Avoid Common Green
Project teams sometimes decide not
to pursue the Water Metering or Cooling
Tower Water Use credits for cost and
complexity reasons, Shula explains.
“Depending on the size and type
of building, installing permanent submeters for irrigation, cooling towers,
domestic hot water, reclaimed water,
indoor plumbing fixtures, and fitting
and other process water may be cost
prohibitive and require additional design
coordination,” Shula says.
“For the Cooling Tower Water Use
credit, it can be challenging especially
in existing systems to maximize the
cooling tower cycles of concentration
without exceeding any filtration levels
or affecting the operation of the con-
denser water system. However, if teams
are able to do this in their cooling tow-
ers, or use recycled greywater, there is
tremendous opportunity to save water,”
Despite the cost, there’s another
benefit to installing permanent subme-
tering – leak detection. Aging infrastruc-
ture and seasonal stresses can lead to
broken pipes, flushing your efficiency
goals down the drain along with wasted
“By properly metering various sub-systems, these leaks can be detected
early and corrective measures can be
taken before it’s too late,” Shula says.
“Metering and tracking water consumption of the cooling tower and plumbing
fixtures also helps with smarter decision
making processes to truly understand
the business case and calculate the
return on investment.”
com is Senior Editor at BUILDINGS.
What’s in the New WELL Building Standard?
BIG CHANGES OFFER NEW WAYS TO ACHIEVE CERTIFICATION
Nearly 1,000 projects informed the volution of the WELL building
rating system. WELL v2, which is now
open for registration, builds on the lessons learned from projects registered
or certified in 33 countries. The changes
let project teams pursue the strategies
that will matter most to their building
and community while still abiding by
WELL’s focus on performance verification.
WELL v2 takes broad strides by consolidating its previous iterations into
one standard for all project types. The
program’s digital platform suggests
“features,” or recommended credits
in each of the 10 concept categories,
based on project-specific parameters
that teams can then refine. The requirements of v2 build on the original WELL
certification, but project teams will
notice several key differences, including
1) New Concepts and
WELL v2 adds three new concepts, or
credit categories, to the original seven.
Sound, Materials and Community now
join Air, Water, Nourishment, Light and
Mind. Fitness and Comfort are now
Movement and Thermal Comfort.
The Sound category focuses on
acoustics, requiring at least an acousti-
cal plan that identifies noise sources
inside and outside the space. Optional
features address noise management by
identifying the projected background
noise level and using sound barriers,
absorption and masking techniques.
Materials examines product ingredients and tasks project teams with identifying and reducing occupants’ exposure to hazardous materials. Features
examine best practices for waste management, pesticides, cleaning products
and VOCs that are commonly used in
The Community concept promotes an
understanding of the factors that affect
the wellbeing of both building occupants and the larger community. Project
teams will start with educational material on locally relevant health topics, a
collaborative project process focusing
on integrative design strategies and a
basic occupant survey.
2) Seeing the Impact
Point values are now weighted
according to their potential to create
meaningful impacts for building occu-
pants and the community. Project teams
can focus on the features that affect
the most people and be sure that their
design choices will actually make a
WELL v2 also features fewer preconditions, and those that remain in the
program have been updated to reflect
the latest evidence and increase their
3) New Certification
Most of the early iterations of WELL
v1 have been combined into one single
program that’s meant to cover all building types. However, there are a couple
of other options.
WELL Core Certification (formerly
WELL Core and Shell Compliance) is
an alternate pathway for core and shell
buildings. Any building can pursue Core
certification as long as the owner occupies 25% or less of the gross floor area.
Project teams can also earn a WELL
Design & Operations (D&O) designation by undergoing an optional early
phase review. This interim recognition
celebrates progress toward full WELL
certification, providing teams with an
easy way to showcase their plans.
Read more about WELL v2 at www.
com is Senior Editor at BUILDINGS.