Building Health Gets a Makeover


A new, first-of-its-kind building standard tackles the built environment inside and out to ensure the holistic health of both the structure and the people who spend their time in it.

The WELL Building Standard will be introduced in October, the culmination of seven years of work on the performance-focused system for  measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing.

The standard is based on research and development compiled by researchers and physicians from leading medical institutions and expert practitioners from the building industry.

Currently in its pilot phase, WELL is designed to operate alongside green building rating systems, like LEED, and looks at a space’s effect on human health.

The standard is run by Delos Building Wellness, but will be housed in the International WELL Building Institute.

7 Categories

The standard is based on seven categories that impact human health and well-being. The seven categories and their intent within the standard are:

  • Air, to achieve medically validated performance-based thresholds for healthy indoor air quality;
  • Water, to achieve optimal water quality for all internal water uses;
  • Nourishment, to implement strategies to encourage healthy eating habits for building inhabitants;
  • Light, to provide room illumination that minimizes disruption to the body's circadian rhythm and provides appropriate illumination for all tasks;
  • Fitness, to provide building occupants with numerous opportunities for physical activity;
  • Comfort, to create an environment that enables occupants to experience comfort, both physically and mentally; and
  • Mind, to implement design, technology and treatment strategies in order to provide a built environment in which mental and emotional wellbeing is enriched.

Earlier this month, McGraw Hill Construction outlined data to highlight ways to get the medical community involved with healthy living, which the WELL standard hopes to achieve.

Official Introduction

To introduce the standard, the IWBI will hold its first annual WELL Building Symposium Oct. 20 in New Orleans. The event will involve professionals in design, real estate, and construction who are interested in leading the wellness movement in real estate.

WELL Building Institute

Paul Scialla, founder of the WELL Building Institute and founder and CEO of Delos, will present at the first annual WELL Building Symposium Oct. 20 in New Orleans.

The symposium will feature a day of programming that includes keynote presentations by Paul Scialla, founder of the WELL Building Institute and founder and CEO of Delos, and Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, among others.

Current WELL pilot projects include the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Named in honor of President Clinton, the children’s center and orphanage will be LEED Platinum and WELL certified.

Another recent example of the collaboration between WELL and LEED includes CBRE Group Inc.’s new Global Corporate Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

Unveiled in November 2013, CBRE’s new headquarters is the world’s first commercial office space to be both LEED Gold and WELL certified.


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Green building; LEED; U.S. Green Building Council

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