The new Yandex headquarters. LEED and WELL standards

The new Yandex headquarters can be built according to LEED and WELL


Why should Yandex use the most stringent LEED and WELL building certification standards?

This question is answered by the director of HPBS company.


Competition for personnel in the global market is getting tougher

Talented programmers, entrepreneurs, designers, and engineers leave Russia every day to work in the USA, Europe, and Australia. They are going to realize their strengths in companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple or try themselves in Silicon Valley.

In order to retain talent, the new Yandex headquarters should be no worse, and sometimes even better, than the offices of Apple and Google. Here, ideal conditions should be created for workers not only for work, but also for life in general. Employees should want to spend more time at Yandex headquarters, doing both work and their personal leisure. Here a person should enjoy life to the fullest. A person should be healthy, able-bodied, in a good mood and engaged in social life. The building should have freedom of creative expression, the spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity, which can be obtained from a favorable stay in a healthy and interesting society of your colleagues and friends.

This new high bar is set by the WELL standard for buildings and society. This standard was developed by physicians together with architects for 6 years and was first introduced in the USA in October 2014. The WELL standard takes into account human biorhythms, social aspects and focuses exclusively on the health and well-being of a person and society. The standard does not just set the technical framework for design, it sets itself the task of raising culture and educating a healthy person and society.

LEED Certification

The company’s image before society

In Russia, Yandex is associated with innovation and technology. A company that is able to compete with the world’s largest giants in the field of IT and in real sectors of the economy, such as taxis, food and shops. A lot of services are being created for a smart city, for business, for everyday human life, starting from Yandex Food, ending with the construction of the largest Yandex Market marketplace.

It’s hard to imagine a day today if suddenly Yandex services suddenly disappear. We are all very used to them. Yes, Alice?


Remaining the most advanced company in Russia, Yandex can set the standard in the field of real estate and create a digital, healthy and eco-friendly building. A place that will be open to society, where the most interesting events in the field of technology and innovation will take place. A place that will attract, retain and grow talents.


Aspects of a Healthy Building

In the WELL standard used during the construction of the new headquarters, everything is already provided for maintaining the well-being and high productivity of the company’s employees. The standard has established more than 100 environmental criteria that affect a person’s well-being.

For example, biophilia is a natural human love for nature. When a person has contact with nature, his mental processes are harmonized and stress goes away.

WELL Certification

You probably noticed that many people living in the metropolis try to go out of town for the weekend. The fact is that in a highly urbanized environment, a person experiences a lack of contact with nature, because this is his natural need. Therefore, going to nature is one of the ways out. But you can create natural elements inside and outside the building: green roofs, plant walls, office greenhouses where lettuce and tomatoes grow.


Another aspect is circadian light. Light, which, repeating the hue and intensity of the solar rhythm, has formed our human biorhythms over many millions of years. It turns out that lighting synchronized with the human biorhythm normalizes hormonal processes and metabolism.

Fresh air. Studies have shown that in a stuffy room, people make decisions up to 30 times worse than in the fresh air. It is better to work, study and relax in the fresh air. And, in my opinion, this is an important factor of a healthy building, since, unfortunately, the air in ordinary buildings is not clean and fresh enough.


Physical well-being. A big role should be given to physical culture. Properly organized ergonomics of space and a mobile lifestyle in the office are the key to a healthy spine and vegetative-vascular system. Gyms can be organized in the office, and the office space itself should invite you to walk along bright stairs and beautiful corridors, furnished with greenery, beautiful views from windows and works of art.

It is impossible not to forget about water and nutrition. Water is the source of life. For a person, it is extremely important. Studies have proven that lack of water greatly impairs the mental functions of the brain. Drinking water should be visible everywhere in the workplace, which anyone can drink.

Healthy eating is shaped not only by self-discipline, but also by extensive access to healthy food. Imagine that in your office there are always fresh fruits and vegetables on a plate, there is clean water in a transparent glass bottle, fresh bread and honey next to it. Will you eat more chips and salted peanuts because of this? No, access to proper nutrition is the way to a healthy lifestyle.

What if we can safely invite our friends or family members to our office to see the Van Gogh exhibition? From that moment on, the attitude to work and to the office changes. A third place is being created where you can spend your leisure time with friends, colleagues and family.


The new Yandex headquarters can demonstrate its openness to society and business through the creation of such public spaces.


Environmental risks

There are several trends due to which Yandex will strive for environmental responsibility.

Firstly, it is the global environmental policy. The topic of climate change and sustainable development is the No. 2 topic after wars and terrorism. Environmental responsibility of the company is a strategy to build long-term sustainable relations with the government, society and business. For example, when issuing bonds for pension funds with a planning horizon of 30 years, you cannot ignore the risks of climate change and ecology.


Secondly, awareness of environmental problems by society.  Today, the topics of waste, the ecology of the city and the disappearance of animals are quite painful.

A lot of people are asking questions:

  • What can I do for nature?
  • Can I sort the waste?
  • Can I use public transport?
  • Can I use eco-friendly food, clothing and household chemicals?

That is why the construction of green buildings and the creation of green offices is gaining popularity so much. In this situation, the competent management of the corporation will take the initiative.


Thirdly, legislation in the field of ecology and energy efficiency is being tightened. In many aspects of business, it is becoming increasingly difficult to comply with legal requirements. Tariffs for fuel, electricity and heat are either growing rapidly, or the government limits the volume of consumption. The requirements for transport, buildings, waste and production are increasing.

In construction, an advanced tool is the international certification of buildings according to the LEED system (leadership in environmental design and energy efficiency). This standard allows you to create buildings today that will remain modern and efficient for many years. In addition, such buildings consume less energy, produce less waste and contribute to reducing the adverse environmental footprint.


Experience of Apple and Google projects

Apple’s premises around the world are now completely switched to renewable energy sources.

Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, Apple Park, is the largest LEED Platinum certified office building in North America.

The Google headquarters building has also received a LEED Platinum certificate.

Google’s policy requires the use of 100% clean renewable energy.



Author: Ilya Zavaleev, Green Engineer, Director of HPBS


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