WELL Building Standards

October 20th, 2017

WELL Building Standards

According to EPA (U.S Environmental Protection Agency) we spend approximately 90% of our time indoors. Therefore, more efforts are concentrated to develop not only more sustainable, but also healthier buildings.

The ‘Well Building Standard’ is the newest attempt from the building industry to introduce healthier living environments within buildings. The Standard is an evidence-based methodology for measuring, certifying and monitoring all possible factors that can have an impact to our health, therefore, it is directly linked with human wellbeing and productivity.

The 8 categories that the ‘Well Standard’ assesses are:

    • Air – Optimise and achieve air quality
    • Water – Optimise water quality while promoting accessibility
    • Nourishment – Encourage healthy eating habits
    • Light – Minimise disruption to the body’s rhythm
    • Fitness – Utilise building design to encourage physical activity
    • Comfort – Distraction-free & productive indoor environment
    • Mind – Support mental and emotional health
    • Innovation – Applying innovative concepts, not addressed by the Standard

Each one of these categories includes different number of ‘Precondition’ and ‘Optimisation’ credits which provide a final ‘Wellness’ score. Depending on the credits achieved, a project can be certified with the Silver, Gold or Platinum Certification. The main building typologies supported by ‘Well Standard’ are Shell and Core, New and Existing Interiors and New and Existing Buildings (flexible for buildings of all types).

Since it was developed in the USA, some aspects of it are not covered in BREEAM, but there is a significant amount of credits, 35% approximately, which are common in both standards. In 2016, the two institutes (IWBI and BRE) have decided to come together to mutually identify common credits for projects that seek to acquire both ‘Well’ and BREEAM standards. This collaboration will save significant amount of time and cost from the project teams associated with the certification procedure.

Currently, the ‘Well Standard’ is gaining momentum and more than 300 projects in 27 countries have been certified since it was introduced in 2014.

CBG Consultants can provide support and technical advice regarding the credits associated with indoor air quality, thermal comfort, ventilation, moisture management and lighting/daylight.

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Theodoros Charitidis

Graduate Sustainability & Energy Engineer

Location: Oxford