The WELL Building Standard

3rd March 2017


We spend around ninety percent of our time in buildings which has a significant impact our health and wellbeing, and ultimately our productivity and performance. The way that built environments are designed, constructed and maintained impact the way we sleep, feel and perform.  
“Some of the UK’s most pressing health challenges – such as obesity, mental health issues, physical inactivity and the needs of an ageing population – can all be influenced by the quality of our built and natural environment”- Building Better Places, Published by the Authority of the House of Lords (2015-16) Ref: Written evidence from Public Health England (BEN0186)
Particularly for companies there’s a real financial and people benefit: “Ninety percent of a company’s operating costs go on staff so if we can improve staff performance by improving staff wellbeing, even by a small amount, we can improve a company’s fortunes significantly”- World Green Building Council. 2014. Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices. 

The WELL Building Standard is the new international evidence-based system for measuring, monitoring and benchmarking performance of building features that impact health and well-being of it occupants and users. Pioneered by Delos in 2014, the WELL Building Standard is administered  by  the International WELL  Building  Institute (IWBI)  and  is  third-party  certified  through Green  Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which is also the certification body for the LEED Green Building Rating System.
The WELL Building Standard aims to marry best practices in design and construction with evidence-based health and wellness interventions to support occupant health, wellbeing, and comfort. The framework has been developed on the basis of 8 years of medical research, in collaboration with key medical institutions such as the Cleveland and Mayo Clinics in U.S.
The standard presents an exhaustive set of compliance requirements which are categorised into seven key areas called CONCEPTS: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. 
The Features of WELL can be applied across many sectors, and the current WELL v1 is fully optimized for commercial and institutional office buildings with pilots for other sectors such as residential, health etc. WELL is further organised into Project Typologies which take into account specific considerations unique to a particular building type or phase of construction which are New and Existing Buildings; New and Existing Interiors and Core & Shell.
Scores are given out of ten for each area  and an overall score is then calculated from the individual results. There are three levels of certification, silver, gold and platinum available depending upon how many of the requirements have been met. 

WELL is complementary to other sustainable building standards (such as LEED, BREEAM, Green Star etc.) that have been in the market place for the last 15 years or so. IWBI is collaborating with institutions administering these standards such as BRE with the aim to make it more efficient for clients and project teams to pursue these simultaneously.  BRE and IWBI  announced their collaboration on 28 November 2016 to work together to harmonise their approach to health and wellbeing in the built environment across their standards, research programmes and services generally.

WELL Certified™ spaces have received recognition for commitments made to the health and wellness of employees, consumers and the general public, in addition to media attention for innovative and progressive work. Nearly 200 projects encompassing more than 35 million square feet have already been registered internationally for certification through WELL. 

More details can be found on the following links:

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