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WELL building certification – An architectural aid for human health

Architecture continually evolves to meet societal demands. Recently, a global effort to tackle climate change, and to achieve optimum energy efficiency in buildings, has brought standards such as BREEAM and LEED to the fore. However, as scientific analysis and awareness of human mental health has increased, architects are once again required to place humans at the centre of the design process. This growing trend has led to the development of WELL Building Certification – considered the world’s first certification focused exclusively on human health and wellbeing.

The standards behind WELL have been the result of seven years of research involving scientists, doctors, and architects. Similar to LEED, WELL Certification is awarded at three levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum. However, whereas BREEAM and LEED standards focus on the relationship between buildings and the environment, WELL Certification recognizes the relationship between buildings and occupants. WELL addresses seven concepts related to human health in the built environment – air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and the mind. A WELL Certified space, therefore, is one which is deemed to improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, and performance of its occupants.

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