Colliers International is now offering full advisory services related to applying for the WELL certificate, which confirms a building’s positive influence on people’s comfort and health.
The WELL Building Standard certification system took 6 years to prepare and was launched in 2014 by the American organisation Green Building Certification Institute, also responsible for developing the popular LEED system. Certificates such as LEED or BREEAM, which are well known on the Polish real estate market, are based on accenting ecological and energy aspects. However, the WELL system is focused on people and it aims to achieve the maximum comfort and health of a building’s users.
“We spend over 90 percent of our life inside buildings. That is why the work environment has a major influence on our health and mood. On the other hand, a healthier and more comfortable workplace leads to higher effectiveness among employees. This helps the entire business to grow,” said Andrzej Gutowski, Associate Director in Building Consultancy Services and Green Building Certification department. “In the current labour market, a WELL certificate may be an additional asset for potential employees.”
The WELL system has been adapted to existing buildings as well as to those that are still under construction (or being designed), and also to office arrangement projects. 100 aspects of a building’s influence on its users are analysed and assessed, including air and water quality, healthy diet and lifestyle promotion, ergonomics, work comfort and stress level reduction. Evaluation is made by an independent auditor, who conducts a number of tests and measurements to give a neutral and objective confirmation of standards – both for office space and buildings as a whole.
“The WELL certification system is very strict both because of the standards required in buildings and the manner of verification. For that reason, the process is usually conducted with the help of an accredited advisor”, says Andrzej Gutowski. “In the early stage of the process, we assess the building and its space to see if the certification process can be applied. Then, we indicate which aspects of WELL could be introduced in the building and we suggest what WELL good practices can be implemented, also in the case of not applying for the certificate,” said Andrzej Gutowski.