Boston Metro commercial real estate owners and developers may already be familiar with LEED-certified buildings and the trends of going “green.” And while LEED ratings inspire energy-efficiency and sustainability in commercial real estate design, there’s a new standard that takes things further: the WELL Building Standard.
WELL is third-party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which administers LEED certification and credentials. And because modern living keeps people indoors for 90% of their lives, WELL standards could make a considerable difference in employee health, morale and productivity.
The WELL Building Standard puts the health and wellness of the people who work in a building as the top priority in design, operation and maintenance. The standard involves both operational and architectural elements, and considers seven aspects that influence human health:
- Physical comfort
- Psychological comfort
Some large and mid-size companies already recognize the need for healthier buildings and work environments. Office building developments are improving indoor air quality through sophisticated HVAC systems. New office designs frequently incorporate LED lighting with a good supply of natural light. Companies are also providing on-site cafeterias and fitness centers to promote employee health and encourage socialization.
Here in the Boston Metro, the new General Electric headquarters includes many elements from WELL building standards, according to the Connecticut Post.
WELL standards are likely to catch on as more building owners and developers recognize the appeal to tenants, according to a report by Dodge Data & Analytics. In their survey of wellness-astute building owners, 73% noted higher leasing rates, while 62% reported higher values. The positive impact to the bottom line could encourage wider adoption of WELL standards.
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