The WELL™ Building Standard is a scientifically endorsed qualification system that makes it possible to measure, certify and monitor the features of a property that have an effect on personal health and well-being.
WELL™ includes a number of features that help to take measures focused on the health and well-being of the occupants of a building. These features are founded on performance-based standards with regard to the project meeting prescriptive standards that require the implementation of technologies, design strategies and protocols.
WELL™ Core and Shell certification takes into account the following:
- Building structure.
- Window locations.
- Building proportions.
- Heating system.
- Cooling and ventilation.
- Fundamental water quality.
Not only does this certification highlight the interest that the owner has in the building, but it also increases the building’s reputation and marketability.
When most companies choose health and well-being programmes for their offices, selecting the right programme to implement is not an easy task, and it is more important to adopt a culture of health and well-being on behalf of employees.
WELL™ focuses on seven wellness concepts, each divided into characteristics designed to maximise occupant health and well-being while minimising harmful side effects associated with time spent indoors.
These characteristics are classified as preconditions and are required in order to reach all certification levels, or optimisations that are not necessary to achieve Silver level certification but are required for the Gold and Platinum levels.
Indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality, as a result of waste gases emitted by building materials and poor ventilation practices. By removing airborne pollutants and purifying them, we help to optimise indoor air quality.
- Air quality standards.
- Smoking ban.
- Ventilation effectiveness.
- VOC reduction.
- Air filtration.
- Microbe control.
- Construction pollution management.
- Minimise the introduction of pollutants into indoor air through the building envelope and at building entrances.
- Pesticide management with pest management plan.
- Standards in building materials to restrict the use of dangerous materials.
- Humidity control.
- Ensure that the building façade provides protection against pests.
- Humidity and air pollution.
- Enhanced ventilation of the building.
- Isolation of indoor air pollution, opening and closing of windows.
- Outdoor air systems for adequate ventilation and energy savings.
- Mitigate organic compounds through the implementation of advanced air purification techniques.
- Reduction of internal combustion sources.
Drinking water is a prerequisite for optimal health and almost half of the human body is comprised of water. It is a major component of cells and the medium for the transport of nutrients and waste throughout the body. By eliminating contaminants through adequate water filtration, its quality is optimised while promoting access to drinking water.
Performance thresholds for water quality in terms of turbidity, inorganic contaminants, organic contaminants, agricultural contaminants and additives such as disinfectants and fluoride.
Treatment of water to guarantee its quality and drinking water promotion with testing to improve taste and smell.
Along with physical inactivity, poor diet contributes to obesity, which leads to an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. This point encourages healthy eating habits by providing healthier food options and knowledge on the quality of nutrition.
Promote the consumption of healthier foods and drinks, in addition to labelling all foods and beverages with the eight most common allergens to avoid potential exposure to them.
- Labelling of artificial ingredients.
- Nutritional information for all foods and beverages.
- Advertising to promote healthier food choices.
- Encourage the growing and harvesting of vegetables.
- Prepare spaces dedicated to food to help strengthen social interactions.
- Reduce generally stressful dietary choices.
We spend 90% of our time inside buildings. Insufficient lighting or unsuitable lighting design can negatively affect people’s ability to perform daily tasks, and even interrupt their sleep cycles.
Electric light glare control to reduce eyestrain and discomfort.
- Solar glare control
- Maximise the use of daylight
- Enhanced daylight access
- Design parameters for windows to optimise the quantity and quality of daylight while minimising unwanted glare and thermal heat gain
Sedentary jobs have created an environment in which millions of people fail to achieve the minimum level of activity necessary to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity and other chronic conditions.
Stair accessibility and implementation of incentives to use stairs in the design.
- Outdoor design to promote physical activity.
- Integrate indoor and outdoor spaces to encourage exercise.
- Space for bicycle storage.
- Shower services and access to fitness equipment for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Buildings can harbour sounds and temperature conditions that are distracting to work. Various employee surveys show that acoustic and temperature problems are a leading source of dissatisfaction in offices.
Compliance with ADA (Accessible Design Standards) to ensure access and comfort for people with different capacities, regulation of the amount of outdoor noise heard inside and establishment of optimal indoor temperature parameters to guarantee thermal comfort for most occupants.
Regulation of the amount of mechanically generated internal noise, and ensure privacy of speech. Enhance thermal comfort through the use of heating and cooling elements.
Chronic low-level disturbances or mental distress play increasingly important roles in some of the most common chronic diseases, such as depression.
Raise awareness about health and well-being, participation of stakeholders to ensure compliance with the goals of collective well-being and implementation of strategies that positively influence the state of mind.
- Integration of biophilic design strategies to emulate the natural environment.
- Improve general mood.
- Disclose the material composition of interior finishes and furniture.
- Implement design and aesthetic strategies to create a visually appealing space.
- Integration of innovative features to contribute to well-being elements not included in WELL.
The main advantages of having a WELL-certified building are as follows:
- Increase in value of the building through verification of building performance.
- Rise in rental prices thanks to the long-term value generated.
- Certified buildings stand out from other constructions.
- Long-term savings on improvement costs as building systems are updated in accordance with WELL.
- Health and well-being are placed at the centre of corporate social responsibility.
- Promotion of corporate commitment to health and well-being programmes.
- By linking the organisation’s commitment to social responsibility, shareholders see an increase in company value.