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  • International Workplace
  • 17 June 2020
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New health and safety rating for all building and facility types

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has announced the launch of the WELL Health-Safety Rating for all building and facility types, an evidence-based, third-party verified rating focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols and design strategies to address a post-COVID-19 environment.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating is one of the earliest outcomes of IWBI’s Task Force on COVID-19, a group of nearly 600 public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals, which was established in late March to help guide IWBI’s response to the pandemic.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides a centralised source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators. It leverages insights drawn from the IWBI COVID-19 Task Force, in addition to guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and leading academic and research institutions, as well as core principles already established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard. Participation in the programme requires submission of policies, protocols and strategies for third-party document review and annual verification.

Said Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO of IWBI:

“The WELL Health-Safety Rating will accept registrations in June from all types of buildings and facility typologies, including offices, restaurants, hotels, retail establishments, manufacturing plants, warehouses, sports stadiums, arenas, theatres and other entertainment venues, schools, multi-family housing, and many others. Current WELL-registered projects and WELL Portfolio participants can earn the WELL Health-Safety Rating as part of their already established certification efforts.”

Said Rachel Gutter, president of IWBI:

“Our buildings and the people who tend them are our first line of defense for keeping us safe and healthy, and the current pandemic has confirmed that health is a material economic consideration of the first order. These two simple truths stand at the nexus of our work to date and will, along with the hard evidence that is mounting, inform all our decisions about the critical need for better buildings, more vibrant communities and stronger organisations going forward.”

The WELL Health-Safety Rating is the first of many anticipated outcomes informed by the work of the IWBI COVID-19 Task Force that will be introduced in the coming months.

Said Dr Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States:

“People are learning that buildings themselves can be powerful vehicles for protecting and improving public health. All of us individually have a responsibility to the collective whole to use every tool, including our buildings and our sense of community, to keep ourselves and those we care about safe.”

Said Despina Katsikakis, Head of Occupier Business Performance at Cushman Wakefield and member of IWBI’s COVID-19 Task Force:

“The impacts of the virus have been many, but not the least is the anxiety of uncertainty about where people feel safe. Achieving this new WELL Health-Safety Rating is a great way to increase confidence that evidence-based steps to do the right thing have been taken to keep health front and centre as the economy reopens.”

Registrations under the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for healthy real estate, have already surpassed 550 million square feet across 62 countries.

For more information go to: www.wellcertified.com