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Sep 17th 2015

What is a WELL Building Standard-certification?

The WELL Building Standard® (WELL) is the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness. It combines best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research – harnessing the built environment as a vehicle to support human health and wellbeing. A number of different buildings can apply for the WELL Building Standard Certification including: multifamily residential, retail, restaurant, educational and commercial.

Energy Engineering Company Designs

KMB, Energy Engineering Company, has experience in multiple LEED projects and energy intensive markets, we look to propose and implement environmentally sound practices on all projects based upon historical evidence of practical, economical results.

Seven Concepts of the WELL Building Standard

The WELL Building Standard sets performance requirements in seven categories relevant to occupant health in the building environment:

  1. Air– Optimize and achieve indoor air quality. Strategies include removal of airborne contaminants, prevention and purification.
  2. Water– Optimize water quality while promoting accessibility. Strategies include removal of contaminants through filtration and treatment, and strategic placement.
  3. Nourishment– Encourage healthy eating habits by providing occupants with healthier food choices, behavioral cues, and knowledge about nutrient quality.
  4. Light– Minimize disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm. Requirements for window performance and design, light output and lighting controls, and task-appropriate illumination levels are included to improve energy, mood and productivity.
  5. Fitness– Utilize building design technologies and knowledge-based strategies to encourage physical activity. Requirements are designed to provide numerous opportunities for activity and exertion, enabling occupants to accommodate fitness regimens within their daily schedule.
  6. Comfort– Create an indoor environment that is distraction-free, productive, and soothing. Solutions include design standards and recommendations, thermal and acoustic controllability, and policy implementation covering acoustic and thermal parameters that are known sources of discomfort.
  7. Mind– Support mental and emotional health, providing the occupant with regular feedback and knowledge about their environment through design elements, relaxation spaces, and state-of-the-art technology.

These seven concepts are then linked to 12 facets (or “domains,” as the standard calls them) of human health: cardiovascular, cosmetic, respiratory, emotional, metabolic, gastrointestinal, health literacy, longevity and aging, immune, sleep, musculoskeletal, and cognitive.

New York Building to be the Country’s Healthiest Office Building

Green Building News recently reported that a new office building at 425 Park Avenue in New York will soon be one of the nation’s first commercial office towers to be WELL Building Standard Certified. “The $1.1 billion Manhattan tower will have 670,000 square feet of office space, designed and constructed to help employee productivity and comfort.”

WELL Process

As with LEED Certifications, each category includes prerequisites (or “preconditions”) and credits (“optimization”); and WELL’s certification levels (Silver, Gold, and Platinum) also echo those of LEED. WELL is designed to supplement “green building” platforms.

The WELL certification process involves five steps:

  1. Registration – WELL Certification begins with online registration.
  2. Documentation Requirements – Documentation and a series of onsite performance tests known as Performance Verification are both required prior to the final certification review.
  3. Performance Verification – Formerly known as WELL Commissioning, performance verification ensures that the building is performing as intended through visual inspections, performance tests and evaluation for air, water quality, noise, light and temperature levels and other environmental parameters.
  4. Certification – Once the project has successfully documented compliance with all features and has passed the performance verification process, a WELL Certification is achieved through an official award letter or plaque.
  5. Recertification Submission – Recertification is required to ensure that the project maintains the same high level of design, maintenance and operations over time.

Interested in getting your project LEED or Well Certified™? Download the WELL Building Standard and contact KMB, MEP Engineering; we create designs that are beneficial to the community and environment.