A Unified Standard: One WELL
WELL v2 consolidates previous iterations and pilots into one WELL for all project types. The system is designed to grow in specificity and specialty over time, adapting to accommodate diverse project types and geographies and in response to new evidence and ever-evolving public health imperatives.
Dynamic WELL Scorecard
WELL Online guides project teams through the development of a unique scorecard. The digital platform recommends a selection of features based on project-specific parameters that can be further defined and refined by the project team.
There are ten concepts in WELL v2: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community.
Each concept is comprised of features with distinct health intents. Features are either preconditions or optimizations.
Preconditions define the fundamental components of a WELL space and serve as the foundation of a healthy building. WELL v2 offers a universal set of preconditions for all projects.
All preconditions are mandatory for certification. All parts in preconditions are mandatory.
Optimizations are optional pathways for projects to demonstrate achievement in WELL.
Project teams choose the optimizations they want to pursue. Further, projects may choose which parts to pursue within optimizations up to the point maximum established for the optimization.
WELL v2 operates on a points-based system, with a total of 110 points available to each project. All optimizations have maximum point-values. The point-value of a feature is determined by its potential for impact. This is defined as the extent to which a feature addresses a specific health and wellness concern or opportunity for health promotion, and the potential impact of effective intervention.
All parts in optimizations hold a point-value equal to or less than the optimization maximum. Projects may pursue parts under the optimization to accrue points up to the maximum point-value established for the optimization. If an optimization contains more parts and points than the maximum, these parts are to provide more options, but projects may still not receive credit for more than the maximum point-value established for the optimization.
Note: for some optimizations, achieving points in one part is contingent upon achieving points for another part.
Accommodating All Space Types
All parts of WELL v2 are designated for specific space types. Space types in WELL refer to spaces within a project. These space types do not refer to the project as a whole.
Many parts in WELL are denoted for “all spaces”, which indicates that the part must be applied to all spaces within the project, for all project types. Some features list distinct parts for specific space types; depending on the part, these additional requirements may be required on top of the requirements for all spaces or used in place of the requirements listed for all other spaces.
Scoring and Certification Levels
Projects must achieve all preconditions as well as a certain number of points to earn different levels of certification:
- WELL Silver Certification: 50 points.
- WELL Gold Certification: 60 points.
- WELL Platinum Certification: 80 points.
Projects must earn a minimum of two points per concept (or in the case of the Air and Thermal Comfort concepts, at least four points combined). Projects may pursue no more than 12 points per concept and no more than 100 points total across the ten concepts. Projects can also pursue an additional ten points for Innovation. At the point of submitting for Documentation Review, projects must submit a scorecard that contains a selection of points and features in accordance with these rules.
WELL Core Certification is a distinct pathway of achievement for core and shell buildings seeking to implement fundamental features in the base building for the benefit of tenants/residents. All building types can register for WELL Core provided that at least 75% of the project area is occupied by one or more tenants/residents and/or serves as common space in the building accessible to all tenants/residents. Note that offices affiliated with the project owner but unrelated to the management of the project property may be considered a tenant so long as additional tenants unaffiliated with the project owner occupy at least 60% of the gross floor area.
Residential buildings must meet one of the additional requirements to able to register for WELL Core:
- There is minimal fit-out of the dwelling units, defined as meeting at least two of the following:
- Developer does not install kitchen cabinets.
- Developer does not install stoves/ranges, ovens, or refrigerators.
- Developer does not install showers/baths, toilets, or sinks in the bathroom or kitchen.
- Developer does not install HVAC terminals.
- Project is unable to provide access to dwelling units for performance testing. Projects must submit evidence attesting to why they are unable to test in dwelling units (for instance, dwelling units are already occupied).
Mixed-use buildings where WELL Core is appropriate for at least 60% of the gross floor area may register the entire building for WELL Core. Areas operated/occupied by the project owner are considered “non-leased space” (see Scope and Applicability below). Mixed-use buildings where WELL Core is appropriate for less than 60% of the gross floor area should register one or more portions of the building as individual projects for WELL Certification or WELL Core Certification, as appropriate.
At least 2.5% of the total building floor area must be available for performance testing. The available testing area must include all common areas and spaces directly under the control of the building management team. If common areas and spaces under owner control comprise less than 2.5% of total building floor area, the project must supplement with tenant spaces to reach this threshold. Testing in leased spaces in these cases can take place before or after tenant occupancy.
