfort, reduce stress, increase alertness, and promote health. In addition to architecture, Wight & Company also provided engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, and programming services for the center.

Created through seven years of rigorous research and development working with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based scientific research. Southwest Central Dispatch Center earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance — Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind.

“This achievement for the Southwest Central Dispatch Center also represents a big milestone for Wight & Company as our first WELL Certified project designed in-house,” says John Mlade, Director of Sustainable & Healthy Environments. “The dispatch operators working in this center are a lifeline to the communities they serve. We’re thrilled to be a part of creating a workplace that supports their health and well-being.”

Project features that helped the Southwest Central Dispatch Center achieve its WELL Certification:

  • Elements of biophilia, including natural daylight, circadian lighting, warm tones, and natural patterns
  • Residential aesthetics help to both blend into the adjacent residential neighborhood and provide a comforting atmosphere for dispatch operators
  • A window-full kitchen, break area, and quiet room with healthy snacks support occupant nutrition and reduce stress

WELL is grounded in a body of evidence-based research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend approximately 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on the people inside these buildings. To be awarded WELL Certification by IWBI, Southwest Central Dispatch Center underwent rigorous testing and a final evaluation carried out by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which is the third-party certification body for WELL, to ensure it met all WELL Certification performance requirements.