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The role buildings play in people’s health and well-being has never been as important as it is today. The WELL Building Standard was designed to help build healthier working environments for all building occupants. We have put this blog together to help you understand WELL and how it has transformed the modern workplace.  

What is WELL?  

The WELL Building Standard was developed with the aim to inspire purposeful spaces that enhance people’s health and well-being. WELL focuses its attention more on the occupants of a building rather than the buildings themselves. As a result, this international assessment seeks to advance the individual’s health through design interventions and policies that foster a culture of health and wellness. WELL has therefore proven itself as a responsive, inclusive and adaptable tool that aids any environment or organisation seeking to promote wellness 

Why do we need WELL?  

With the average person spending 90% of their time indoors, it is key that we design our working environments to benefit employees. But as the needs of people continue to change and evolve, the WELL Building Standard ensures that occupants are kept at the heart of each design. Not only can our workplace effect our health, but it can also have a detrimental impact on an organisation’s productivity. As a result, designing and constructing buildings that look after their occupants holds significant advantages for both employees and businesses.  

Moreover, whilst WELL promotes a healthy working environment, boosting staff productivity, it also raises brand awareness amongst potential clients and employees. Achieving a WELL certified building demonstrates that an organisation is making a conscious investment in its staff.  

How it works  

The standard is made up of ten concepts: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Mind and Community. Each of these concepts are broken down into several parts which consist of different distinct health intents.  

In order to achieve the WELL Building Standard, each project must go through on-site testing of building’s performance. qualified assessor completes a Performance Verification which includes performance tests, spot-checks and measurements spanning all ten WELL concepts. Requirements include the type of lighting, air filtration, activity incentive programs, acoustic controls and integrative design within the space. 

Preconditions need to be met for all levels of the WELL standard, with certification issued on four levels; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Preconditions define the fundamental components of a WELL space and serve as the foundation of a healthy building.  

How is WELL different?  

Although there are numerous building assessment schemes such as BREEAM and LEED, most focus on the sustainability of a project. Whilst these schemes consider the impacts of the indoor environment on the health and wellbeing of building occupants, it is the natural environment that is the key focus. However, The WELL Building Standard focuses on the development of human-centric building designs. Furthermore, WELL pays particular attention to health and well-being and how workspaces offer the opportunity to enhance, stimulate and inspire workersBy putting employee wellness and comfort first WELL encourages buildings that are not only better for the planet but also for people 

Glazed partitions and WELL 

Glazed partitions play a key role in the WELL Building Standard for a number of different reasons. Firstly, WELL requires projects to provide an appropriate level of light exposure within the indoor environment. Using glass partitions within a design contributes to the way natural light flows throughout a space, creating a more comfortable environment. Therefore, exposure to adequate light can significantly improve employee mood, productivity and overall health. 

Acoustic disturbances are a leading source of dissatisfaction within the workplace. Acoustics and well-being  are both core principals of the latest version of the WELL Building Standard. WELL requires designers to consider building spaces that reduce unwanted noise and therefore enhance productivity. Glass partitions offer impressive acoustic performance to a space and as a result have become popular in many office environments. 

 

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