For the second time this year, wellness is the focus of a new certification program. Back in July, as reported on by Green Lodging News, the Institute for Healthy Destination Accreditation (IHDA) launched a certification program that allows hotels/resorts to achieve Approved Healthy Destination or Certified Healthy Destination status. This week, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched the WELL Building Standard Version 1.0 at the inaugural WELL Building Symposium in New Orleans. Within the IHDA programs, items such as housekeeping practices, amenities, waste management practices, air filtration, safety and security, and community involvement are considered. WELL v1.0 sets performance requirements in seven categories relevant to occupant health and wellbeing: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
WELL v1.0 was created through seven years of research and development. Administered by IWBI, the WELL Building Standard is third-party certified through IWBI’s collaboration with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), which administers 10+ billion square feet of LEED buildings and the 190,000+ person LEED AP program globally, ensuring that WELL works seamlessly with LEED. The WELL Building Standard v1.0 is optimized for commercial and institutional buildings and can be applied to new construction and major renovations, tenant improvements, and core and shell developments.
IWBI was founded by Delos pursuant to a Clinton Global Initiative commitment by Delos founder Paul Scialla to improve the way people live by developing spaces that enhance occupant health and quality of life by sharing the WELL Building Standard globally. Delos has been in the news in lodging the past couple of years for its creation of the Stay Well room concept that has been put in place at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
To date, approximately 5 million square feet of commercial, institutional, and multifamily real estate has been registered for certification through WELL.
In a statement issued regarding the launch of WELL v1.0, IWBI Senior Vice President Michelle Moore said, “Our mission is to bring human health to the forefront of building practices and reinvent buildings so they are not only better for the environment, but also for the people in them. It’s an important point of inflection for our market and our movement. Historically, sustainability has focused on the impact that buildings have on our climate and environment. Bringing wellness into the conversation adds a new emphasis on the individual, and opens up the field for research and development.”