NewsStandardsBringing healthy building standards home: IWBI launches global WELL for Residential Program

The new WELL designation will pioneer a health leadership benchmark for new and existing homes focused on spurring global market transformation; early adopters hailing from 10 countries signal strong market demand.
Content Team3 weeks ago12 min

The  International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the global authority for driving market transformation through healthy buildings, organisations and communities, has announced its new WELL for residential program. This global pilot will call the WELL certification system through to residential buildings, with nearly 30,000 homes and residences around the globe signed up to the pilot scheme. The evidence-based, third-party verified certification program aims to transform the way homes are designed, built and maintained to support human health and well-being.

The WELL for residential program, informed by the evidence-based principles of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and its 10 WELL concepts, offers more than 100 strategies to create homes that prioritise resident health, comfort and well-being. Designed to empower builders and developers, operators, architects and designers and homeowners, the new health leadership framework is applicable to both single family homes and residences within multifamily buildings.

“We are excited to work side by side with our pilot participants, as well as hundreds of stakeholders along the residential sector value chain, to introduce this transformational roadmap that will help market leaders adopt health-first strategies into how we design, operate and maintain our homes,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI.

Why healthy homes matter

Healthier and more resilient homes are increasingly vital today as people look to enhance their homes for advancing their health and well-being, while also fortifying against future health threats or challenges. The WELL for residential program seeks to provide a solution to help transform the global residential market and ensure that everyone, no matter their backgrounds, has access to a home that enhances their health and enables them to make healthier decisions.

The development of the program drew upon two years of industry input, market insight and expert recommendations from IWBI’s WELL for residential Advisory, a working group of over 100 globally renowned subject matter experts, including leading builders and developers, architects and engineers, public health and building scientists, government officials and academics, as well as other real estate professionals.

Projects can earn the WELL Residence seal for residences upon completion of third-party review and verification of selected strategies. To attain a WELL Residence certification, a home must achieve at least 40 points. Projects also have an opportunity to earn a pre-certified WELL Residence status upon preliminary design review, an incremental milestone that allows participants to communicate achievement before construction is completed.

Leading organisations excited to contribute toward the ground-breaking program are embracing WELL for residential in their developments. Twenty-five pilot participants have committed to implementing WELL for residential across nearly 30,000 residences in both single family homes and multifamily communities. The projects have a diverse global footprint across 10 countries, including, the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Spain, Montenegro and the Netherlands.

Hodgdon applauded the pilot participants for their leadership and commitment to creating healthier living environments for residents.

To date, participants of the WELL for residential program include but not limited to:

During the pilot stage, IWBI will work with global users and collect stakeholder feedback to refine the new standard, ensuring it is a robust, globally applicable roadmap for healthier, more resilient homes.

The future of WELL for residential

The WELL for residential program adds to the WELL ecosystem and provides a new pathway for creating people-first residences. The program builds upon the work IWBI has already done within the multifamily sector through its WELL Certification and WELL ratings programs. Leading organisations in the multifamily homes that have achieved WELL Certification have helped inform and inspire the development of the new WELL for residential program.

More about WELL

The WELL ecosystem comprises WELL Certification under the WELL Building Standard, a library of building and organisational strategies focused on health, the WELL Health-Safety Rating, WELL Performance Rating, WELL Equity Rating and certification under the WELL Community Standard. WELL’s holistic, evidence-based approach has provided a roadmap for organisations to promote social sustainability performance and enhance their ESG strategy. As a result, thousands of organisations including nearly 30% of Fortune 500 companies across nearly 130 countries have adopted WELL strategies in more than 40,000 locations totalling almost five billion square feet of space.

More information on WELL can be found here.

Cover image sourced from Seneca.

Content Team

Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.

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