IWBI Celebrates Early Adopters and Leaders of the Healthy Building Movement

IWBI Celebrates Early Adopters and Leaders of the Healthy Building Movement

Monday, February 8, 2016
/ By:
Judith Webb

Press Release

In 2009, a team of doctors, scientists, architects and engineers came together to discuss the health impacts of our built environments and create a performance-based framework to connect people and buildings. This started with a question: How can we deliver preventative medical intentions into the design, construction, renovation and operation of our built environments? After seven years of research and an extensive peer review, in October 2014 the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched the WELL Building Standard, the first rating system that addresses human health and wellness in our buildings. When I look back and reflect on the accomplishments we have made, it has been rewarding to see industry collaboration manifest into the launch of WELL across the world.

2015 was an especially exciting year for IWBI, as we saw tremendous progress in support of WELL’s mission. We continue to make great strides in our efforts to bring health and wellness into indoor environments. Historically, sustainability has focused on the impact that buildings have on our climate and environment. Grounded in scientific and medical research, the WELL Building Standard continues to push the envelope for what sustainability means, bringing wellness and human health into the conversation with a new emphasis on the individual. We are especially proud of the leaders all over the world who are exploring and incorporating WELL into their buildings, transforming the built environment and proving that green building and health and wellness go hand-in-hand.

In 2015, we successfully transitioned WELL into GBCI’s infrastructure, established WELL Online, announced the addition of the WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP), built out a robust suite of offerings and launched WELL on a global scale in Europe, India, China, Qatar, Australia and Canada. Over the course of the first year, we have witnessed rapid global adoption with project registrations, certifications, and commitments exceeding 100 million square feet of existing and new buildings on over 100 projects in 12 countries. We’ve held WELL Workshops all over the world, informing the industry’s professionals about the benefits of WELL Certification, and WELL was prominently showcased at Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, DC. The momentum around health and wellness in the built environment was tangible everywhere we went.

We are also seeing new initiatives based on the principles and foundation of WELL to drive cutting edge-research and expand the concept of healthy design from single buildings to entire communities. In fall 2015, the Well Living Lab, a collaboration of Delos (which pioneered WELL) and the Mayo Clinic, opened in Rochester, Minnesota. The Well Living Lab is the world’s first human-centered research lab designed to study the interaction between human health and well-being and the indoor environment. Also announced was the first city district – in Tampa, Florida – to pilot a WELL Community Standard, creating a roadmap for how cities worldwide can be designed and developed to support public health.

As we look forward, it’s exciting to see how much was accomplished in just one year. And as we continue to expand our core infrastructure, we maintain our focus on cutting-edge research and development of the WELL Building Standard. None of this would have been possible without your extraordinary leadership.

As I travel around the world, I keep asking customers what would best help them integrate WELL into their practices. I heard three important things. You asked for a gap/value analysis tool to better demonstrate the economic return on your investment through WELL and understand how close your building projects are to getting certified. You have also expressed the desire to have WELL localized – the standard, language and support structure – to your specific countries and regions. We are actively working on those two items, and look forward to providing the industry tools to accomplish each. Finally, since the implementation of WELL is an innovative idea, you have asked for early stage flexibility in pricing (performance verification and certification) so you can have the freedom to innovate and get your budgets approved.

To reward you and recognize the impressive steps you are taking to focus on the people in buildings, IWBI is excited to announce two special pricing opportunities to give you the freedom to innovate. First, we are offering special early adopter WELL Certification pricing. We encourage projects to register before June 30, 2016 in order to participate in this and continue the momentum of the healthy building movement. You can either register a project or register your entire portfolio. The higher the square footage, the more flexibility is afforded on pricing, providing economies of scale. We have also given you the flexibility to include projects of different typologies. Second, we are offering special pricing, beginning with LEED APs and LEED Green Associates, to earn a WELL AP credential. We continue to build the industry ecosystem to collectively service this new paradigm.

We encourage you to leverage our new easy-to-use pricing calculator, create an estimate, register your project with WELL Online and get WELL Certified!

Health and wellness in the built environment is a right, not a privilege. To that end, it’s exciting to see all types of projects, ranging from ultra-high rises to affordable housing—and everything in between—register and engage to become WELL Certified. IWBI and GBCI are working together to achieve broad scale adoption for WELL, in order to ensure that health and wellness in our buildings is accessible for all.

Thank you for your leadership to advance health and wellness in the built environment.

Paul Scialla is founder of the International WELL Building Institute.