In May 2012, McKinsey came out with an article recognizing health and wellness as the next trillion-dollar industry. Additionally, findings from the 2015 CogFx Study from Harvard University suggested that employees show higher cognitive function scores when working in green and healthy office environments. On an average people spend 90% of their time indoors, therefore, it is essential to emphasize improving the health and wellness of building occupants.
Photo credit: International Well Building Institute
Everyone might know what is trending on social media, but do you know what is trending in the world of building design? While LEED is still the frontrunner of green building rating systems, a new standard is increasingly becoming all the rage among designers. The WELL building standard was developed by the real estate firm Delos in 2013 and takes a human-centered approach to the process of designing a building. Like LEED, the standard has various credits that projects must achieve to become certified. The seven aspects of the WELL standard are: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. These are centered around the concept of improving human wellness and how the office environment shapes our physical and mental health. While WELL certification may seem like just another trend to boost an organization’s brand, recent studies have shown that our office environment affects us much more then we know.