A New Version of WELL is Released Based on COVID-19 Findings: WELL Health-Safety Rating

If you are familiar with the built environment then you have probably heard of WELL. This is because WELL is the world’s first building standard that focuses exclusively on human health and wellness.

The standard brings together designers, medical professionals, psychologists and a host of other experts to powerfully increase the health rating of buildings and their interiors. It tackles occupants’ productivity, creativity and retention, both in the short and long-term and creates an ideal environment to work and live in.

WELL leaves no stone unturned and optimizes all the following categories: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.

At Alpin, we are big fans of WELL, having implemented it in our offices and witnessed first hand the positive improvements it brings and being one of the few places in the region to provide the certification. We were therefore very excited to hear about a new version of WELL being released, in particular one being created to address a post COVID-19 world. As an organisation, we are strongly committed to contributing to buildings that reduce the spread of COVID-19.

What is WELL Health-Safety Rating?

The new version is called the WELL Health-Safety Rating and it is one of the earliest outcomes of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)’s specialised Task Force on COVID-19.The IWBI is not only the founder of WELL but one of the world’s leading certification platforms for safe and healthy buildings and spaces.

The IWBI’s task force consists of a group of nearly 600 public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals. The group was specifically established to help inform IWBI’s response to the pandemic.

“The WELL Health-Safety rating is a sign of confidence that measures have been enacted to help support the health and safety of people entering spaces of all kinds, and that those measures have been mapped to scientific evidence and verified through a third-party review process,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chairman & CEO of IWBI. “By drawing on the proven strategies in WELL, we’re working from the best science available and that’s more important than it’s ever been.”

Just like the first version of WELL, the new and improved health and wellness building standard is designed to work with all types of building projects only now it does so in a world forever changed by COVID-19. As such, it also leverages guidance on the spread of the virus and other respiratory infections developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and leading academic and research institutions.

“Our buildings and the people who tend them are our first line of defense for keeping us safe and healthy,” said Rachel Gutter, president of IWBI, “and the current pandemic has confirmed that health is a material economic consideration of the first order. These two simple truths stand at the nexus of our work to date and will, along with the hard evidence that is mounting, inform all our decisions about the critical need for better buildings, more vibrant communities and stronger organizations going forward.”

When can I apply?

The WELL Health-Safety Rating will begin accepting registrations in June and current WELL-registered projects and WELL Portfolio participants will be given the opportunity to earn the WELL Health-Safety Rating as part of their already established certification efforts. We know we will be applying. Will you?

“As the first WELL certified office in the Middle East, we have seen many benefits to implementing the standard in our offices and have even applied some of its guidance to our homes. Just like all people, we are concerned about living in a post COVID-19 world. This new standard gives us new and powerful tools to cope better and create a more positive inspired healthy and safe living space,” said Operations Coordinator Tasneem Bakri who is also WELL Faculty, the highest form of the WELL accreditation.

To find out more about how Alpin became the first WELL certified offices in the region click here: https://www.alpinme.com/first-well-certified-building-in-the-middle-east/

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