Today’s workforce spends more than a third of its waking hours in office spaces. It has been observed that the design of the offices and materials used to construct and furnish these spaces impact the health and well-being of the office goers. In an effort to evolve healthier work environments, the IWBI has been promoting the concept of WELL Building Standards and certification. The aspects assessed range from quality of air, water, light to overall comfort and fitness offered.
Today, funding the healthcare bills of employees is one of the largest cost heads in organisations across the world and constant efforts are being made to nurture and sustain a healthy workforce. The Sick Building Syndrome often observed in high rise offices, leads to lowered levels of productivity and overall drop in employee satisfaction. While Green Building norms have helped architectural and technical teams shift towards greener building materials, these are still focused on the relationship between the building and the environment.
The growing health concerns amongst the workforce led to the development of WELL Building Standard that puts the occupants of the building and their health at the very centre of architectural design.
What is the WELL Building Standard?
Launched in October 2014 after six years of research and development, the WELL Building Standard is the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness.
The WELL Building Standard has been conceptualised and promoted by The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a public benefit corporation that is leading the movement to promote health and wellness in buildings and communities everywhere.
WELL Building Standard: a brief review
This Standard suggests that it transforms the indoor environment by placing health and ‘wellness’ at the centre of design and construction decisions through research, consulting, real estate development and by offering innovative solutions for the built environment. It marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research – harnessing the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing.’
It is third-party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which administers the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. It is important to note this standard does not a replace the Green Building standards but instead augments the same.
Spaces can become WELL Certified by achieving a defined score in each of seven categories:
Certification includes the submission of project documentation and onsite audit, which can result in the award of a Silver, Gold or Platinum standard.
In the current issue of InterEdge, we showcase some of the early achievers of WELL Building Certification from across the world, listing out the factors that architects have incorporated into the projects to develop the truly healthy buildings. Join us as we explore this trending subject in the architectural circles.
The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research – harnessing the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and well-being.