Before we address what is required to achieve the Gold level in the WELL Building Standard, perhaps we should first expand upon what the WELL Building Standard actually is. WELL focusses on the interaction and between a constructed environment and the people who it affects in terms of health and wellbeing. It may not at first be obvious but elements of the environment in which a person is situated can be monitored and measured in real terms. Air and water quality, natural light, comfort and the psychological effect the environment promotes are some of the elements used by the Well Building Standard to assess the how that particular environment will benefit the health and wellness of the humans that use the space. WELL employs a wide array of medical principles and research to investigate the correlation between the built-up areas where people spend up to 90% of their time and their health and wellness. The intention of a WELL certified space is to foster an environment that promotes better nutrition, attitude and mood, physical and psychological fitness and even improved sleep patterns. Certification of the WELL Building Standard® is carried out by an independent third-party called the Green Business Certification Incorporation or the GBCI for short. WELL looks to measure 7 specific elements and how the design and operation of a building or built space will impact the knowledge, health and comfort of the occupants. Those elements (known as WELL Features) are air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Although WELL can be applied to almost any type of building or real estate, the current focus is on commercial and institutional office spaces. These are further dissected into New and Existing structures, Interiors and shell & core to ensure the measurements are specific and relevant to the type of space being assessed. Application of the WELL principles is being tested in multiple additional areas such as residential, F&B, school & university and retail and we can expect to see this becoming more prevalent in years to come. Achieving the Gold level of certification requires a myriad of measured and reported proofs.. Upon registering to be considered for WELL certification, a WELL Coach is appointed to assist and guide the project in applying the principles to the design elements.. There then follows a review of documentation relating to each of the 7 elements being considered and a technical evaluation (both pre and post occupation of the space) after which the space can be considered. Meeting all the requirements (100%) of the WELL Features will not earn you the Gold Certification however. To be awarded the Gold Certification, the space will need to over achieve and be recognized as having met every aspect of the WELL conditions in addition to demonstrating significant over achievement. Perhaps the best way to experience what a WELL Gold Certified space is compared to simple aesthetic design would be to experience one yourself. Why not contact a business near you to arrange a meeting or tour and embed yourself in the WELL experience.
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