An emerging body of work is showing that our buildings have a profound impact on our health, well-being, happiness and productivity. The built environment can shape our habits and choices, regulate our sleep-wake cycle, drive us toward healthy and unhealthy choices, and passively influence our health through the quality of our surroundings.
But how does a project team move decisively toward realizing a building solution that addresses human health in a comprehensive manner?
WELL Building Standard
The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring and certifying features of a building and its surroundings that impact human health and well-being through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The standard 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.
The rating system is grounded in a body of research that explores the connections between the buildings where we spend about 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants. WELL Certified spaces can help create a built environment that improves the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance of its occupants.
Who Administers WELL?
WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being through the built environment.
Is WELL compatible with LEED?
Green building and health and wellness go hand-in-hand. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, prioritizes building design and construction practices focused on efficiency and resource management. WELL, by contrast, is focused on human health-related priorities, addressing aspects of high-performance design where LEED is less robust.
In fact, WELL is designed to work harmoniously with LEED and the Living Building Challenge, and is expanding alignment with other international leading green building systems such as Three Star, Green Star and BREEAM.
The WELL AP Credential
The WELL AP credential ensures to the public, building owners, and other building professionals that the credential holder has demonstrated advanced knowledge and proficiency in building wellness as well as the principles, practices, and applications of the WELL Building Standard.
In order to demonstrate a commitment to placing health and wellness at the center of building design and performance—and to become more knowledgeable of technical details of WELL, I made it priority to be one of the first WELL APs in Indiana. I learned a tremendous amount along the journey.
This is Just the Beginning
Health and wellness is one of the largest growing industries and consumers are impacting this growing demand. McKinsey and Company recently stated:
In order to demonstrate a commitment to placing health and wellness at the center of building design and performance—and to become more knowledgeable of technical details of WELL, I made it priority to become a WELL AP. I learned a tremendous amount along the journey.
The WELL Building Standard provides the framework for design and construction teams to build with a human-centered approach, which ultimately supports the industry in comprehensively addressing human health.