Healthy Design: The WELL Building Standard
If we want our built environment to be truly sustainable, we need to consider the 3 P’s of Sustainability – people, the planet and profits. The sustainability community, along with architects and builders, have long been concerned with the effect of our buildings on the planet. And in recent years, improvements in technology, supply chains, building practices and funding sources have resulted in many green building techniques that are profitable from day one. These methods and materials that reduce the impact on our planet have entered the mainstream.
But now, a new standard that addresses the effect of buildings on people is gaining recognition. The WELL Building Standard recognizes that the well-being of the people that inhabit buildings is just as important as the building itself. Not only does the standard lay out guidelines by which we can measure and improve the way our buildings affect our health, it sets a framework to increasing long-term, overall employee productivity. It’s the human-centric version of LEED certification. BioStar Renewables has always been dedicated to offering solutions that improve buildings’ energy use and the health of the people inside. But now, they’re taking their commitment to a new level by obtaining a WELL Accredited Professional (AP) certification.
The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. It is a model for design and construction based on the principle that buildings can improve our comfort, drive better choices, increase productivity and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. The standard has also been shown to increase business profitability. It is estimated that a company’s performance can be increased by nearly 22% if their offices are well designed. For a building to achieve WELL certification, seven optimization concepts are measured: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.
BioStar’s focus will be to install advanced LED commercial lighting systems that are healthy and comprehensive to the building’s use. Excellent lighting design can reinforce, rather than disrupt, the body’s circadian rhythm, improving energy, mood and productivity. Circadian lighting uses LEDs and programmable controls to emulate the natural environment. This human-centric commercial lighting design changes color and brightness based on the time of day. The WELL Building Standard has requirements for window performance and design, daylighting, illumination levels appropriate to the activity in a room, glare control, color quality and lighting controls.
BioStar is actively working toward becoming WELL AP certified in order to optimize customers’ built environments to maximize productivity and wellness. At the recent Greenbuild Expo 2018, the team met with vendors and developers who are actively utilizing the WELL standard.
“We look forward to advancing our knowledge and gaining the ability to help clients obtain the WELL building certification. Key partnerships with industry experts will enable us to lead turnkey LED commercial lighting projects with top-quality materials and excellent design standards. We’ve engaged with several Assisted Living communities across the country who are interested in exploring human centric lighting pilot programs to increase their residents’ quality of life,” said David Smart, President & COO – Energy Reduction.
The WELL Building Standard is enhancing the ability of BioStar, and the building industry as a whole, to achieve sustainable design that is positive for people, the planet and profits.