Some performance-based optimizations explicitly state that they require testing in tenant spaces in order to be awarded. The project is responsible for identifying and communicating to GBCI and the WELL Performance Testing Agent the particular spaces which are available for testing.
WELL Core requires, at minimum, achievement of certain features directed at common areas and spaces under owner control. Some features must be achieved for the entire building in order for the WELL Core project to receive credit. WELL Core projects may earn additional points for achieving those same features for tenants/residents, whether by directly offering benefits to tenants or sizing for tenant capacity. Further guidance on applicability and additional point-earning potential for WELL Core is provided in Appendix Core and Multifamily Residential.
WELL Core projects must achieve all preconditions as well as a certain number of points to earn different levels of certification:
- WELL Core Bronze Certification: 40 points.
- WELL Core Silver Certification: 50 points.
- WELL Core Gold Certification: 60 points.
- WELL Core Platinum Certification: 80 points.
For WELL Core Certification, projects must earn a minimum of one point per concept. Projects may earn no more than 12 points per concept.
© 2018 International WELL Building Institute pbc. All rights reserved.
This WELL Building Standard version 2 pilot (“WELL v2”) constitutes proprietary information of the International WELL Building Institute pbc (IWBI). All information contained herein is provided without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of the accuracy or completeness of the information or the suitability of the information for any particular purpose. Use of this document in any form implies acceptance of these conditions.
IWBI authorizes individual use of WELL v2. In exchange for this authorization, the user agrees:
- to retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in WELL v2,
- not to sell or modify WELL v2, and
- not to reproduce, display or distribute WELL v2 in any way for any public or commercial purpose.
Unauthorized use of WELL v2 violates copyright, trademark and other laws and is prohibited. International WELL Building Institute™, IWBI™, WELL™, the WELL Building Standard™, the WELL Community Standard™, WELL Certified™ and others and their related logos are trademarks of the International WELL Building Institute pbc in the US and other countries. All third-party trademarks and Standards referenced herein such as GREEN STAR™, BREEAM™, LEED™ and others are trademarks and/or Standards of their respective owners.
None of the parties involved in the funding or creation of WELL v2, including IWBI, or its affiliates, members, employees, or contractors, assume any liability or responsibility to the user or any third parties for the accuracy, completeness, or use of or reliance on any information contained in WELL v2, or for any injuries, losses, or damages (including, without limitation, equitable relief) arising from such use or reliance. Although the information contained in WELL v2 is believed to be reliable and accurate, all materials set forth within are provided without warranties of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of the accuracy or completeness of information or the suitability of the information for any particular purpose. This document and WELL v2 are intended to educate and assist building stakeholders, real estate owners and tenants in their efforts to create healthier spaces and communities, and nothing in this document or in WELL v2 should be considered, or used as a substitute for, quality control, safety analysis, legal compliance (including zoning), comprehensive urban planning, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
As a condition of use, the user covenants not to sue and agrees to waive and release IWBI, its affiliates, members, employees, or contractors from any and all claims, demands, and causes of action for any injuries, losses or damages (including, without limitation, equitable relief) that the user may now or hereafter have a right to assert against such parties as a result of the use of, or reliance on WELL v2.
About the WELL Building Standard (WELL™)
Launched in October 2014 after six years of research and development, WELL is the premier Standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure interventions that support and advance human health and wellness.
WELL was developed by integrating scientific and medical research and literature on environmental health, behavioral factors, health outcomes and demographic risk factors that affect human health with leading practices in design, operations and management. WELL also references existing standards and best practice guidelines set by governmental and professional organizations.
About the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™)
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. IWBI delivers the cutting-edge WELL Building Standard, the first Standard to be focused exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness.
IWBI's work extends to advancing health through design for entire neighborhoods through the WELL Community Standard, and convening and mobilizing the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential.
WELL Certification and the WELL AP credentialing program are third-party administered through IWBI's collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which also administers LEED certification, the global green building program, and the LEED professional credentialing program.
Alignment with Green Building Standards
Human health is inextricable from planetary health. WELL is designed to work harmoniously with leading green building Standards. Projects are encouraged and incentivized to pursue dual certifications under WELL and green building Standards.