Last week’s Weekly Insight, which illustrated how and why wood buildings are healthier, cited a relatively new international organisation,
the WELL BUILDING INSTITUTE. Having received numerous queries about who and what this is, this week’s edition looks more deeply into this and what it is doing. Although currently primarily applied to commercial and public buildings, it has great relevance for improving the quality of residential development.
What is IWBI?
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation that is leading the movement to promote health and wellness in buildings
and communities everywhere. IWBI was launched in 2013 following a Clinton Global Initiative commitment made by founder Paul Scialla. IWBI delivers the cutting-edge WELL Building StandardTM, and a professional suite of tools to empower our global community of leaders to match their convictions with their careers.
What is the Standard?
Launched in October 2014 after six years of research and development, the WELL Building Standard is the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces
and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness.
WELL was developed by integrating scientific and medical research and literature on environmental health, behavioral factors, health outcomes and demographic risk factors that affect health with leading practices in building design and management. WELL also references existing standards and best practice guidelines set by governmental and professional organizations.
WELL Certification and the WELL AP credentialing program are third-party administered through IWBI’s collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which also administers LEED certification, the global green building program, and the LEED professional credentialing program. This relationship assures that WELL works seamlessly with LEED.
Reviewed by the experts
The WELL Building Standard underwent a comprehensive expert peer review process, which included three phases—a scientific, practitioner and medical review.
The WELL team
… is made up of tri-athletes, chemists, urban cycling enthusiasts, backyard gardeners, non-toxic product aficionadas and globetrotters. Each of them defines wellness differently in the context of their own lives; and they work alongside one another to learn, and collectively advance the global wellness movement. They already have over 1,000 professionals who are committed to advancing health and well-being in buildings and communities across the world.
What do they do?
Together, they problem solve, brainstorm, compete mercilessly on monthly fitness challenges, toast to their successes over green juice, and ultimately, are a fiercely passionate group focused on building a healthier world. They already have hundreds of projects on board putting wellness and human health at the centre of project design, building and operations.
At a Glance
The WELL Community Standard is made up of 110 features within 10 concepts. Those familiar with the WELL Building Standard will notice that the seven concepts have been expanded to 10 total concepts within the WELL Community Standard: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Temperature, Sound,Materials, Mind and Community.
There is one precondition in each concept, while the remaining features are optimizations. Most features address the community at large – outdoor environmental conditions, the presence of amenities and the geography of the project – and a small number apply rules within the buildings themselves.
Approved certifications currently include the following:
Health and wellness certifications
•WELL Building Standard (IWBI)
•Living Building Challenge (ILFI)
•Petal Certification (ILFI): any petal combination which includes Health and Happiness
•Green Star (GBCA)
•Petal Certification (ILFI): any petal combination which does not include Health and Happiness
•Zero Energy Certification (ILFI)
•The Home Performance Index (IGBC)
Project teams or standard bodies may suggest additional options for IWBI to evaluate, and when approved, those options will be added.
When you earn WELL Certification for your building or community, you signal to the world that you’re putting people first. Flexible for communities and all building types, with options to customize your approach to fit your goals, WELL offers a framework to help improve health and well-being for everyone that visits, works in, or experiences your building.
Whether you're an architect, designer, business leader or wellness advocate, a WELL AP credential denotes you as an expert in healthy building strategies.You can become a WELL Accredited Professional by examination and join the movement to advance buildings that help people work, live, perform and feel their best. - https://www.wellcertified.com/en
‘Fabric First’ Timber Buildings
Our timber & SIP frames are designed from the outset to help architects and their clients deliver these benefits. Doing so places extra burdens and challenges on the small number of people with the knowledge, design skills, and experience to do this, but fortunately our inhouse training programme keeps them at the forefront of techniques, materials, developments and initiatives, like WELL.
Prefabrication Is Key
Factory prefabrication of elements, following ‘Considerate Constructor’ guidelines, and delivering “light”, “warm”, and “modern” buildings along with renewable energy components is part of our quest. Produced under off-site factory controlled conditions, these can go a long way toward offering low cost energy saving homes and improved communities. This includes the availability of carefully selected complimentary components and methods to speed up work on site as well as providing unusual and hard to find environmentally sound, eco-friendly, sustainable and complimentary building products and components that facilitate merging with local vernaculars.
Your Partner in Development
Whether you are an architect, builder or private client, almost certainly you are becoming aware of changing homeowner preferences and aspirations. Working with our teams we believe will help you to provide you’re your clients want and more readily marketable homes.
Better all-round Savings
Our specialist services and CUSTOM homes division deliver best value and protect the interests of land owners, house-builder developers, professionals and private individuals seeking to build their dream home. Our off-site construction systems also reduce the amount of material that gets wasted on site, helping to avoid land fill, hazardous waste separation and handling, They also deliver better value for you and your customers.