The features of the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) can be applied across many real estate sectors, however the WELL Building Standard version 1.0 is applicable specifically to commercial and institutional buildings. Furthermore, not all WELL features apply to all buildings, depending on the stage of construction. WELL v1 is therefore further organized into project types, which take into account the specific set of considerations that are unique to a particular building type or phase of construction.
For WELL v1, there are three project types outlined below. If you’re interested in tracking the progress of a specific project type towards WELL Certification™, download the project checklist.
Entire buildings present opportunities for implementation of the greatest number of WELL features. This project type applies to new and existing buildings and addresses the full scope of project design and construction as well as aspects of building operations. It is relevant for office buildings where a minimum of 90% of the total floor area is occupied by the building owner and is operated by the same management (i.e., up to 10% of the building may be occupied by a different tenant or operated by different management). For example, a large office building may rent out the ground floor for retail or restaurant purposes; in these cases, the non-office area would not be subject to requirements of the WELL Building Standard or used in area calculations.
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This project type is relevant for office projects only occupying a portion of the space in a building, or those that occupy an entire existing building not undergoing major renovation. In Core and Shell buildings that are WELL Certified™, some WELL features may already apply towards New and Existing Interiors certification, making certification easier. WELL Certification for tenants is also possible in buildings that have not first achieved Core and Shell certification.
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At registration, projects define the borders of project scope. The WELL boundary may not unreasonably exclude portions of the building, space, or site to give the project an advantage in complying with credit requirements. The WELL project must accurately communicate the scope of the certifying project in all promotional and descriptive materials and distinguish it from any non-certifying space. The WELL project should be defined by a clear boundary such that the WELL project is physically distinct from other interior spaces within the building. Regardless of boundary, WELL organizational protocol requirements (as defined within Appendix D) must be adopted by the entire entity seeking certification located in the project’s building, such that an occupant’s location within the building does not determine the availability of these protocol requirements.
The following features contain WELL Organizational Protocol Requirements:
Projects that are operated as a co-working space should pursue the New & Existing Interiors project type. Co-working projects are those in which the owner (including direct employees) is responsible for the buildout and operations of the entire space, but will only occupy a portion of the space. The remainder of the space will be leased by tenants for a short or long-term basis.
For this type of project, Feature 65 would only apply to employees of the project owner, and Features 86 (precondition) and 90-96 (optimizations) would apply to regular building occupants.
WELL Certification is available for Core and Shell building projects seeking to implement fundamental features into the entire base building for the benefit of future tenants. The Core and Shell project type addresses the building structure, window locations and glazing, building proportions, heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and water quality. This project type also encourages consideration of the site in relation to amenities and opportunities for wellness.
Core and Shell is appropriate for projects in which at least 75% of the project area is occupied by one or more tenants and/or serves as common space in the building accessible to all tenants. Note that offices affiliated with the project owner but unrelated to the management of the project property may be considered a tenant so long as there is at least one additional tenant unaffiliated with the project owner. Independent of the portion of the building controlled by the owner, 100% of the building core and shell and all portions of the interior buildout or managed by the project owner are included in the project scope for design and operations. The Performance Verification Guidebook describes methods for on-site measurements and inspections.
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