Last month the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) unveiled an updated version of its building standard. Known as WELL v2, it is being rolled out globally in pilot form.
“Since our launch in 2014, we’ve learned a lot from the thousands of WELL users, practitioners and researchers who have embraced WELL as a tool for making buildings mechanisms to deliver health and wellness benefits for all,” said Rachel Gutter, the new IWBI president who was instrumental in bringing WELL v2 to market.
“This is our effort to consolidate the latest knowledge, leading research, new technology and advanced building practice to extend the benefits of WELL buildings to more people in more places.”
WELL has gained a strong following across the world by highlighting the impacts of buildings on human health and wellness.
And Australia has been particularly receptive to this approach: our 59 projects make us the third largest country in terms of number of projects and project area in square metres, after the US and China. Australia is also home to the largest total area of certified projects worldwide, at over 347,832m2. This includes landmark projects such as Barangaroo International Towers Sydney, shown above.
“Over the course of the past year, we convened a series of nine in-person, global roundtables where WELL Accredited Professionals (APs) and users could share details about their experiences and directly inform our plans for this new version,” says the IWBI’s senior director for Australia and New Zealand, Jack Noonan.
“With the release of WELL v2, we’ve upgraded not only the rating system itself, but we’re also launching a new digital project management platform that reflects numerous rounds of user feedback, surveys, analytics and evolving user experience best practices.
“We’re also continuing our commitment to translation of content and resources to further its global relevance and uptake,” Noonan says. “Our WELL online project management portal has been reimagined to feature stronger user onboarding and guidance, intuitive menus and content organisation.
“Finally, engagement with WELL coaching contacts will continue to be an important means for project support in WELL v2. These dedicated contacts guide projects through the WELL process, from registration through to certification and recertification, helping projects overcome challenges and brainstorm solutions.”
IWBI anticipates that WELL v2 will remain in pilot form for at least several months.
“We need to allow sufficient time for users to respond to the new version,” Noonan says. “The IWBI will announce a sunset schedule for WELL v1 when we move out of the pilot phase and formally launch the next version of WELL v2.”