May 16, 2018
WELL and Fitwel are two programs gaining momentum in the marketplace for the Wellness Real Estate movement. They’ve been out for about three and a half years, setting up the standard for advancing health and wellness in today’s buildings. Charlie gives us cliff notes on what these programs are, the building types that are easier fits to each program in their current form, and how they can be used as guidelines in their own right.
“This is where all the research shows we should be focused on when it comes to health & wellness and what we design, build, and operate.” - Charlie Cichetti
Both WELL and Fitwel are people-oriented programs that aid in the promotion of policies and designs geared towards healthier workplaces. These standards seek to lower the chances of disengaged workers and discomfort, whether it be at schools, churches, offices, and homes.
“How do we have buildings that will actually produce more productivity, less absenteeism, more presentism?” - Charlie Cichetti
While they have obvious differences, WELL and Fitwel are actually one and the same in this vision of focusing on the people that will become the dwellers in buildings.
Designed by Delos, a team led by Paul Scialla, WELL is the brainchild of a group architects and doctors crammed into a room and emerged out of it with the rating system. The program champions for people being more conscious of the air, water, and lighting systems in their buildings, even conversations on nourishment. Ultimately, it seeks for better human resource policies that will set up future occupants and tenants in a great environment.
WELL spun off the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the health and wellness counterpart of U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in LEED. Both IWBI and Delos are based in New York, the former having remote colleagues from all around the world to keep their policies updated.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and General Services Administration (GSA) initiated Fitwel. Administered by the Center for Active Design, it provides guidelines for the design, construction, and operation of healthier buildings.
Unlike WELL that is updated by the IWBI and certified by the Green Business Certification Inc.(GBCI), Fitwel is an all-in-one sort. The Center for Active Design keeps it updated and certified.
To hear more about the similarities and differences of WELL and Fitwel, download and listen to the episode!
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