WELL Tip: How WELL Certification has changed for Core & Shell projects under WELL v2 Pilot

WELL Tip: How WELL Certification has changed for Core & Shell projects under WELL v2 Pilot

Monday, September 24, 2018
/ By:
Shalini Ramesh


IWBI released the WELL v2™ Pilot in May 2018, and with it, WELL Core Certification -  a distinct pathway for projects seeking to implement fundamental features in the base building for tenants’ benefit. If you are familiar with WELL Core & Shell Certification (WELL v1), you may notice some important differences in WELL Core (WELL v2).

A project is a good candidate for WELL Core if:

  • There is a clear owner/tenant relationship (or owner/resident in the case of multifamily residential, even if the residents own their particular dwelling unit).
  • The majority of the regular building occupants are not employed by the project owner or related to management of the property.
  • 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. Offices affiliated with the project owner but unrelated to the management of the project property may be considered a tenant as long as there is at least one additional tenant unaffiliated with the project owner.


All building types can pursue the Core & Shell or WELL Core certification if the following criteria is met:

  • The owner occupies 25% or less of the gross floor area of the project, with the remainder of the space occupied by tenants.
  • At least 2.5% of the total building floor area is available for performance testing.
  • The available testing area must include all common areas and spaces directly under the control of the building management team.
  • If common areas and spaces under owner control comprise less than 2.5% of total building floor area, the project must supplement with tenant spaces.

Certification Levels

WELL Core projects use the scoring system released as part of the WELL v2 pilot. WELL Core projects that achieve all preconditions and a certain number of points can earn certification at corresponding levels:

  • WELL Core Certification: 40 points.
  • WELL Core Silver Certification: 50 points.
  • WELL Core Gold Certification: 60 points.
  • WELL Core Platinum Certification: 80 points.

Another update in the scoring system is that all projects pursuing the WELL Core Certification must earn a minimum of one point per concept. Projects may earn no more than 12 points per concept.


Projects pursuing WELL Core are required to meet the applicability requirements as described in the applicability matrix. WELL Core requires projects to meet certain features specific to common areas and spaces under owner control. Some features must be achieved for the entire building in order for the WELL Core project to receive credit.

In the applicability matrix, you will notice the following designations:

  • Whole Building: All areas within the project boundary.
  • Extent of Developer Buildout: Includes all non-leased space and all construction within the leased space for which the project team is responsible.
  • Leased Spaces: All areas within the project boundary that are leased to or owned by tenants.
  • Non-leased Spaces: All areas within the project boundary that is not considered leased space.
  • Building management staff: Individuals responsible for maintaining and operating the building, including contractors and sub-contractors.
  • Direct staff: Building staff under direct employ.

WELL Core projects may earn additional points for achieving those same features for tenants, whether by directly offering benefits to tenants or sizing for tenant capacity. In such cases, projects are eligible for a single additional point, regardless of any tiered points within the feature language.

Is WELL Core a good fit for your building? Learn more about WELL Core, start a project or reach out with any other questions by emailing technical@wellcertified.com.



Shalini brings her combined interests in building and environmental design and building physics to the Market Solutions team at IWBI. As a subject matter expert, she focuses on providing clear and comprehensive information to help clients meet the WELL Building Standard requirements. She also provides technical support as project teams work towards the WELL certification process.