Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) have announced a new agreement to promote and advance the WELL Building Standard (WELL) in Canada.
The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. It complements other green building rating systems such as LEED.
“As GBCI and CaGBC come together to advance WELL in Canada, we take an important next step in the development of better, healthy buildings across the globe,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president of GBCI. “Just as LEED has transformed the building sector to address environmental accountability, WELL will further that vision by focusing deeply on the people in the buildings and providing developers and owners with a new way to account for health and human occupancy challenges.”
Grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 per cent of our time and the health and wellness of the people in them, WELL measures attributes of the built environment by looking at seven Concepts and over 100 Features that address behaviour, design and operations, the two organizations said in a joint news release.
“The Canada Green Building Council is excited to be working with GBCI, our long-standing partner, to bring the WELL standard to Canada,” said Thomas Mueller, CaGBC’s president and CEO. “We have made a commitment to improving the environmental performance of buildings and homes, and now we also want to ensure that buildings provide a healthy and productive environment for occupants. The WELL standard is a timely addition to CaGBC’s programs, as health and wellness in the workplace is increasingly recognized as an important element in attracting and retaining employees.”
WELL certification allows building owners and employers to know their space is performing as intended to support human health and wellness. WELL can be applied across all building types and is currently optimized for commercial and institutional projects. WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and is third-party certified by GBCI.
The new agreement between GBCI and the CaGBC will bolster the adoption of WELL in Canada by aligning the business and administrative processes used to implement WELL in the U.S. with the demands of the Canadian market. The CaGBC has a longstanding relationship with both USGBC and GBCI, the certification body for USGBC’s LEED green building program, partnering to deliver LEED in Canada. To date, there are more than 5,300 LEED projects in Canada, amounting to more than 79 million gross square meters of space, making Canada the top producer of LEED projects outside of the U.S.
“GBCI and CaGBC joining forces will help grow the healthy building movement by bringing health and wellness into Canada’s indoor environments through the WELL Building Standard,” said IWBI founder Paul Scialla. “With this agreement, we see tremendous opportunity for the wellness, sustainability, and real estate communities in Canada to come together to support human health through the built environment.”
As GBCI aims to introduce WELL in markets spanning the globe, CaGBC will provide additional capacity and support for the initiative. To learn more about the WELL Building Standard, visit http://WELLcertified.com.