The Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine incorporates wellness into the fabric of its design.

Photo courtesy of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine

The Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine looks for the root cause of a patient’s disease or illness by taking into account the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that affect a person’s well-being. The center’s mission is not only upheld by the medical staff who work there, but also by the physical building itself. Recently, the center became one of the first medical offices to be awarded Well Certification, a new building standard from the International Well Building Institute that integrates human health into building design and construction.

“Functional medicine is a natural fit for this new building standard, as we are constantly assessing how lifestyle and environmental factors affect our well-being,” says Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the center. “In functional medicine, we want to help people thrive, and that should start right when a patient or caregiver walks through our door. This space demonstrates our dedication to optimizing health.”

The standard evaluates eight core concepts: air quality; water quality; healthful foods; light quality; integration of fitness; comfortable and productive workspaces; cognitive and emotional health; and support for innovative features that impact the interaction between buildings and human health.

The 17,000-square-foot center includes 16 exam rooms, suites for virtual visits, meeting rooms and a laboratory. It was awarded Well Certification at the silver level. Some of the space’s highlights include:

  • Materials with low or no volatile organic compounds.
  • Circadian lighting.
  • Designs to allow natural light.
  • Adjustable computers, screens and sit-stand desks.
  • Nature- and human-centered artwork.
  • Noise-mitigation strategies.
  • Regularly tested water-filtration system.

The center opened in 2016 and has conducted post-occupancy surveys annually. Previous surveys have revealed overall satisfaction, but also a few issues to address, such as being too hot or too cold at times, and not having enough storage space.