Collaboration to Demonstrate Green Building and Health and Wellness Go Hand in Hand

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) have announced a formal collaboration that will streamline how LEED and WELL work together and demonstrate that green building and health and wellness go hand in hand. As a fundamental aspect of the collaboration, GBCI will provide third-party certification for the WELL Building Standard.

The collaboration was announced by U.S. Green Building Council President, CEO, Founding Chairman and GBCI CEO Rick Fedrizzi together with Paul Scialla, founder of the International WELL Building Institute and of Delos, the pioneer of Wellness Real Estate and the WELL Building Standard. The announcement was made at the 21st Century Infrastructure and Innovation for a Resilient Economy event in Los Angeles, which was hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative.

“Our collaboration with GBCI will guarantee a best-in-class, global, third-party certification infrastructure for the WELL Building Standard that will make it seamless for professionals and organizations already using LEED,” notes Scialla. “The IWBI-GBCI collaboration reinforces the alignment between health, wellness, and sustainability.”

Fedrizzi adds: “The green building community has a historic opportunity to use medical science to create better buildings. Human health as a pillar of sustainability has long been reflected in LEED, and GBCI’s new role as the third-party certifier for the WELL Building Standard will enable us to take that commitment further while making it easier for LEED users to incorporate health and wellness more deeply into their work.”

The WELL Building Standard is an evidence-based standard created through six years of research and development with researchers and physicians from leading medical institutions and expert practitioners from the building industry. Currently in pilot phase, the WELL Building Standard sets performance requirements in seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The WELL Building Standard is administered by the International WELL Building Institute, which was founded by Scialla and Delos to fulfill a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to improve the way people live by developing spaces that enhance occupant health and quality of life and by making the WELL Building Standard available globally. The standard applies to commercial, residential and institutional projects. Potential pilot projects are encouraged to contact IWBI.

Current WELL pilot projects include the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Named in honor of President Clinton, the children’s center and orphanage will be LEED Platinum and WELL certified. Another recent example of the seamless collaboration between WELL and LEED includes CBRE Group Inc.’s new Global Corporate Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. Unveiled in November 2013, CBRE’s new headquarters is the world’s first commercial office space to be LEED Gold and WELL certified.

While the initial focal point of IWBI’s collaboration with GBCI is third-party certification, IWBI anticipates working closely with GBCI to align WELL professional education programs and accreditation with LEED AP requirements. “We are committed to working closely with GBCI and the community of green building professionals to make certain that every aspect of the WELL Building Standard works in alignment with LEED, the Living Building Challenge, and other leading global systems,” adds Scialla.

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