With one short clip, Lady Gaga’s world (finally) collided with mine as she introduced the WELL Health-Safety seal to her 46 million Instagram followers.
She joins fellow A-listers and medical experts at the heart of a new campaign by the International WELL Building Institute encouraging uptake of a new standard showing safe and healthy spaces.
I wholeheartedly support the cause: health and wellbeing in buildings should be a topic not only for O&M manuals but for everyone’s understanding.
While there is no legislation behind this badge, there is an economic incentive for occupiers to adopt it. After reviewing the requirements, I believe this certification will be a valuable means of helping occupiers and owners – from retailers to offices, leisure venues to schools – to reopen safely and effectively.
For those who are interested, the time to research and implement such a certification is now, while your spaces are out of use.
The good news is this certification focuses on building operation, meaning little if any physical alteration is required, and many measures are cost-effective to implement. However, occupiers and managers will need to get to grips with a few different elements. Air- and water-quality measurements can be undertaken cheaply, and that data can be shared with occupiers for transparency.
Health benefits, such as employee mental-health support, are increasingly standard practice, but also not hard to introduce. The requirements will require building managers and occupiers to get to grips with their contractors and supply chains to ensure effective cleaning regimens, and a better link with occupier HR teams to ensure organisational policies match up to the WELL requirements.
Specific measures are varied by type and size of space, but WELL Health-Safety heralds a more enlightened age of building occupiers where healthier buildings can support a healthier recovery all round.
Giulia Mori is senior sustainability consultant at TFT
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