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28 March 2023 | by Andrew Peers
The WELL V2 Building Standard is a global vehicle for buildings and organisations to deliver more thoughtful and intentional spaces that enhance human health and well-being. Backed by the latest scientific research, WELL includes strategies that aim to advance health by setting performance standards for design interventions, operational protocols and policies and a commitment to fostering a culture of health and wellness.
We understand how important community and sustainability is to our clients We have WELL Accredited Members as part of our professional project team and believe in the importance of creating happy, healthy and life enhancing spaces. By applying our knowledge of the WELL Building standard principles we can work with you to tailor its core concepts to suit your project needs. Through this approach we can complement and create a progressive workplace strategy and produce innovative designs that put the people working and visiting your workplace at the heart of any solution.
WELL encourages the engagement of key stakeholders early in the process which sits comfortably with our own ethos of placing a high importance of staff engagement and open communication. Below are some of the key focal points of the new more accessible version of the standard that illustrate this approach.
Benefits of WELL V2
Undergoing this process requires an integrated communication strategy throughout the whole programme. It is important that key stakeholders as well as your teams are fully aware of and understand the WELL requirements including the reasoning behind them to ensure a process of continuous feedback for the duration of the project.
Spanning 108 features and 10 concepts, WELL is a roadmap for improving the quality of our air, water and light with inspired design decisions that not only keep us connected but facilitate a good night’s sleep, support our mental health and help us do our best work everyday.
There are ten concepts in WELL V2:
Each concept consists of features with distinct health intents, features are either preconditions or optimisations.
WELL Preconditions define the fundamental components of a workspace and serve as the foundation of a healthy building. These preconditions – including all parts within them – are mandatory for consideration and potential certification.
In addition, there are Optimisations which are optional pathways for projects to meet the certification requirements in WELL. We will work with you to select which optimisations to pursue and which parts to focus on within each category.
This is hosted on a digital platform and operates on a points-based system, with 110 points available for each project. There are 4 certification levels from bronze to platinum. There is a weighted system of scoring across all aspects which is based on the extent to which a feature addresses a specific health and wellness concern or presents an opportunity for health promotion. There are a number of on-site assessments which are carried out by an authorised WELL Testing agent. This technically robust process defines industry best practice and the third-party validation of the performance ensures consistency.
WELL isn’t single use, gaining the initial certification is just the start of the journey and research is continuously evolving to better understand how we can improve design for human health and wellbeing. WELL requires a recertification process every three years, this ensures that organisations and the buildings they occupy are maintaining worldwide best practice for future generations.
The initial certification process itself is based on a registration fee of $2,500 (£1,850*) with an additional charge per sq ft, for example: a 20,000 sq. ft scheme would cost in the region of $3,200 (£2,400*) with additional costs for the onsite verification process and our own consultancy activities. Given that a space this size could accommodate in excess 250 people, this equates to less than £8.50* per person. * (Subject to exchange rate)
To help make WELL more accessible to emerging markets or certain sectors there is also an opportunity for reduced pricing.
Given that WELL aims to bring health, happiness and productivity to the forefront of workplace design as well as reinvent spaces so they effectively enhance the workplace experience, this is an excellent colleague investment and value proposition.
Associate Director - Head of Workplace Consultancy
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