CREJ - page 26

Page 26 —
— September 16-October 6, 2015
e have a variety
of rating systems
available for com-
mercial buildings that address
energy and sustainability.
Unlike some rating systems
that focus on the building,
the recently launched WELL
Building Standard focuses
entirely on the health and well-
ness of building occupants.
WELL is based on a body of
scientific and medical research
that explores the connection
between the buildings where
we spend more than 90 percent
of our time, and the associated
health and wellness impacts. In
the broader real estate indus-
try, owners, designers and
builders alike can expect health
and wellness to play a bigger
role in design and construction
decisions over the next several
WELL is a performance-
based rating system for mea-
suring, certifying and monitor-
ing features of a building based
on seven attributes: air, water,
nourishment, light, fitness,
comfort and the mind. WELL
was pioneered by Delos and is
managed and administered by
the International WELL Build-
ing Institute. This system is
third-party certified through
Green Business Certification
Inc., the same certification
body used for the U.S. Green
Building Council’s LEED rat-
ing system.
Officially released in 2014,
WELL focuses on the environ-
ment in which we live, work,
play and learn, and how those
places affect both our minds
and bodies. WELL certification
is based largely on performance
metrics and requires a passing
score in each category. The cer-
tification process includes com-
prehensive project documenta-
tion and an onsite audit. WELL
Certification is awarded at the
following levels: Silver, Gold
and Platinum. Comprised of
over 100 features applied to
each project, each feature is
designed to address various
issues that impact the health,
comfort, wellness and educa-
tion of building occupants.
Similar to the USGBC LEED
program, there are obligatory
preconditions (“prerequisites”
in LEED) and elective optimi-
zations (“credits”). Although
there are inherent similarities to
LEED, the majority of the pre-
conditions and optimizations
pursue different concerns. For
example, take the precondition
in the nourishment category -
Mindful Eating. This requires
that there are a certain number
of tables and chairs available
for meal times, that the eating
area is in close proximity to
all and that the dedicated area
includes necessities for people
to prepare, store and clean up
their meals.
There are three typologies
available to pursue – New and
Existing Buildings, New and
Existing Interiors and Core
and Shell. WELL Certifica-
tion is avail-
able for new
and existing
t ypo l og i e s ,
whereas the
Shell typol-
ogy is only
eligible for
pliance. The
current stan-
dard focuses
on industrial
mercial office
spaces only.
However, there are five pilot
programs in progress includ-
ing retail, multifamily residen-
tial, education, restaurant, and
commercial kitchen projects.
Also like the USGBC LEED
program, there is an opportu-
nity to pursue an accreditation
credential based on WELL. The
WELL Accredited Professional
credential will be available in
November 2015 with the debut
of the WELL AP exam.
For those who want to learn
more about WELL, the follow-
ing educational and training
opportunities are available for
project teams:
USGBC will host its annual
Greenbuild International Con-
ference and Expo Nov. 18-20 in
Washington, D.C., featuring a
number of health and wellness
opportunities, which includes
a pre-conference WELL work-
shop and specialty workshops
on circadian lighting and the
business case for the program.
Three webinars are available
on the WELL Building Stan-
dard at
To provide an overview of
the WELL Building Standard
covering benefits, structure,
and the certification process,
a free, one-hour GBCI CE
approved course, Introduction
to the WELL Building Stan-
dard, is available.
Full-day intensive WELL
workshops are available at
various locations around the
country and abroad to support
professionals as they prepare
for the WELL AP exam.
Tools and resources include
the WELL Certification Guide-
book, available at,
with others in development.
As the WELL Building Stan-
dard continues to gain recogni-
tion and is disseminated across
various industries, owners and
developers can pursue this
standard in an effort to stand
out among competition and
attract prospective employ-
ees to a healthy workspace.
WELL will enable sustainabil-
ity consultants, architects, com-
missioning agents and light-
ing consultants alike to offer
new opportunities for their
clients to pursue better build-
ings. New professional services
associated with this standard
may include WELL documen-
tation assistance by an accred-
ited WELL AP, consultation
on circadian lighting design,
assessment of WELL projects
during Performance Verifica-
tion and the creation of testing
mechanisms during the onsite
testing of air and water quality.
The health and wellness
industry is considered by many
to be the next trillion-dollar
industry. With the rise of this
industry, now is an opportune
time to consider implementing
the WELL Building Standard
on your next project.
Laura Unrein,
Sustainable design
consultant, Group14
Engineering Inc.,
WELL Building
WELL is based
on a body of
scientific and
medical research
that explores
the connection
between the
buildings where
we spend more
than 90 percent of
our time, and the
associated health
and wellness
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