We’re thrilled to announce that architectural designer Jake Coombes recently earned his WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) certification, becoming the first in the firm to earn this distinction. The WELL AP credential demonstrates professional expertise in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) as well as a commitment to advancing human health and wellness in buildings and communities.
“I was drawn to the WELL Building program because it emphasizes an integrated, multifaceted, and preventative approach to health and wellness. WELL offers a way I can help prevent the unhealthiness that’s so pervasive in our society,” Jake explains.
“What I like about WELL is that it’s not just encouraging people to eat ‘avocado toast’ – nutrition and physical fitness are great, but if you’re working or living in an environment with poor air quality, your overall health is still negatively affected. WELL offers a series of systems that holistically facilitate essential human health. For example, WELL standards encourage owners and designers to consider daylighting, air quality, and materiality, as well as physical fitness.”
In addition to approaching his design work through the WELL lens, Jake is excited to share this knowledge with colleagues across the firm who aspire to keep sustainability and resiliency at the forefront of all design efforts. He also hopes to educate clients about the value of WELL, especially in light of the pandemic that most companies are still navigating. “Some of the WELL strategies can help facilitate readiness and response to future outbreaks by keeping employees safe through ventilation, material selection, and other standards,” Jake states. “The WELL program is highly customizable, giving clients options that help them meet their sustainability, resiliency, and operational goals.”
Jake joined Hoefer Welker’s Commercial studio last summer upon graduating from Kansas State University with a Masters in Architecture. In addition to sustainable and resilient design, Jake’s passion for graphic design translates into an ability to produce compelling illustrations that simplify complex information. Another aspect of his role that he enjoys: construction documentation, which transforms abstract design ideas into actionable plans.
Mixed-use developments, master planning, and test fits are projects he finds the most interesting thus far. He prefers projects in urban environments due to their complexity – integrating new ideas within the context of existing buildings with diverse uses and styles is a challenge he embraces. “The high-rise tower in downtown Kansas City (13th and Wyandotte streets) has been exciting and rewarding. I joined the project team during the schematic design phase and worked on it through construction documentation, so it’s my first true project,” Jake explains. “I’m excited to see it become a reality.”
To learn more about our commitment to sustainable and resilient design, please visit hoeferwelker.com/sustainability.
To learn more about the WELL Building Standard, please visit wellcertified.com.