Last year, the U.S. Green Building Council surveyed builders, designers and developers from almost 70 countries and found that 60 percent planned to swap traditional fabrication techniques for green alternatives by 2018.
Green building standards like the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification have catalyzed this shift, giving housing firms the guidelines they need to erect structures with limited environmental impact. Of course, LEED isn’t the only standard driving change in the industry. Another set of construction benchmarks has builders rethinking their processes to not only emphasize sustainability but also human health.
The International WELL Building Institute introduced the WELL Building Standards in 2014. The criteria address seven key design variables: air, light, water, comfort, fitness, nourishment and mind. Together, these factors determine structure livability and sustainability, according to the organization.
WELL-certified properties include features that mitigate interior and exterior pollution, facilitate optimal tap water filtration and flow and allow for well-lit interior spaces. These structures are also designed to emphasize user comfort, promote active lifestyles and support healthy cognitive and eating habits.
These features, together with the use of sustainable materials and construction processes, make for business and residential spaces that help the planet and inhabitants live hearty lives. Most in the building industry understand the benefits that come along with WELL certification and have launched myriad projects that live up to its values. So far, 350 structures comprising an estimated 76 million square feet have been built to WELL standards.
In October of last year, the IWBI introduced the second version of its guidelines and outlined a future in which humans can inhabit enterprises and homes that meld with modern living and the natural world. And make no mistake, the public, and potential clients are paying attention to the professionals making strides with WELL.