The recent Energy Star accreditations awarded to the Precedent Office Park has had me thinking about building standards. We’ve all heard of LEED certified and Energy Star rated buildings. Both certifications achieve environmental protection and financial value, however there is more to strive for in 2016. This year the focus will be less on the building and more about its tenants. The WELL Building Standard® is the first benchmarking program to assess properties based on their ability to promote the health and well-being of their tenants.
According to the website for the International Well Building Institute®, “The WELL Building Standard takes a holistic approach to health in the built environment addressing behavior, operations and design.” WELL measures the features of buildings that can impact occupant health by looking at seven factors including:
It involves a wide array of aspects from noise levels, lighting and temperature to corporate policies that promote work-life balance.
A WELL Certified™ building enhances overall quality of life by positively impacting a tenant’s health, well-being, happiness and productivity. Furthermore, it can provide savings in personnel costs while adding significant value to real estate assets.
The first office to participate in the WELL Certified™ – Pilot Program published its results in their 2014 workplace study. Nearly 94% of the employees claimed the new space had a positive impact on their business performance, while 92% said it had improved their health and well-being. According to the feedback, 83% of their employees felt more productive in the new environment.
These statistics speak volumes on the positive impact the WELL program has on its occupiers. Many owners are starting to take notice of this revolutionary building standard. The International Well Building Institute® states that “nearly 100 projects encompassing more than 20 million square feet have already registered or certified through WELL”. Health and wellness is one of the largest growing industries today.
The WELL Building Standard® allows owners to design and build using a human-centered approach. This supports the industry by comprehensively addressing human health globally. Owners can obtain a meaningful return on investment and generate increased savings while tenants enjoy improved productivity, plus a significant impact on their overall mental and physical condition. This could be the year for both owners and tenants to “get WELL” soon.