The modern workspace has evolved from a mere place of business to an environment deeply intertwined with the well-being of its occupants. With the rise of sustainable building practices and an increased awareness of employee wellness, the WELL Building Standard has emerged at the forefront of this evolution.
Keep reading to explore this standard and learn how to transform your facility for enhanced health and well-being.
Understanding the WELL Building Standard
The WELL Building Standard, pioneered by the International WELL Building Institute, is a performance-based system for buildings, interior spaces, and communities seeking to implement, validate, and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. Unlike other building standards focused largely on the environmental impact, WELL emphasizes the profound connection between buildings and their occupants, understanding that our environments have a crucial role in influencing our health, mood, and productivity.
7 Core Concepts of the WELL Building Standard
The WELL Building Standard’s approach to fostering well-being is anchored in seven core concepts, providing a comprehensive framework to address the needs of building occupants:
- Air: The very air we breathe can dramatically influence our health. WELL standards aim to optimize indoor air quality by minimizing the introduction of harmful contaminants. This includes the use of advanced ventilation, filtration systems, and limiting materials that may release toxins over time.
- Water: Clean water is a fundamental need. WELL standards ensure that water is not only free of contaminants but also easily accessible within the building, promoting hydration and overall well-being.
- Nourishment: A balanced diet is central to our health. WELL standards advocate for the availability of fresh, wholesome food options, transparent food labeling, and spaces designed to encourage mindful eating.
- Light: Our exposure to light affects our sleep patterns, mood, and even cognitive function. WELL standards prioritize the utilization of natural light and ensure that artificial lighting is optimized to enhance mood, energy, and productivity.
- Fitness: Physical activity is vital for our health and morale. WELL standards incorporate design strategies, such as prominent staircases and dedicated fitness zones, to promote movement and counter sedentary work habits.
- Comfort: From ergonomic furniture to acoustically balanced spaces, ensuring physical and psychological comfort is key. This also involves ensuring thermal comfort, wherein occupants can individually control ambient temperatures to their liking.
- Mind: Psychological well-being is as critical as physical health. With this in mind, WELL standards recommend incorporating spaces such as relaxation zones to reduce stress.
Practical Steps Towards a WELL-Certified Facility
For those considering adopting the WELL Building Standard, here are some steps to get started:
- Start with a Vision: Clearly define what you hope to achieve with WELL certification. This vision will guide all subsequent decisions and efforts.
- Engage a WELL-Accredited Professional: These experts can guide the design, implementation, and certification process, ensuring all requirements are met.
- Pilot WELL Concepts: Before overhauling an entire building, consider piloting certain WELL features in specific departments or floors to gather feedback.
- Communicate and Educate: Make sure everyone, from senior management to employees, is educated about WELL concepts, benefits, and changes they can expect.
- Feedback Loop: Encourage occupants to provide feedback on the changes and use employee sentiment data to continually refine and improve the building’s WELL features. This transparent and responsive approach reinforces the commitment to health and well-being for everyone within the facility.
Partnering with Experts: The National Facilities Direct Advantage
National Facilities Direct stands as a trusted ally for organizations aiming to navigate the WELL certification journey. With our expertise, transforming your facility into a haven of health and well-being becomes not just feasible, but an exciting journey unto itself.
Take the next step toward a healthier work environment. Contact NFD today and let us guide you in embracing the WELL Building Standard for your facility.