WELL for a Healthier Work Environment

Join the movement to advance buildings that foster better health and wellness for individuals; leading to improvements in employee productivity, engagement and retention. 

 

Why was WELL created? Standards, like LEED, exist that encompass a building’s ecological imprint and the effect green building practices have on overall human health. These standards don’t delve into how a building impacted those who use it every day – thus WELL was created.

What does WELL focus on? WELL consists of 100 features within the seven concepts of air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. It requires projects to incorporate features from lighting that supports the body’s circadian cycle, to designs that promote physical activity by enhancing walkability of a space.

How are WELL and LEED aligned? Environmental sustainability and wellness go hand-in-hand. The health of our planet is as important as the health of the building occupants, and for this reason the WELL Building Standard is inherently closely aligned with leading sustainability standards. The WELL Building Standard Institute has aligned with LEED to make it easier for green building projects to pursue dual designations. 

 

Focus on: Improving ambient air quality and implementing strategies to reduce exposure to pollution. 

  • Reduce off-gassing by selecting products with low-VOC content
  •  Make your space easier to clean by designing spaces without wall-to-wall carpeting and hard-to-reach crevices

 

 

Focus on: Drinking water quality, strategies for promoting drinking water access and managing contaminated or grey water.

  • Encourage hydration through strategic placement of water drinking stations

 

 

 

Focus on: Providing access to fruit and vegetables, availability and affordability and policies to reduce availability of processed foods

  • Provide adequate seating to be used during meal times to allow people to engage in mindful eating
  • Use attractive signage and visual cues to encourage occupants to consume healthy food and beverages

 

Focus on: maintained illuminance levels and strategies for limiting light pollution, glare and discomfort

  • Select light fixtures that prevent eye strain while aligning with the body’s circadian cycle
  • Place furnishings to allow the flow of natural light into a space and provide views of the outdoors

 

Focus on: promoting walkability and cyclist infrastructure; strategies for promoting daily physical activity and exercise

  • Use attractive features like natural light, art and music to create a more appealing stairwell that incentivizes people to take the stairs rather than the elevator
  • Be fitness conscious and designate an area for both showers and bicycle storage

 

 

Focus on:providing acoustic comfort, ergonomics and universal design with the intention of mitigating physical and mental stress

  • Select furniture that encourages activity through the day
  • Create a more equitable environment by designing spaces to be accessible to occupants with physical disabilities
  • Include both loud and quiet work zones so that occupants can be acoustically comfortable and select their more productive environment for their activity

 

Focus on: interventions to mediate stress, improve sleep hygiene or encourage altruism and community engagement

  • Integrate design to create a beautiful space where occupants are happy spending their time
  • Incorporate elements of biophilic design, to allow occupants to feel a connection to nature, even when indoors
  • Offer variety in room size, furniture and lighting to create opportunities for productivity as well as refuge and relaxation

 

 

Additional Resources

Read this informative WELL Q&A from Teknion: http://www.teknion.com/ca/inspiration/a-d-newsletter/interview-with-paul-scialla 

Learn more about the International WELL Building Institute: https://www.wellcertified.com/