New Healthy Building Standard Certification
We spend 90% of our time indoors so the focus on making those spaces as healthful as possible is very important. Wellness is already on its way to being the next trillion-dollar industry.
A new building certification program takes aim at that industry and will help builders and architects make structures better for the health of the people who inhabit them.
WELL—from the International Well Building Institute and GIGA—is a building certification program similar to LEED that puts the health and wellness of people at its center. Its seven key concepts include:
- Air - minimize indoor air polution
- Water - filtration and proper testing of water
- Nourishment - availability of wholesome foods and limits processed options
- Light - lighting that supports human circadian rhythms
- Fitness - supportive of active lifestyles
- Comfort - ergonomic, acousitic, temperature, olfactory comforts
- Mind - design, technology, and treatment strategies for intellectual and emotional health
The Green Business Certification Institute, which certifies LEED projects, also certifies WELL projects. It takes LEED a step further by certifying the environment and not just the building.
It was first introduced in 2014 as a pilot program but 2017 made it an official certification. The first update to the program will come in late 2017 or early 2018 and will include the option to customize requirements to suit any type of building.
It takes a full year of evaluation before a building is granted certification and re-evaluation is required every three years to maintain that certification.
WELL in the Workplace
It is said that absenteeism and presenteeism (working while sick) cost U.S. employers over $570 billion each year. WELL takes this problem head on. The first WELL certified commercial buildings have reported that 92% of employees noticed a positive effect on their health and well-being already.
Just imagine a workplace with individual cubicle thermostats, glass that turns darker when there is direct sunlight and lightens when light is low. Fitness centers, fresh food cafes, rooftop gardens. The list goes on. You can see why these features are in high demand.
WELL at Home
The rising Millennial generation is very interested in sustainability and wellness. And they are willing to pay for it. Buildings with healthy features can sustain a 20% rent premium over the market rate. They show greater marketability and faster sales velocity as well.
The best part? It's affordable for builders. A New York City design firm found that it cost less than $1 per square foot to implement wellness features for WELL. It's easy to see why WELL is popular with everybody.
Daltile supports the WELL program and looks forward to providing more healthy products that help you meet requirements for sustainable and healthy certifications