Building Green: WELL Building Standard Moves Toward Certification-With GBCI
The same body that reviews LEED project documentation will be the third-party certifier for the forthcoming health standard called WELL.
By Paula Melton
The International Well Building Institute (IWBI), creator of the WELL building standard, has announced a partnership with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the body that certifies LEED buildings and accredits LEED professionals. According to a joint press release, the collaboration will help streamline dual certification to both LEED and WELL, which is still in pilot phase.
“The best way to get global acceptance and adoption was to find a best-in-class partner,” Paul Scialla, founder of IWBI told EBN. U.S. Green Building Council founder and GBCI CEO Rick Fedrizzi joined the IWBI board of directors several months ago, and it was in this context that the groups “started to formalize the alliance,” he explained. Scialla characterized LEED and WELL as “complementary,” adding that LEED addresses human health primarily through indoor environmental quality; although there are some overlaps, “we’re looking to push that envelope further,” he said, adding that there would be “many synergies down the line,” including an accreditation program.
WELL addresses design attributes like lighting quality (taking into account not only daylight but also the color, hue, intensity, and angle of artificial light) as well as operation-related features such as access to quality food and drinking water. Much like LEED, the WELL system encompasses several categories—new construction, existing buildings, healthcare, homes, schools, and others. “We see synergies and complementary ways for WELL and LEED to plug and play in the existing infrastructure,” noted Scialla.
WELL began as a proprietary standard owned by real estate developer Delos, which founded IWBI as a B-Corp to further develop it. The standard will be available to the public later this year, says Scialla, after the pilot phase concludes.