Over the last decade, green building standards and standard-setting organisations have made significant strides towards the market transformation of the building industry, resulting in a rapid expansion of green buildings and environmentally conscious building practices throughout the world. 

 Over the same period, strategies to enhance human health and well-being have played a relatively small role in the evolution of building standards. WELL certification is focussed on elevating human health and comfort to the forefront of building practices – reinventing buildings that are not only better for the planet, but also for people. 

 The study  

 In the largest and most comprehensive research of its kind, a peer-reviewed study titled “Impact of WELL certification on occupant satisfaction and perceived health, well-being and productivity: A multi-office, pre-versus, post-occupancy evaluation*” analysed the impact of WELL certification on six companies in North America, with analyses conducted at both the aggregate and company level. 

 It was found that occupants in WELL-certified spaces report improved workplace satisfaction, increased levels of productivity and gains in their health and well-being.  

 Key findings 

 Using extensive pre- and post-occupancy survey data, the analysis was able to assess the impact of WELL certification on the people inside a space when compared to their experiences before certification. The study comprehensively analysed the impacts of WELL certification on occupants from four different perspectives: 

  • Satisfaction with the workplace. 
  • Physical and mental health. 
  • Well-being. 
  • Productivity. 

 Occupant satisfaction boosted by 30%  

 WELL certification considerably boosts occupant satisfaction with the workplace, improving the overall satisfaction by nearly 30%. The study examined occupant satisfaction across twelve WELL-related healthy building parameters, including indoor air quality, thermal comfort, physical comfort, lighting, cleanliness, maintenance, access to nature, ability to eat healthy, physical activity, wellness programmes, acoustics and water access and quality. 

Mental and physical health 

 The study used a global scale that measures against United States of America (USA) national averages and found that WELL certification improves the occupant-perceived mental and physical health: 

  • The average occupant-perceived mental health scores increased with 10% (from 41,7% to 51,7% in pre- to post-occupancy). 
  • The average occupant-perceived physical health score increased with 2% (from 53% to 55,1% in pre- to post-occupancy). 

 Well-being 

 WELL certification increased the overall occupant well-being scores by 26% across eleven well-being measures. The study showed that the agreement rates with statements associated to occupant well-being were considerably higher post-occupancy compared to pre-occupancy. The overall average agreement rate improved from 46% to 72% from pre- to post-occupancy, with no decline in the overall agreement rate across the parameters. 

 More specifically, the study showed that with WELL certification occupants felt more energised, more motivated to work, more confident that the workplace is conducive to their health and well-being and increased pride in being part of the organisation. 

Productivity 

 WELL certification improves the productivity scores by ten median points. In terms of occupant-perceived productivity based on presenteeism scores, the study found that the post-occupancy scores were overall higher. Specifically, the median productivity score in WELL-certified buildings improved with ten points, from 80 to 90. The study used the World Health Organisation’s Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) to measure the perceived productivity, using absolute presenteeism scores. This tool is a psychometrically validated survey that has been used globally. 

 Organisational-level benefits 

 The study also examined the impact of WELL certification at the organisational level, showing that each company examined saw similar improvements in occupant satisfaction, health, well-being and productivity. 

 Satisfaction: Every company in the study saw sizeable improvements in the overall occupant satisfaction, ranging from nearly a point to more than two points on a seven-point statistical scale. 

Mental health: Every company improved in the overall perceived mental health, with one company reaching a 14% improvement. 

Well-being: The average scores for well-being increased considerably for all companies’ statistical scale. 

Productivity: The average occupant-perceived productivity score improved for all companies, with improvements ranging from 1,39% to 6,72%. 

The WELL Building Standard takes a holistic approach to health in the built environment, addressing behaviour, operations and design. It is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. 

 Acknowledgement and thanks go to https://www.wellcertified.com/ http://www.v2com-newswire.com/for the information in this article. 

 Learn more about WELL at www.wearewell.com or view The WELL factor case study.  

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