Presented By: International WELL Building Institute
How the WELL Health-Safety Rating Helps People Get Back to the Office With Confidence
By International WELL Building Institute September 27, 2021 10:00 amreprints
That’s why the International WELL Building Institute places an emphasis on building’s effect on the health and well-being of people inside. The WELL Building Standard (WELL) is the world’s premier building rating system to focus on ways buildings can be designed and operated for optimal experience and health outcomes.
“The world is making progress in fighting COVID-19, and it’s never been more important to keep health and safety top of mind,” Jessica Cooper, IWBI’s chief commercial officer, said in a new video. “In stark contrast with the way things were a year ago, airports are experiencing higher traffic, restaurants are getting busier, and many are returning to their offices. We’re re-emerging. For this reason, now’s not the time to relax on prioritizing people-first places.”
In the video, Cooper highlights how WELL standards help offices re-emerge from COVID shutdowns.
“As we get back to the places we love, it’s time to look for the WELL Health-Safety seal as a sign that evidence-based strategies have been implemented and third-party verified to support your health and safety,” she said.
As Cooper explains, the WELL Health-Safety Rating “helps organizations keep spaces clean and sanitized, manage air and water quality, prepare for emergencies, and provide essential health benefits.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating consists of a subset of features in the WELL Building Standard, focusing on criteria of facility operations and management. Since its launch in July 2020, the rating alone has supported organizations and projects across 88 countries through more than 20,000 locations with nearly 2 billion square feet of real estate to reopen with confidence.
WELL provides criteria and a framework composed of health-based concepts for companies, organizations and communities to adopt strategies in creating people-first places. The 10 concepts include: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community.
In the video, Cooper highlights one of the first companies to adopt the WELL Health-Safety Rating across its entire portfolio, Empire State Realty Trust, owner and operator of the WELL Health-Safety-rated Empire State Building.
“[Empire State Realty Trust’s] leadership has inspired organizations across the globe to follow suit,” said Cooper. “And since launch, adoption of the WELL Health-Safety Rating has been exponential.” Cooper noted that the WELL Heath-Safety Rating is a powerful tool that can be used to accelerate large organizations toward resilience and scaling health and well-being strategies at an enterprise level.
Dana Robbins Schneider, senior vice president and director of energy, sustainability and ESG at Empire State Realty Trust, notes that the company’s effort was the result of a long-term focus on scientifically proven, quantifiable environmental quality standards.
“For more than a decade, we have never compromised amongst energy efficiency, sustainability, healthy buildings and healthy spaces for the occupants of our buildings. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is a further demonstration of our industry-leading work,” said Schneider. She highlights the fact that her company’s buildings, which are modernized for the 21st century with indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency, have rents priced at a level to make these qualities accessible to a broad swath of users for its spaces, which include pre-built suites, full floors and multi-floor spaces.
“We have effective practices aligned with the WELL Health-Safety Rating, but also demonstrate compliance with these policies — and prove that tenants are not limited to triple-digit rent options if they want to make sure their spaces are consistently verified,” she said. “The WELL Health-Safety seal lets tenants know that we have done these things, and that allows them to rent from us with confidence that the well-being of their employees is a priority.”