Have your heard of the WELL Building Standard?
2016 has seen an influx of curiosity about in the International WELL Building Standard in Australia. Just as the Green Star rating made an impact on the Australian property market after its 2002 release, WELL looks to be following the same trend.
WELL is a joint initiative developed by Delos Properties and Mayo Clinic to form the International WELL Building Institute. The advisory board includes Dr. Deepak Chopra, Leanardo DiCaprio and Rick Fedrizzi, founding chair of the US Green Building Council.
A WELL building goes beyond the bricks and mortar Green Star rating to include a standard for tenancy of the building, as well as for the building itself.
There is certainly interest at the high end of town, with companies such as Grocon, Macquarie Bank, Mirvac and Lendlease lining up to register their buildings. In Geelong, Grocon is building an 11 story 22,000 square metre space to meet WELL standards. Mirvac has indicated they will apply the standard to a new Sydney headquarters.
How does WELL address tenancy?
The difference with a WELL standard is that any tenants going into these buildings would need to achieve a WELL tenancy rating. That involves internal policies and practises including, flexible work hours, wellness policy (including mental health and exercise), maternity/paternity leave, green/garden spaces, water and air quality, and staff canteen and boardroom nutrition choices. WELL also addresses the ‘user experience’ of customers and other visitors who enter the building.
Absenteeism from sickness or stress takes a huge toll on the overall performance of a company, so the long-term performance benefits of applying a WELL Building Standard, far out way the cost of re-certifying every three years.
About WELL and Air Quality
There are many challenges with implementing WELL. Perhaps the biggest are in the areas of lighting and air filtration. There needs to outstanding air quality in a WELL building, better than the air outside in many cases, and with an equal consideration for energy consumption.
If you want to keep up to date with WELL Building Standard opportunities in Australia, you can register with Green Building Council of Australia at this link http://www.gbca.org.au/forms.asp?formid=10038&src=AugGBV
Even small businesses can be Well
Even if you are a small business in an old building, you can still follow the trend of large companies and initiate policies and practises that model WELL Building Standard. Supporting your staff to thrive has a natural flow on effect to the overall ‘health’ of your business.
For advice on air quality and other essential services standards to keep your staff and customers healthy and productive, talk to Surrey Air today.