What is your advice to a client that wants to certify its new interiors for WELL but not to LEED? What would you advise a client that is building a new building and wants to choose one or the other? This question is prevalent in conversations with end users who feel that they want to pursue both but can only afford one or the other.
Environmental sustainability and health and wellness go hand-in-hand. The health of the planet is as important as the health of building occupants, and for this reason the WELL Building Standard is inherently in close alignment with leading sustainability standards. Where there are synergies, WELL has purposefully aimed to overlap with sustainability standards like LEED. In order to promote both environmental sustainability and human health, WELL was designed to work harmoniously with LEED at its inception. Additionally, both systems are third-party certified by GBCI, which further streamlines the way in which the systems work together. Just recently, The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announced alignments between the WELL Building Standard and LEED to make it easier for green building projects pursuing dual certification. Through this crosswalk, IWBI and U.S. Green Building Council have identified specific credits whereby submitted documentation will be recognized by Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), the certifying body for both LEED and WELL. This alignment saves project teams the time and costs, and reduces documentation. We are making it easier for project teams to incorporate both LEED and WELL Certification in their buildings through this credit crosswalk. If every story about a green building is a story about people, it’s essential that we bring greater focus on the positive human impacts our buildings can have and explore ways to incorporate them into every office, classroom, store, stadium and other places that make up our built environment.