WELL Building Standard
The WELL Building Standard addresses occupant behaviors, building design, and operations within the building with great consideration to the health and well being of occupants. WELL is a system that was developed to measure, monitor, and certify features of the built environment that impact occupants. WELL standards were developed by studying the connection between different building elements and behavioral factors and the health and wellness of occupants.
WELL Building Factors
There are seven main factors that are measured and reviewed when evaluating buildings and occupant behaviors according to WELL standards. These factors can all have a significant impact on the health and well being of occupants:
•Air– indoor air quality
•Water– accessibility, and quality of water
•Nourishment– occupant knowledge regarding dietary choices
•Light– illumination levels in buildings as they relate to daytime energy and nighttime sleep
•Fitness– how well physical activity is built into building design
•Comfort– how thermal and acoustic properties distract from or contribute to comfort
•Mind– how the building is designed with relaxation spaces and other design elements to support mental and emotional health
WELL Project Typologies
WELL standards are not just for new home construction, in fact, new construction and major renovations are just one of three main project typologies. Well core and shell compliance is another project typology that applies specific standards relevant to erecting new commercial or multi-tenant building to achieve WELL certification. The tenant improvement certification addresses making renovations to existing multi-tenant or commercial buildings to achieve greater occupant wellness.
Achieving WELL Certification
WELL certification can be achieved by meeting all of the preconditions that are specified for the project typology for each of the seven WELL building factors. Gold or platinum certification levels can be reached by meeting preconditions and meeting a certain percentage of optimization features. Since buildings differ greatly, exact conditions may vary from one building to the next.
Indoor Air Quality and WELL
Indoor air quality is a fundamental part of the WELL standard. According to the WELL Building Standard, “Pollution-source removal, proper ventilation, and air filtration are some of the most effective means of achieving high indoor air quality.” Zehnder HRVs and ERVs provide a constant supply of fresh filtered air for WELL buildings.
WELL Certification Process
To achieve WELL certification, project leaders must first register the project before beginning the certification process. As part of the certification process, a WELL building is commissioned to ensure that it meets all performance requirements. If a project does not meet requirements, the project team has the opportunity to correct the issues. After the project meets all requirements, the project is ready for final certification. WELL certification is good for three years, after which recertification is required to ensure continued compliance with updated standards.