| What is WELL? And How Can Your Building Achieve a WELL Health-Safety Rating? |
What is WELL?
WELL is a certification and a global rating system that focuses on ways that buildings, and everything inside, can improve human comfort and enhance health and wellness. The program was launched in 2014 but has recently had a resurgence due to COVID-19 and the emphasis on employee health and well-being. Our certified WELL-Accredited Professionals can help guide you towards achieving a WELL Health-Safety Rating that puts occupant health and wellness at the forefront of your building’s design.
The WELL program was developed using scientific, practitioner and medical expert research and has undergone numerous third-party reviews. The programs are divided into three categories: WELL Health-Safety Rating, WELL v2 Certification, and WELL Portfolio. The programs work in conjunction to offer flexibility for different types of buildings looking to achieve their WELL Certification. (See our graph below illustrating how the programs work together.)
What are the three different programs and what makes them different from one another?
WELL Health-Safety Rating is a program designed for all new and existing buildings/facilities that wish to focus on design that prioritizes the health and safety of all their staff and visitors. This program focuses on operational policies, maintenance protocols, occupant engagement and emergency plans. Buildings can achieve this rating by addressing its six core areas of focus: Cleaning and Sanitation Procedures, Emergency Preparedness Programs, Health Service Resources, Air and Water Quality Management, and Stakeholder Engagement and Communication.
WELL v2 Certification is a program is designed for single projects, such as a building or a space. The two types of buildings eligible for the WELL v2 Certification are Owner-Occupied Projects and WELL Core Projects. Owner-Occupied Projects are buildings that are owned or leased by the project owner and the regular occupants are affiliated with the project owner. WELL Core Projects are buildings that have regular occupants who are not affiliated with the project owner, such as hotels or shopping malls. The WELL v2 Certification program addresses 10 concepts including: Air Quality, Water Quality, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind, and Community.
WELL Portfolio is a health focused rating program that enables an organization to advance their efforts related to health and well-being across their real estate portfolio and generate scores for both new and existing buildings. This program is a great way for organizations to collaborate with one another and move towards improving global health through their buildings. The program also offers annual benchmarking incentives as an opportunity to gain recognition for wellness achievements across individual properties. Members who wish to join the WELL Portfolio program must select projects that will make up their portfolio and then work to address the 10 concepts of WELL v2 at each of those properties.
To learn more about the WELL programs, check out their website here.