In today’s competitive world, where public health has become a top priority, businesses face tough challenges in maintaining good indoor air quality. That is where certifications such as the WELL Building Standard help provide a framework for buildings to create healthy and comfortable spaces and give confidence to its occupants.
The basic concept of WELL is implementing a structure to allow buildings and organizations to be more intentional with places that are focused on occupants’ health and well-being. This performance-based system is anchored around seven concepts that should be monitored and certified: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind.
With the WELL Building Standard gaining wide acceptance worldwide, the organization developed and introduced an updated framework – the WELL V2 in 2018, which expands the concept list to ten, including Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, and Community. Fortunately, for those acquainted with WELL V1, many of the V1 elements have been included in the new standards, so the changes aren’t as drastic as they may seem.
The new version is more dynamic as it allows buildings to build their scorecard according to their spaces’ unique and relevant features. To date, there are over 4,000 WELL-certified projects across 60 countries, with quantifiable benefits reported. Workers carry the majority of the running expenses of high-end buildings and businesses. Salaries and employees’ benefits often account for 90% of a company’s operational costs. Fulfilling the precondition criteria of WELL is critical in keeping workers engaged, happy, healthy, and fulfilled. That translates to reduced employee absenteeism, as well as increased productivity, turnover, and profitability. Moreover, WELL-certified offices can attain maximum performance of its workforce attributed to a 100% promotion of health and well-being of each employee.
WELL Certification is the next big thing in business, and there are documented quantifiable positive outcomes for WELL-certified projects. A post-occupancy survey across several metrics found:
- 30% increase in collaboration
- 90% improvement in customer satisfaction
- 65% of employees have taken fewer sick day offs
- 42% have a better sleep because of circadian lightings
Continuously monitoring your indoor air quality (IAQ) is one of the most important measures you can take to future-proof and develop your business. When you consider the financial implications of low worker productivity and poor employees’ health, maintaining high IAQ is one of the most significant investments you can make. With reasonable IAQ procedures in place, you may get certifications that give consumers and other stakeholders confidence in dealing with your company. A WELL accreditation, for example, indicates that a building fosters sustained overall wellness of its occupants. Research has also shown that continuously monitoring your IAQ increases rental value by, on average, US$ 0.40 per square foot.
When organizations take the initiative in supporting the overall health of their employees and regard them as their most valuable assets, it provides favorable outcomes on the bottom line:
- 79% positive impact on occupant satisfaction
- 73% positive impact on building lease rate
- 62% positive impact on building value
The benefits and ROI of getting a WELL V2 certification make for a compelling argument to commit to adopting the new health standards, and uHoo Aura can support you in achieving this coveted seal.
How To Get There
WELL V2 contains a collection of methods to advance human health through design innovations, operational protocols, and regulations that foster a health and wellness culture. Having a WELL certification can give confidence to people knowing they are entering a place where their health and wellness matter. To achieve this, you need to understand the process that leads to achieving the certification.
All WELL V2 applications are scored using a point system. There are 100 points available for every project, plus an additional 10 “innovation” points for excellent solutions. During a performance verification, the total WELL score is computed to check whether a building or a workspace is worth a WELL Building V2 Certification. It necessitates an on-site evaluation by a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) and the submission of letters of assurance or annotated documentation by third-party testing, such as data and insights monitored, recorded, and provided by intelligent devices such as the uHoo Aura.
It has three certification levels, and the main differences lie in the performance requirements and how points are earned. WELL Silver requires 50 points, while WELL Gold and WELL Platinum need to meet 60 and 80 points, respectively.
Here is an illustration of how the uHoo Business solution with uHoo Aura can monitor and manage preconditions and criteria requirements to secure your WELL Building V2 Certification:
uHoo Aura and WELL Building V2 Certification
Having WELL-accredited buildings makes excellent financial sense as these buildings will likely command higher rental rates and capital value. Thus, fulfilling the necessary criteria for obtaining the certification should be part of your company’s game plan.
uHoo can act as a vital intermediary between your organization and your journey towards being WELL-certified. It can help businesses navigate regulations, achieve certification, and ensure that your commitment to sustainability is well documented.
Continuous Monitoring of Indoor Environmental Quality Factors
To achieve WELL Building V2 Certification, you are required to have effective monitoring that evaluates air quality performance. WELL V2 examines real-time building efficiency via gathered and reported IAQ performance data. Projects must continuously collect performance data on buildings to comply with this requirement. The collection of this information also allows building owners and managers to be aware of any discrepancies in the indoor quality indicators and to rectify them quickly.
uHoo Aura offers the best-in-class indoor environmental quality monitoring using real-time data. Building owners and managers can use it to continuously monitor and maintain a safe, healthy, and productive workplace. The actionable insights on important indoor environmental quality variables promote overall well-being in a particular space. uHoo Aura assesses 13 indoor environmental conditions: temperature, relative humidity, CO2 monitoring, different particle sizes (PM10, PM4, PM2.5, PM1), carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), air pressure, light, and sound.
Sharing of IAQ data
WELL certifications are granted on the basis of research that combines developments, policies, and building design initiatives toward health and well-being. In order to obtain high-quality data, input is sought from a wide range of specialists, subject matter experts, building occupants, and other third parties. Therefore, it is critical that data from an indoor air quality monitor is shared with building users and occupants. If IAQ is adequately monitored, as previously discussed, sharing data could provide additional verification points.
WELL has given data presentation specifications for each project. It may take the form of at least one prominently positioned display screen (at the height of 0.9m to 1.8m or 3.6–5.6 ft) on a 350 sqm or 3500 sqft frequently used area or be hosted on a website or as a phone application. This data, which includes the concentrations of the factors tested and the qualitative findings of air quality, should always be available to occupants.
Data from uHoo Aura gives business owners, building maintenance teams, and management the ability to control and manage indoor environmental quality factors while sharing it with building tenants and occupants. It comes with a user-friendly dashboard that offers a unified picture of all the devices in the various locations. A dashboard and mobile app allow data to be shared and displayed on monitors or screens to give a real-time assessment of the air quality of a healthy building.
uHoo Aura gives companies key health performance indicators that can provide a real-time assessment. Advanced analytics offer essential insights on trends and patterns that can guide owners to make data-driven decisions to protect the health, safety, and well-being of those occupying the building. Moreover, the ability to exchange and share data is beneficial for companies seeking sustainability and WELL Building V2 Certification. This seal of excellence can give confidence and peace of mind to customers, employees, and building occupants.
Regular Calibration of Sensors
WELL requires IAQ sensors to be replaced and calibrated on an annual basis. Properly calibrated devices are required to ensure the reliability of data.uHoo Aura’s sensors are regularly and automatically calibrated via software to ensure accurate and reliable real-time data any time of the year. If a replacement is required, you can just remove the sensor module from the uHoo Aura and replace it with a new sensor module, without having to replace the entire device. This type of design reduces wasted and contributes to your sustainability initiatives.
uHoo Aura also includes the uHoo Virus Index, the world’s first real-time evaluation of coronavirus survival and transmission risk based on air quality. It evaluates critical air quality variables and offers actionable insights on risk reduction to promote a healthier indoor environment. As the world slowly opens up and progresses in the new normal, the uHoo Virus Index is an essential factor that can help business owners progress in leading their business to thrive despite health issues and physical restriction struggles.
Ensure that your space is well equipped to obtain a WELL Building V2 Certification today. Experience uHoo Aura and learn how to improve indoor air quality inside offices and essential spaces. Get in touch with us today, and let us guide you in your journey towards achieving and maintaining the WELL certification.