What is WELL Building?

Many people in the architecture and design world are familiar with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a green-building certification program that utilizes best building practices in planning, constructing, operating, and maintaining buildings and homes.

But have you ever heard of WELL Building?

While LEED focuses on how buildings function and their impact on the environment, WELL takes a holistic approach, focusing on people and how their health and wellness are affected within these buildings.

Administered by the International WELL Building Institute, the WELL Building Standard is an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring the performance of building features that impact the health and well-being of people. Merging best practices in construction and design to create environments where employees’ well-being is valued, the WELL Building Standard considers seven factors:

  1. Air – optimize and achieve indoor air quality

  2. Water – optimize water quality while promoting accessibility

  3. Nourishment – encourage healthy eating habits

  4. Light – minimize disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm

  5. Fitness – utilize building-design technologies and strategies to encourage physical activity

  6. Comfort – create a distraction-free and productive indoor environment

  7. Mind – support mental and emotional health

 Certified as built and renewed every three years, the process involves five steps:

  1. Registration

  2. Documentation Requirements

  3. Performance Verification

  4. Certification

  5. Recertification

At the end of this process, a project can be certified at three different levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Utilizing the seven pillars of WELL Building can increase employee productivity and performance, encourage higher employee morale, and help people be healthier. Implementing the Air pillar could be as simple as removing airborne contaminants resulting from an inadequate ventilation system. Utilizing the Nourishment pillar could be accomplished by offering healthier food options and arming employees with knowledge about nutrient quality.

A great example of WELL Building is Haworth’s LA Showroom. The company promotes these principles through an exterior active design to promote fitness, a filtration system to ensure high water quality, catering and healthy snacks to meet nutritional standards, stress treatment to stimulate a healthy mind, daylight accessibility to provide natural and uplifting lighting, and much more. Implementing the WELL Building principles was worth the effort for Haworth, with employees reporting increased individual performance, higher engagement levels, and a more healthful place to work.

People are businesses’ most important asset, so it’s imperative they are taken care of! Making intentional WELL Building adjustments will pay off in the long run, not only for your business but also your employees. ISCG would love to discuss how we can utilize WELL Building principles to transform your workplace into an environment that promotes employee health and well-being!






Header image via

Design, PeopleMorgan McDonald