IWBI to Deliver an Existing Building Portfolio Certification Pathway

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has announced that CBRE, Hines, and Lendlease, are among global developers collaborating with IWBI to deliver an existing building portfolio certification pathway within the WELL Building Standard (WELL). This pathway will reward a commitment to ongoing enhancements to existing buildings, with focus on policies, programs, procurement guidelines, and plans that can be applied across a portfolio of buildings.
 
A roundtable of those who have expressed interest in the concept was held in New York City. Those committing to piloting a sample portfolio of 10 or more buildings in this first phase will join a Portfolio Advisory to directly inform the pathway’s development.
 
“We know that when building owners, operators, and corporate tenants look across their portfolios, they typically shift their parameters one policy at a time, not a building at a time,” says Rick Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO of IWBI.  “We believe this approach can introduce measurable performance improvements and allow projects to earn recognition for their achievements, reducing fees and overall costs in the process.”
 
“Hines is interested in this approach of certifying health and wellness attributes in existing buildings, not only development,” says Hines Innovation Officer Charlie Kuntz. “With a large global development and property management portfolio, we want to build on our sustainability commitment in this leadership-defining area.”
 
“Global third party sustainability indices and benchmarking tools like WELL have helped institutional investors make informed investment decisions and improve their portfolios,” says Brian Long, group head of safety and sustainability at Lendlease. “While focus has been on achieving positive environmental outcomes in buildings, greater focus is now on human health and wellness outcomes.  Lendlease will continue to do both across our portfolio, providing competitive differentiation and longer term value for our clients.”
 
“We are pleased to assist with the development of a portfolio-wide approach for WELL Certification and believe this will be an addition to ongoing efforts to introduce this standard to a wider marketplace,” says David L. Pogue, global director of corporate responsibility, CBRE.
 
The scientific evidence that lays the groundwork for wellness decisions is indisputable and growing every day, further supporting the value of WELL Certification to companies looking to improve employee productivity and engagement, lower absenteeism, and potentially reduce insurance health care spend.  
 
“WELL Portfolio is a response to owners and operators who have shared with us their desire to incorporate science-based practices across all their existing buildings, and to have their work third-party verified.  We’re looking forward to their input on ways to move these practices to scale,” Fedrizzi adds, “because improving the health and wellness through better buildings is sustainability’s second wave.” 

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