These are divided into Preconditions and Optimization Features.
For example, some measures are intended to change behavior
through education and corporate policy or provide information
and support for making positive lifestyle choices.
Because health and wellness objectives vary from one building
to the next, WELL provides flexibility when selecting Features
that best suit the project owner’s goals. To reach the Silver level,
a building must meet 100% of all Preconditions. To advance to
Gold or Platinum, an owner can then pursue 40% or 80% of the
For example, circadian lighting design is a Precondition Feature
and daylight fenestration is an Optimization Feature within the
light category. In the water category, fundamental water quality is
a Precondition while drinking water promotion is an Optimization
A project’s WELL Assessor will complete an extensive set of air,
water, sound, light and other on-site tests as well as perform visual
inspections to confirm that the project as built and operated is
aligned with the documentation that was submitted.
Pollock: Cerami focused purely on the noise aspects of the standard and outlined key construction criteria for various spaces.
Strategies such as blocking sound from outside, minimizing noise
from building systems, and limiting sound from neighboring
spaces ensure that the acoustical environment that an occupant
desires is controllable and that outside activities will not distract
or disturb. Unwanted noise can cause distraction in focus, disruption from sleep for hotel guests, or simply be an annoyance that
No doubt many facility managers receive complaints from
occupants that relate to their ability to work, relax or sleep. The
acoustical aspects of the standard help to ensure that commercial
environments are comfortable and free from distractions related
to noise or activity. Healthier, happier occupants will surely translate into buildings that are easier to operate and maintain.
How is WELL complementary to other building certifications?
Scialla: WELL works harmoniously with LEED and the Living
Building Challenge (LBC) and is expanding alignment with other
systems like Three Star, Green Star and BREEAM. In addition,
www.buildings.com BUILDINGS 19
Over 2,000 hours – that’s how much time workers spend in your building each year. Numerous studies show that offices and classrooms can have a direct bearing on
occupant health, prompting many FMs to become involved with
wellness initiatives. Everything from ordering ergonomic furniture
and ensuring indoor air quality to providing access to daylighting
can interface with your department.
Launched in late 2014, the WELL Building Standard is
What differentiates the WELL Building Standard from other
a unique offering among certifications as it focuses on
supporting human health and wellness using the built
environment. Paul Scialla, Founder of the International
WELL Building Institute (IWBI), discusses the benefits of
this program. He is joined by Chris Pollock, a design leader
with the firm Cerami & Associates, which participated in the stan-
dard’s peer review process.
Scialla: If you look at the economic proposition, real estate is the
world’s largest asset class. Health and wellness is arguably the
fastest growing industry globally. By bringing the two together
through innovative design and building solutions, the WELL Building Standard is giving people the tools to build healthy communities.
This evidence-based performance standard measures, certi-fies and monitors building features that impact human health and
wellness. WELL specifically addresses seven concept categories –
air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
Pollock: Other building programs focus on sustainability and
energy efficiency, which are a key part of ensuring our future. The
objective of the WELL Building Standard, however, is to provide
the occupants of the building with a space that is supporting of
both body and mind. A facility should meet its function while
improving the health of its occupants wherever possible.
What are the performance requirements outlined in the
Scialla: WELL is composed of over 100 Features that address
issues that impact the health, comfort or knowledge of occupants.
Support Occupant Health
with the WELL Building Standard
This certification enhances wellness using the built
d® v1.0 Introduction 1
DING STANDARD® EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
reen building standards and standard-setting organizations have made significant strides
sformation of the building industry, resulting in a rapid expansion of green buildings and
us building practices throughout the world.
trategies to enhance human health and wellbeing have played a relatively small role in
g standards. We believe that the time has come to elevate human health and comfort to
practices and reinvent buildings that are not only better for the planet—but also for
rst standard of its kind that focuses attention solely on the health and wellness
ifies 102 performance metrics, design strategies, and procedures that can be
d by the owners, designers, engineers, contractors, users and operators of a
sed on a thorough review of the existing research on the effects of indoor
ndividuals, and has been advanced through a comprehensive peer review.
achieve the requirements of the WELL Building Standard, the space must
process that includes an onsite assessment and performance testing by a third-