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WELL 

Optional energy ratings that demonstrate industry excellence through measuring and monitoring certain parts of the built environment. 

 

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Certified Energy's Capability Statement

 

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WELL is an optional energy rating that demonstrates industry excellence and shows that a building has met sustainability goals in an attempt to reduce a building's carbon footprint whilst improving the health and well-being of its occupants. 

 

WELL Ratings Explained

 

What is a WELL rating?

The WELL rating system follows performance-based criteria that measures, monitors and certifies parts of the built environment to ultimately reduce the building's carbon footprint and benefit the well-being and health of its occupants. 
 
It is thought that through thoughtful design, a plethora of physiological and psychological benefits can felt by occupants of the building. These benefits can include improved productivity and fitness, better moods and sleep. 
 
As of 2020, there have been 250 separate projects across 22 countries registered for a WELL rating - 20 of which are in Australia.  Come and find out why your project should be next.
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The WELL Rating System and How It's Changing the Game

With the recognition of the need to change our practices in order to improve our environment and societal well-being, also comes the need to create systems by which new buildings can be rated and improved upon. 
 
 
The WELL rating system is very different to most rating systems for the built environment as it goes beyond merely rating the embodied energy of building material and day-to-day function, but also rates the building’s capacity to create productive, healthy and psychologically stable environments for its occupants. 
 
To do so, buildings are assessed according to several categories including:
 
1. Air
Poor air quality is currently the highest environmental cause of premature death. By improving air quality and in turn improving the respiratory health of a building's occupants, health care costs can be reduced and safe spaces can be created. 

2. Water
Water and hydration are essential to our cognitive function as well as our general health. Just a 2% decrease in hydration can result in poor cognitive function and lead to poor choices and lowered productivity. Increasing access to water sources will solve this issue.

3. Nourishment
This category concerns itself with the availability of healthy and unhealthy food choices within the built environment in an attempt to improve the overall health of the building's occupants. 

4. Light
A key concept when designing a comfortable and accommodating space - the goal of thoughtful lighting is to reduce and disruptions to the body's natural circadian rhythms and thereby, reduce the risk of chronic illnesses.
 
5. Fitness
It's becoming increasingly difficult for individuals to maintain an adequate level of fitness. As a result, this category aims to improve the overall physiological and psychological health of a building's occupants by encouraging the use of training facilities through ease of access and prevalence of said facilities within the building.

6. Comfort 
By improving the comfort of a building, peak productivity can be maintained and mental health can be improved. Eliminating or minimising the presence of annoying features such as distracting noise  and including ergonomic furniture in your indoor environment can go a long way. It can even save you money in the long run.

7. Mind
Psychological health is incredibly important and can mean the difference between losing or gaining a significant amount of capital for your company. To ensure that a positive impact is made, policies, programs and design strategies are encouraged to address the diverse factors that influence our state of mind.
 
 
 
WELL rating takes into account many variables in order to create a rating which demonstrates a building’s commitments not only to the greater environment reducing embodied energy and carbon emissions, but also commits to improving  the occupants experience within the building, thus benefiting their health both physically and psychologically.
 
 
References:
Gallup, I. (2013). Gallup Releases New Findings on the State of the American Workplace. [online] Gallup.com. Available at: http://www.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/170570/gallup-releases-new-findings-state-american-workplace.aspx [Accessed 28 Feb. 2017].
NIGMS, (2016). Circadian RhythmsFact Sheet - National Institute of General Medical Sciences. [online] Nigms.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx [Accessed 28 Feb. 2017].
WELL, (2017). Our Standard. [online] International WELL Building Institute. Available at: https://www.wellcertified.com/our-standard [Accessed 28 Feb. 2017].
 
 

Rating

When is WELL Required?

 

WELL is an optional energy rating that demonstrates industry excellence, showing a building has met sustainability goals, attempting to drastically reduce a buildings carbon footprint as well as attempting to improve the health and wellbeing of its occupants.

 

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Requirements

What do you need?

 

What are the requirements of a WELL Rating?

There are three levels of WELL certification, those being silver, gold and platinum increasing in achievement respectively. To become a certified WELL building, firstly you must register with the WELL certification body who will assign an accredited assessor to guide you through the process as well as perform onsite inspections and reviews of project documentation. After these rigorous assessments and if WELL certification is achieved, follow up inspections are carried out to sure that the building is maintaining its performance targets in the future, well after initial certification.
 

How is a WELL Rating assessed?

The WELL system is organised in seven concepts of “wellness”. These concepts are divided into performance-based standards or prescriptive standards that require specific technologies, design strategies or protocols (e.g. a smoking ban).
 
This rating system is based on medical research that demonstrates the link between the buildings in which we spend more than 90 percent of our time, and the wellness and overall health of occupants who use it on a daily basis.
 
 
Integrating WELL can be achieved at various levels:
  • Auditing each building: by auditing each building it will reveal alignments, gaps and opportunities for more cost-effective solutions for WELL certification
  • A gap analysis: analysis against the Environmental Management Plan
  • Integrating WELL initiatives: by integrating WELL goals into a project bid to maximise satisfaction of requirements in an early stage of a project
  • Embedding WELL in the company procurement strategy helps satisfy WELL requirements in tenders and contracts
  • Sustainability strategy and reporting
 
There are three levels of WELL certification:
 
These 3 levels include-
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • and Platinum level,
 
The level of achievement increasing respectively from silver to platinum with the most successfully “green” buildings receiving platinum certification on the well scale. To become a certified WELL building of any of the previously listed levels, there are a number of steps which must be taken. Firstly you must register with the WELL certification body, through which, you will receive an accredited assessor who will guide you through the process as well as perform onsite inspections and reviews of project documentation a crucial step in gauging the success of the building. After these rigorous assessments are completed and if WELL certification is achieved, several follow up inspections are required in order to ensure that the building is maintaining its performance targets in the future, well after initial certification, to ensure that the building maintains its well certification.
 

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Pricing and Time Commitments

Typically, WELL assessments are carried out through the entire development phase of the project to ensure that the categories previously listed are implemented into the project's design features. Due to the nature of how this assessment is carried out, the time to complete a WELL assessment generally correlates with the project timeline. 
As for quoting, it also depends on the size and complexity of the project. WELL is a very complex process requiring in-depth and detailed investigations into a building's operational use, energy consumption and ergonomic performance. 
Due to the innate complexity of this assessment, we highly recommend that you contact us for an enquiry. Feel free to fill out the form through the website, give us a call or send us an email.
 
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