As opposed to Energy Star, which measures energy consumption and a building’s impact on the environment, the WELL Building Standard measures a building’s performance and its impact on human health and well-being. WELL uses medical research and explores the connection between buildings and the health and wellness of its occupants. The purpose of the WELL certification is to develop spaces, both commercial and residential, that improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance of its occupants. For these reasons, it has become an attractive option for office relocation projects.
WELL measures seven main factors of a building that impact occupant health:
- Air– optimize indoor air quality and remove airborne contaminants, prevention and purification.
- Water– provide highest quality water through filtration and treatment and promote accessibility.
- Nourishment– provide healthy eating choices.
- Light– specific requirements for window performance and design, lighting controls and illumination levels.
- Fitness– Encourage physical activity through the design of the building.
- Comfort– Create productive, distraction-free and soothing environments.
- Mind– support mental and emotional health by providing feedback and knowledge about the environment to occupants.
WELL implements their standards through a variety of features that are applied to each building project. The features address issues that impact health, comfort and knowledge of occupants. Certification is based on performance of these features and requires a passing score in each of the seven categories. Project documentation and an onsite audit are required in order to be certified. Certification is awarded at one of three levels: silver, gold and platinum.
The purpose of the WELL building standard is to add value to building users by increasing their level of health and well-being. Positive impacts have been reported by occupants of WELL Certified environments. In the pilot program alone, 83% of users felt more productive, 92% said that their space created a positive effect on their health and well-being and 94% said that their new space had a positive impact on their business performance. These statistics certainly indicate that a WELL Certified space is one to consider for an office relocation project.
For more information on the WELL Building Standard, click here.