The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has released its “Manufacturer’s Guide to WELL”, a guide that aims to help manufacturers who produce sustainable building products and materials navigate the WELL Building Standard. IWBI used the occasion to reiterate its intention to keep the global WELL Building Standard (WELL) focused on setting design and policy protocols and performance thresholds that buildings and communities should strive to achieve to improve the health of the people in those spaces.
“Standing here on the 100 football fields of the exhibit floor at Greenbuild, you can’t help but be awed by the innovation and creativity product manufacturers are demonstrating as they work alongside us to create products that contribute to healthier and more sustainable buildings and communities,” says IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. “That’s why today we are publishing a “Manufacturer’s Guide to WELL,” to help clarify for manufacturers where the opportunities are. The single best way for us to encourage growth and innovation in this area is to make clear the requirements that we believe are important to achieve across each of the seven categories of the WELL Building Standard, including performance thresholds backed by ongoing scientific and technical research.
“When these are taken together, research demonstrates that the positive impact on people’s health and wellness is measurable across metrics that matter – improved cognition and mood, reduced absenteeism, general well-being, and improved satisfaction among people in the buildings,” he says. “Who doesn’t want this for their employees, colleagues, family and friends?”
Fedrizzi noted that while the WELL Building Standard does include references to other standards that provide guidance on product selection, it is agnostic about whether a specific product can positively contribute to the achievement of a performance threshold, choosing instead to focus on the threshold itself. “Our job is to use our eight years of engagement with the medical, scientific and technical communities around their cutting-edge research to continue to evolve a standard that sets out clear design and policy pathways and performance thresholds. At times, we may consider including references to other standards in WELL that help users connect the dots between a product characteristic and an outcome, but at no time will a certification to a generic wellness standard ensure that using a specific product equates to achieving WELL Certification.”
Since its launch at Greenbuild in 2014, the WELL Building Standard has seen global market growth. Today more than 125 million square feet in 31 countries are WELL Registered or Certified, across various building types, including both new construction and existing buildings, and interior spaces where we spend approximately 90 percent of our time. The work is being led by more than 2,000 independent WELL APs around the globe who are bringing their expertise to the market to advance IWBI’s mission of improving people’s health and wellness in buildings and communities through the WELL Building Standard.