The WELL Building Standard is growing in popularity as a green building certification. While there is some overlap with the historically industry-leading LEED standard, WELL provides a deep dive into a broader focus on health and well-being.
With many programs available to certify a sustainable building, it’s nice to know there is some overlap in criteria to earn certification. Most importantly, if you are pursuing a LEED and a WELL Building Standard project – you can use some of those LEED credits to help you achieve WELL points too (though your project will need to be officially LEED certified first).
With less of a focus on site conditions or specific efficiency measures, WELL has credit categories such as Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Community, and Innovation. Similarly to LEED, WELL wants materials selected in the project to be sustainable for the environment and healthy for the building’s occupants.
LEED: The Health of the Building
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000. Since then it has helped design-build professionals and building owners be more environmentally responsible and use resources more efficiently.
In addition to our LEED documentation and automation software, Green Badger has recently released a construction ESG platform. To see how you can start tracking carbon, waster, water, and energy on your jobsite, request a demo today!
WELL Building Standard: The Health of the Building Occupants and Local Community
The WELL Building Standard is a means for buildings and organizations to create environments that enhance human health and well-being. WELL offers a roadmap to certify spaces that make health and well-being a priority and foster a culture of health and well-being. This is done by implementing intentional design, operations policies, and behavior management.
Additionally, WELL pinpoints 100 performance metrics, design strategies, and policies. These policies are carried out by owners, design-build professionals, users, and operators of a building. The metrics are organized into ten concept categories (aka domains). The strategies can be implemented within buildings, across an organization, or even across a portfolio of buildings.
WELL certification requires that projects undergo a process an onsite assessment, documentation review, and performance testing by a third party.
How did WELL start?
Delos Living LLC set up International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in 2013. Delos provides wellness products and services to the building industry. After that, the certification continued to gain momentum in the built environment.
The Background Work:
The platform’s strategies and requirements are backed by the latest scientific research. Expertise is drawn from users, practitioners, public health professionals and building scientists around the world.
WELL applies the science of how physical and social environments impact human health, well-being and performance.
There are multiple organizations that make up the WELL ecosystem. These organizations are your gateway to becoming certified in the WELL Building Standard. For example, the IWBI is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being through the built environment.
Secondly, the Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI) is a certification and credentialing organization. GBCI administers project certifications and professional credentials for LEED, EDGE, PEER, WELL, and SITES.
Lastly, the Performance Testing Agents is a third-party testing agency that performs testing for WELL projects.
Also, there are 10 domains or concepts that offer a roadmap to optimize design, operations and managing behavior to improve health and well-being. Good news! Green Badger will have more posts diving into each of the 10 domains and what they mean for project teams.
Defining Crosswalks and/or Alignments
Crosswalks (or alignments) identify synergies between WELL and other green building standards and streamline efforts for projects pursuing dual ratings.
IWBI™ appreciates that green building and building for occupant health/wellness complement one another. To support projects pursuing both the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) as well as green building standards from around the world, IWBI is offering WELL Crosswalks.
Equally important, WELL has formed Crosswalks with Green Building Council of Australia (Green Star), BRE (BREEAM), U.S. Green Building Council (LEED), GIGA, and the International Living Future Institute (Living Building Challenge). To learn more about crosswalks visit: WELL Crosswalks & Alignments | WELL Standard (wellcertified.com)
Want to learn more about the WELL Building Standard? Explore the standard here: Explore the Standard | International WELL Building Institute (wellcertified.com)