WELL Building Standard is an accreditation system that is based on the integrity of buildings as a means of assessing, accrediting and evaluating the building features as it impacts the health and well-being of its occupants through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
WELL is currently being managed by the International WELL Building Institute and also is the administrator for the accreditation process. The organization is a public benefit corporation whose goal is to improve the human condition through the built spaces and its environment. The WELL standards are the product of years of scientific research that has established the link between the buildings and the health and wellbeing of its occupants.
If a building is WELL Certified, then you can be sure that the said building supports the nutrition, fitness, and mood and sleep patterns of those who live in it positively. Evidently, the kind of environment that one spends the most time in significantly affects the health and wellness of its occupants, and in the current situation that we are in, it is especially important to have the kind of environment and built spaces that will enable us to live stress-free and healthy.
Thus, the seal of approval of a building that it is WELL certified means that the building is built on principles and designs that will promote and improve the quality of life of its occupants.
In the past, regulations and building codes only focused on the structural soundness of the building, with WELL Certification, that mindset has completely been changed. It is of equal importance to live in a sound building, but it is more important that this building enables you be healthy, happy and safe.
What is WELL Building Standard?
WELL Building Standard is a system that looks into the processes, policies and quality of buildings and built spaces and the extent to which it conforms to the standards that support and improve the health and wellness of its occupants.
The goal of the standards is to make built spaces more conducive to those who live in it or those who spend so much time in it, so that they will be healthy, well and safe. The accreditation process looks into the concepts of air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.
Backed by extensive research on how the environment supports or negatively impacts the health and wellness of its occupants, the WELL Building Standard have been instituted to ensure that the buildings of today and the future will be able to improve the wellbeing of its occupants.
As human capital is the most important resource, it is fitting that the buildings they work in and one that they spend most of their waking time will be able to keep them healthy and better yet provide the venue in which they can become healthy and well.
Moreover, the standards on the varying aspects of building and built spaces comprehensively target the different facets of building living and all of which are important to ensure that innovative processes will provide the means in which people will be healthier and hence will be more productive. Although the set of standards and certification process have been around since 2017, the need for WELL certification is now more relevant than ever before.
The WELL Building Standard and Covid-19
It has been a year since the covid-19 virus have reached pandemic status and the world for a moment stopped when everyone had to self-quarantine. Almost all have been cooped up in their homes and it became even more important that the quality of one’s home or building should be WELL certified. WELL certification takes into account the building structure, operational guidelines and processes that enhance the health and wellbeing of the occupants.
Covid-19 has made it more important that WELL building standards should be adopted by all new constructions and old buildings seeking to become more responsive to the health protocols that should be instituted for each building. The WELL standards see to it that there are no pollutants in the environment and the quality of air and circulation does not contribute to the transmission of the virus.
Open-air concepts in all buildings are now more important, to harness the natural light into the building, to lessen the need for heaters, to utilize windows that seal off the coldness or the warmness from the outside, the building elevators and stairs should be in support for greater movement.
They say that exercising is one way of preventing the spread of covid-19 as it supports the immune system, as you become healthier. The difficulty lies in choosing which form of exercise is viable to do in a closed room or in a closed building. Since the virus can spread through the air and surfaces, this emphasis on building standards for safety and health should be a priority for most buildings whether industrial, commercial or residential in nature.
How To Be WELL Building Standards Certified?
Since its inception in 2017, many and more buildings have opted to apply for the WELL Building Standards certification program. Since the WELL standards are comprehensive and encompassing both the structure and the people that live or spend most of their time in it, the entire process is long, arduous and expensive.
One has to make sure that all building standards have been complied with and are evident in the processes and operations of the building. It would be a lot easier to do this for any new construction since you just have to figure it into the design, but if there is an existing building, it would be costly to do all the renovations so that it would be up to standards. However, if the WELL certification is the gold standards in which all other buildings will be judged on, then although costly, renovating is the only way to go.
With the complexity of the certification process and the needed documents that it would make sense to hire a third party provider or consultant to help you with the accreditation process. Doing this on your own may save you money but it would entail a lot of legwork and elbow grease and there is the possibility that you might fail in the evaluation process.