Our built environment has a profound impact on human welfare and health.
Closely linked to human wellbeing and health include increased productivity, academic performance, willingness to cooperate, purchasing behavior and satisfaction. Now we spend 90% of our time in buildings. We live, work, shop, recreate and send our children to school in buildings. Our habits, choices and health are affected by the quality of buildings. At the same time, most chronic diseases of our time id lifestyle related. Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses are often the result of lifestyle choices and are stress related.
Apart from this direct value creation at the micro level, a good health also provides a macroeconomic value through healthy environments in which we reside. A healthier society after all supplies to lower public health costs. In an era of non sustainable acting and aging, interventions in favor of a vibrant civil society becomes an important social issue.
It is no coincidence that the health and wellness industry is now the fastest growing industry in the world, driven by an exponentially growing demand for products and services in this area.
Although the link between these two worlds of the built environment and health studies is increasingly put on the agenda of state governments, platforms, academia, and private parties, there is no institution in which the various stakeholders are united in order to further develop this theme.
The European Blue Building Institute (EBBI) connects these public-private worlds together and operates at the intersection of buildings and health & well-being at European level.
The primary goal of the Institute is to create a movement in which the promotion of human sustainability through the built environment is key.
Our aim is to develop a European standard for the design, construction and management of buildings on people. This planet is not the starting point but people are. This standard provides a practical support for the sector in addressing human welfare.
The Blue Building Institute seeks both to remove the obstacles, as to set up initiatives to create an effective infrastructure for an ecosystem around the theme of “human health and the built environment.”
This theme is multidisciplinary by nature so various stakeholder groups should be involved. So far this theme is primarily flown from the property-related value chain and translated as indoor climate. In our view, this issue goes far beyond that and is not confined to comfort or materials.
The only successful way to progress, is by a holistic approach to the topic, so to approach the built environment from a human perspective. This means in practice that we need to cooperate, while support should be created among the various stakeholders.
Who are these stakeholders?
• Human beings, end users who are directly experiencing the effects of the building where they live, work, learn, shop, receiving care and relaxes. Interest: health, well-being, happiness, comfort.
• The organization that acts as a tenant, especially in commercial real estate, and often it is at the same time employer. This group has an interest in the employee’s being productive, work well together and be innovative. Also an important issue is to reduce sick leave and increase employee satisfaction in the context of attracting and retaining talent.
• The building owner with an interest in a good quality, future-proof building with minimal vacancy and long-term leases. The added value that is delivered to tenants and end users is a chance for building owners to differentiate themselves.
• (health) Insurers that are increasingly aware of prevention in an aging world where health care costs are a daily topic of discussion. If buildings play an important role in achieving prevention goals, this stakeholder group is crucial.
• The medical and technical world.
WELL Building Standard
Our built environment can shape our habits and choices, regulate our sleep-wake cycle, drive us toward healthy and unhealthy choices, and passively influence our health through the quality of our surroundings.
Health and wellness is one of the largest growing industries, and consumers are impacting this growing demand. In the design and development industry, owners, designers and builders expect health to have a higher influence on design and construction decisions over the next two years.
The WELL Building Standard® provides the opportunity to design and build with a human-centered approach, which ultimately supports the industry in comprehensively addressing human health.
A WELL Certified™ project has the potential to add measurable value to the health, wellbeing and happiness of building occupants. It can also generate increased savings and productivity, in addition to a meaningful return on investment to the tenant and building owner.
By placing people at the heart of design, construction, operations and development decisions, we have the ability to add meaningful value to real estate assets, generate savings in personnel costs, and enhance the human experience, health and wellbeing.
WELL empowers the creation of healthy environments for people to live, work and play, enhancing occupant health and quality of life globally.
People who work in WELL Certified environments have expressed the positive impacts their WELL offices have on productivity and performance. In the first office to be WELL Certified™ — Pilot Program, CBRE Corporate Headquarters, employees responded with the following survey feedback:
83% feel more productive
100% said that clients are interested in their new way of working
92% said the new space has created a positive effect on their health and wellbeing
94% said that the new space has a positive impact on their business performance
93% said that they are able to more easily collaborate with others
Source: CBRE Global Corporate Headquarters Los Angeles, California, Workplace 360 Study. 2014
Return on Investment
Personnel costs significantly outweigh the costs for design and construction and operations and maintenance.
Design & ConstructionOperations & MaintenancePersonnel6%92%
|Design & Construction||2|
|Operations & Maintenance||6|
Source: Osso, Annette. Sustainable Building Technical Manual. [Online] 1994. Public Technology, Inc.
By channeling resources toward reducing the biggest line item in the 30-year costs of a building—the personnel—the business case for WELL features a meaningful return on investment.
Discover WELL Projects
More than 10 million square feet of projects have already registered or certified through WELL.
Projects registered and certified through the WELL Building Standard® include more than 10 million square feet of commercial, institutional, and multifamily projects in the U.S. and globally.
WELL Certified™ spaces have received valuable recognition for commitments made to the health and wellness of employees, consumers, and the general public, in addition to media attention for innovative and progressive work.
- The first office in the world to be WELL Certified™ — Pilot Program, CBRE Corporate Headquarters in Los Angeles, was the recipient of the Prestigious Global Innovator’s Award from CoreNet Global.
- The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is the first institution worldwide to be WELL Certified™ Platinum – Pilot Program, the highest rating awarded by IWBI, for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL). The CSL has also achieved the Living Building Challenge™, LEED® Platinum, and the Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative™ (SITES™) for landscapes project (pilot).
- The first WELL Certified™ — Pilot Program retail environment, LYFE Kitchen, has received acclaim from multiple media outlets and celebrity endorsements including Deepak Chopra, who stated: “I commend the efforts of LYFE Kitchen to create a dining environment that promotes emotional and physical wellness.”
425 Park Avenue New York, NY, USA
Macquarie – One Shelley Street Sydney, Australia
Macquarie – 50 Martin Place Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The Bloc Los Angeles, USA
CBRE Headquarters Los Angeles, USA
Fahr LLC / NGCA Offices San Francisco, CA, USA
The Center for Sustainable Landscapes Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Agoura Hills, CA, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Tarzana Tarzana, CA, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Dallas West Village Dallas, TX, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Valencia Town Center Santa Clarita, CA, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Henderson Henderson, NV, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Dallas Preston Center Dallas, TX, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Plano Park Plano, TX, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Evanston Evanston, IL, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Park Meadows Lone Tree, CO, USA
LYFE Kitchen – Clark Street Chicago, IL, USA
85 Bluxome Street San Francisco, CA, USA
Medical Services Centre and Residences at Collett Manor Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
1KFulton Chicago, IL, USA
Shangri-La Construction Headquarters Los Angeles, CA, USA
Kilroy Mission Bay San Francisco, CA, USA
Haworth, Shanghai Head Office Shanghai, China
NAVA Sloan’s Lake Condos Denver, CO, USA
Tryon Place Charlotte, NC, USA
Paharpur Business Centre New Delhi, National Capital Territory, India