Monday, April 9, 2018
NEW YORK, NY (April 9, 2018) – Eight global roundtables attended by more than 350 organizations. Hundreds of alternative adherence paths (AAPs) that open up new strategies and pathways for projects, along with 195 equivalency submissions that support WELL’s global adoption. 632 amendments in seven addenda updates that provided continuous improvements. Thousands of conversations with real estate leaders, architects, interior designers, sustainability consultants, academic researchers, health care practitioners, and human resource professionals from all over the world. This is how you evolve a global rating system for buildings when the focus is on no less than improving the health and wellness for the people inside them.
And that’s the approach that’s been taken by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) as it has been working on the next evolution of its popular WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™), which is now being used by more than 760 projects in 32 countries in the three short years since its launch in late 2014.
“WELL was always meant to be responsive to new data, new challenges and better approaches,” said IWBI’s Chief Product Officer Rachel Gutter. “The tremendous and thoughtful feedback we’ve received from our dedicated community underpins the next version of WELL, which will be launched in pilot form at the end of May 2018.”
Gutter noted that WELL’s evolution is being built on what users have said continues to set WELL apart: global relevance, customization, and commitment to verified performance. “In today’s world, corporate leaders, landlords and tenants alike must rely on more than best intentions to achieve the healthiest environment for the people we care about. That’s why WELL’s verified performance matters,” she said.
A few highlights users can expect to see in the next version include pathways recognizing local perspectives while keeping WELL’s global framework; custom scorecards that can accommodate diverse project types; more strategies for greater impact; and new options for performance verification. The original seven concepts within WELL (Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind) have been expanded to more clearly highlight and differentiate WELL’s range of approaches to promoting human health in the spaces where we live, work, learn and play. Comfort is being split to address the unique needs of Thermal Comfort and Sound, Materials is now separate from Air, and Community is being added as a new concept.
“One of the things I’m most excited about is that we’ve successfully consolidated all iterations of WELL into a single version of the standard that is both flexible and adaptable. The pursuit of healthy, high performing spaces is a journey, not a destination, and with ‘One WELL’ we have more opportunities to support you and recognize your continuous progress along the way.
“We've also worked to more evenly balance optimizations that address facility-level interventions with organizational policies and programs,” Gutter continued. “Some features work in the background to make our spaces healthier, some make it easier for us to make small changes in our behavior that can lead to big impacts on our health. All of it matters. Better buildings can help people thrive, and this next version of WELL integrates new evidence-based science, changes in practice, and an increased global commitment to what we call the ‘second wave of sustainability’ to make sure we contribute to a healthier future for everyone.”
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. Based on scientific evidence and advanced building practice, IWBI delivers the cutting-edge WELL Building Standard, the first to be focused exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. Its work extends to advancing health through design for entire neighborhoods through the WELL Community Standard™ Pilot, and convening and mobilizing the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential.