PROS AND CONS OF WELL BUILDING
The WELL Building Standard is the next step in the construction of “green” buildings. WELL is a “performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.”
Encouraging environmentally-friendly work spaces is nothing new. LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — and other certifications have pioneered green design for years. But where existing standards tend to focus on external factors — how the building would affect the environment — WELL is dedicated to improving the lives of those inside the building.
This new standard was just introduced in the last few years and has many building managers and property owners asking, “Should I become WELL certified?” Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the WELL Building Standard:
- Achieve third-party credibility. Many companies may already be practicing WELL standards and don’t see the necessity in being certified. Certification from a third party like WELL gives a company credibility and proves they are offering the highest care to building occupants.
- It’s an encompassing system. Divided into three components — design, policy, and behavioral — the WELL Building Standard encourages health and wellness in areas ranging from lighting and facilities management to healthy food options.
- It comes with a high cost. Both the steps to meet WELL Building Standards and the process of certification are quite expensive, much more so than LEED. Registration for LEED can cost an estimated $900 compared to WELL’s $1,800–10,000. WELL certification and continued verification can cost up to triple the cost of LEED certification.
- The link between well-being and productivity is tenuous. Rod Bunn of Building Services Research and Information Association points out that well-being and productivity are difficult to measure. The costly demands of the WELL standard may not produce equal results.
We have been watching the WELL Building Standard for a while now, and we encourage you to investigate whether it can work for your buildings. Although it may still be some time before tenants require the need for a WELL building, it is in your best interest to be prepared to provide an intelligent response should tenants or potential tenants ask about it.