Katherine Osterman, LEED AP BD+C, ENV SP, Greenroads STP
USGBC NFC Vice Chair

What is the connection between the built environment and our health? Can my office environment really affect my productivity? Are there project examples? Who can answer my questions about WELL?

These questions were just a few I started asking when I heard about WELL. As I continued to learn about this relatively new sustainability rating system, I wrote out a summary of the top things to know about WELL, which I’d like to share with you.

    1. Synergistic with other green rating systems, WELL aims to enhance human health, productivity, and well-being through the built environment.
    2. It goes beyond the design of buildings to include operational and behavioral decisions that affect occupants.
    3. Grounded in research and peer-review, WELL is a performance-based system, which includes measurement verification taken by a third party WELL Assessor.
    4. Currently optimized for commercial and institutional office buildings, WELL includes 7 concepts (similar to credit categories) and 100+ features broken down into preconditions and optimizations.
    5. WELL includes 3 levels of certifications with recertification every 3 years.

However, it seems that many people (myself included) still have lots of questions. So why not bring in the experts? As a member of the board for the local USGBC community – Nebraska Flatwater, I joined a discussion about how to highlight the WELL Building Standard with expert involvement as a topic for one of our monthly education lunches. The four WELL APs in Nebraska (including Stuart Shell and Andres Rodriguez-Burns from Forte Building Science) were invited to speak at the July Lunch and Learn and happily all accepted.

After helping to coordinate the formation of the WELL Panel, I was asked to take on the role as moderate and I’m excited to be moderating the conversation with these WELL APs. What questions do you have that you think I should ask these WELL APs? Please share your questions via Twitter to @MEGROUP with #WhatAboutWELL.

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