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Hope Your Building Gets WELL Soon

By Alana Spencer, Ani Nene, and Katrina Miaoulis.
June 28, 2016

The building you work in, manage, and / or own could currently be unhealthy. With occupant production levels staggering, unnecessary personnel turnover, and general discomfort in the indoor environment.

Hope your building gets WELL soon!

WELL Building Standard® (WELL) is a performance-based and descriptive system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through seven concepts:

Air Focus on Indoor Air Quality, Water Enhanced water quality and promotion of accessibility, Nourishment Healthy eating habit, Light Lighting design for task-appropriate illumination levels, Fitness Encourage physical activity in daily life, Comfort Thermal and Acoustic design, and Mind Mental and emotional health

Many WELL Features intended to improve health are supported by existing government standards and organizations including LEED (Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design) and the Living Building Challenge (LBC). Some Features are intended to change behavior through education and corporate policy or culture, and provide information and support for making positive lifestyle choices.

The structure of the rating system includes Preconditions, which are necessary for Silver (baseline) WELL Certification, or Optimizations, optional additions, which together determine the level of certification (Gold or Platinum) above Silver certification.

Our experience at Vanderweil Engineers with WELL has been interestingly delightful.  WELL focuses less on energy performance and more on other design features such as increased ventilation, ventilation filtration and thermal comfort. The shift to design primarily for the enhanced occupant experience offers us more opportunity for innovation in areas beyond building energy performance.

It does however place an importance on integrating the WELL building standard with another standard such as LEED for a holistic sustainability approach to the built environment and its occupants.

These are exciting times for the green building community from interior spaces to whole buildings to master development sites, sustainable opportunities are at our finger tips.

Feel free to reach out if you are interested in discussing WELL for your next project or would like to share the experience about your recent WELL certification.