HAPO Community Credit Union opened the doors of its new 9,830 square foot Vancouver, Washington full-service financial center on March 28, 2018. The Vancouver, WA branch is the 18th branch developed by HAPO Community Credit Union, and is the first credit union branch in the world to achieve a WELL certification from the International WELL Building Institute.

HAPO Community Credit Union recognized the value of prioritizing the health and wellbeing of its employees and members, so its new facility presented the ideal opportunity to bring wellness to life by pursuing WELL Building Standard certification.

HAPO engaged Paladino and Company to conduct a full review of the branch project and its WELL Building Standard potential. Paladino delivered a gap analysis to guide decisions about how to optimize the location for wellness, back-checked by the WELL certification. Paladino worked in partnership with HAPO, MomentumARC Architects, and Sazan Group to manage the certification process and guide design decisions.

“We are proud to bring the first WELL Certified credit union office in the world to our Vancouver members, and we look forward to increasing health and wellness in every community we serve,” said Steve Anderson, President and CEO of HAPO Community Credit Union.

HAPO Community Credit Union is embracing sustainability, resilience, and wellness strategies to support the health and wellness of its members and employees. HAPO will take the results of this project into consideration as they design branches in the future.

“This project is a perfect example of how connections with nature through building design contribute to happiness, productivity, and business return,” said Tom Paladino, CEO and Founder of Paladino and Company. “

Wellness features that employees and the members can find at the HAPO Community Credit Union Vancouver, Washington financial center include:

  • Rigorous restrictions on VOC emissions for all building materials
  • Ergonomic and flexible furniture to accommodate healthy posture and movement during work
  • Additional filtration for cleaner air and water
  • Lighting designed to support healthy circadian rhythms, improve visibility, and reduce glare
  • Building operations to reduce toxins and maintain clean and sanitary conditions
  • Employee policies to encourage physical fitness and health education
  • Biophilic design features emphasizing the human-nature connection including: lighting fixtures simulating natural honeycomb forms; wall coverings mimicking the facetted faces of the local Columbia river gorge; and diffused daylight through wood lattice work.
  • Abundant use of wood, which has proven qualities to human comfort, including the dramatic use of a cantilever that is useful, dramatic, and creates curiosity
  • Celebration of place and spirit through the meaningful integration with the community is supported by a vision wall at the branch’s main entrance
  • Meaningful integration of public art

“The WELL Building Standard represents the next level of wellness-oriented design and construction,” said Jim Haack, President of Momentum. “HAPO is focused on supporting its staff and members, and we’re excited to have partnered with them on this elevated investment in the communities HAPO serves.”

This project was awarded the DBIA National Award – Merit in August 2018 and achieved WELL certification in January 2019.