It is certainly not a ground swell, but it is further evidence of the increased interest in wellness throughout our industry: the announcement that the five-suite Inn at Moonlight Beach has become the first lodging establishment in the world to obtain Well Certification. It was awarded the certification by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).
For those of you not familiar with IWBI, it is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being in buildings and communities across the world through its WELL Building Standard. WELL Certification for buildings and WELL AP credentialing for individuals are third-party administered through IWBI’s collaboration with GBCI.
Created through seven years of rigorous research and development working with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based scientific research. The Inn at Moonlight Beach earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance—Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Fitness, Comfort and Mind—and achieved a Platinum level rating.
Emphasis on Healthy Spaces
According to IWBI, WELL is premised on a holistic view of health: human health as not only a state of being free of disease—which is indeed a fundamental component of health—but also of the enjoyment of productive lives from which we derive happiness and satisfaction. Healthy spaces protect us from that which can make us sick, promote practices that can keep us well, and facilitate opportunities for us to connect with one another and live our lives to the fullest.
Core components of the WELL program include: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, community, and innovation. Within “air”, for example, there are 14 areas where one can earn points. One category is “Microbe and Mold Control.”
A building can earn Silver, Gold or Platinum certification. WELL Certification is valid for three years. In order to maintain a current certification, WELL Certified projects must undergo Performance Verification again and apply for recertification to verify that the building continues to perform in accordance with the requirements of the WELL Building Standard before the end of the three-year certification period.
Thousands Registered for Certification
There are currently 206 WELL certified projects and 3,313 WELL registered projects in 55 countries. There are now 4,843 WELL APs and 3,797 WELL exam registrants from 82 countries.
IWBI is led by Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman & CEO. Fedrizzi is founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and former CEO of both USGBC and of GBCI.
As are the criteria for LEED, the criteria for the WELL program are a worthwhile read for anyone looking to build or renovate a lodging establishment—whether one is pursuing certification or not. They are a guide for putting together a healthy, sustainable environment for guests and employees alike.
Says Shangwen Chiu Kennedy, owner of the Inn at Moonlight Beach, “I was inspired and grateful for the effort that was put into the creation of the WELL Building Standard and excited about having an opportunity to implement it in a built project. The concept of WELL aligns with the intention of our boutique hotel, which is to nourish life and encourage people to experience the joy of connecting with nature, one’s self, and the broader local community.”
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