“Simplify WELL process, solidify market growth” are cornerstones for the coming year
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The International WELL Building Institute’s™ (IWBI™) new Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi capped the first 100 days in his new role by laying out the cornerstones of his 2017 plan for the rapidly growing WELL Building Standard™ (WELL). These pillars will come as no surprise to those who have followed Fedrizzi’s leadership as the founding chairman and former CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council: Identify, simplify, solidify, amplify.
“When people are put at the center of design, construction and operations decisions for our buildings and communities, we can have an immediate and measureable impact on the health and well-being of the employees and colleagues, tenants and customers, faculty and students, and families who occupy them,” said Fedrizzi. “The WELL Building Standard is a powerful tool that can help building owners and operators rapidly incorporate the features that deliver these results.”
WELL is the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on the health and well-being of building occupants. WELL is grounded in evidence-based medical research that demonstrates the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 percent of our time and health and wellness impacts on us as occupants.
Fedrizzi noted that he’s spent the last 100 days talking to customers, the IWBI team, and companies and organizations with strong financial and human capital interest in the potential of WELL’s success. “When companies recognize that they can implement WELL for less than what their employees spend on coffee in a year, with the possibility of greater productivity, fewer absences due to illness, and lower insurance usage, they become very interested,” said Fedrizzi.
“Our core users who have helped us pioneer the first market versions of WELL have been tremendous partners in helping us identify opportunities to scale adoption through simplification of both the WELL Building Standard and the processes,” said Fedrizzi. “Some things we are able to do immediately through our alternative adherence path (AAP) process, and we encourage our community to look at the list of new AAPs released just last week. Others will be the result of streamlining internal certification processes to ease the flow of communications between project teams, IWBI and our third-party certification partner, Green Business Certification Inc. Our teams are already reaching out to make users aware of these changes and to introduce the enhancements to organizations who have been interested in WELL as a tool.”
Fedrizzi continued, “We know that human health and planetary health are the same things; what we do in our buildings and communities impacts our back yards. For this reason, we are making it easier for project teams to link their green building rating systems of choice with WELL through credit ‘crosswalks’ that remove the need for duplicative reporting. These are available today to users of Green Star and BREEAM, soon for LEED and Living Building Challenge, and others are underway. It’s not either/or. We want to make it seamless for project teams to pursue both.”
Fedrizzi noted that parallel to these immediate adjustments there is an aggressive effort underway to develop the next version of WELL that incorporates this ethic of simplicity with a customizable approach.
“Rather than waiting for us to develop numerous rating systems for various building types, today we are announcing an ‘all projects in’ strategy, where any building type can use AAPs to account for variables needed for a specific building type,” he said. “The next version of the rating system, to be released in late 2017, will allow project teams to build a customized scorecard that’s just the right fit for their project’s needs. We’re shifting from WELL for healthy buildings to WELL for ‘your’ healthy building and creating a framework that will make this easier.”
Along with enhancements to the rating system itself, Fedrizzi noted that market growth requires a nimble approach to how IWBI supports its growing WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP™) community and its global markets. The WELL AP credential signifies knowledge in human health and wellness in the built environment and specialization in WELL. This new approach to supporting WELL APs and IWBI’s global markets includes a streamlined pathway to certification that reduces costs for documentation and verification and expenses associated with them, especially for portfolios.
“Anything we can do to arm the traditional AEC community with education about WELL and about how our buildings and communities directly contribute to the health and well-being of the people who occupy them is critical,” said Fedrizzi. “Additionally, we have new players at the table – public health professionals, human resources professionals, and C-Suite executives who can materially benefit from connecting the dots between healthier people and healthier buildings. These diverse but critical constituencies will now have at their fingertips robust new educational offerings, including world-class exam prep materials and a rich variety of in-person and online courses.”
Fedrizzi noted that IWBI is also increasing its market-based support in China, Australia and the United Kingdom, and aggressively expanding opportunities for IWBI teams to be with customers in-person and online.
“One of the ways we’ll amplify and extend our reach is through the launch on Feb. 13 of a new IWBI website that includes the new education portal and lays the groundwork for an integrated certification dashboard and resource center later this year,” said Fedrizzi.
“We’re very excited about the re-visioning of the website as a platform through which we can connect our users to us and to each other, advance overall knowledge about buildings and health, and offer a high value user experience for our customers,” said Fedrizzi. “Beyond that, you’ll also begin to see more of us out in the communities who have a stake in better buildings, as we expand our team and deploy them more fully into the market.”
To further engage these communities, Fedrizzi noted that IWBI will establish working groups of core users around building types, so input about the rating system, the registration and certification process, education and information needs can be captured and acted on in real time.
“WELL is how we rapidly drive uptake of the fundamental principle that our buildings and communities are significant and cost efficient public health intervention tools. Making their benefits accessible to everyone — employers, developers, multi-family owners, campus administrators, public housing officials, and families – is the most important work we can do,” Fedrizzi said.
About the International WELL Building Institute™
The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being through the built environment. Public benefit corporations like IWBI are an emerging U.S. structure for corporations committed to balancing public benefits with profitability – harnessing the power of private capital for greater good. IWBI administers the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) – a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of buildings that impact the health and well-being of the people who live, work, and learn in them. Fulfilling the vision of IWBI Founder Paul Scialla, IWBI has a pioneering altruistic capitalism model that will address social responsibility and demonstrate a sustainable model for philanthropy. IWBI has committed to direct 51 percent of net profits, after taxes, generated by registration fees, certification fees and recertification fees received from real estate projects applying for WELL Certification toward charitable contributions and impact investment focused on health, wellness and the built environment. IWBI was established by Delos in 2013 pursuant to a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to improve the way people live by developing spaces that enhance occupant health and quality of life by sharing the WELL Building Standard globally. www.wellcertified.com
About the WELL Building Standard™
The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact the health and well-being of the people who live, work, and learn in the buildings. WELL focuses on seven categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. Pioneered by Delos, the WELL Building Standard is grounded in evidence-based medical research that demonstrates the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 percent of our time and health and wellness impacts on us as occupants. The WELL Building Standard is administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ and third-party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). www.wellcertified.com