International WELL Building Institute Launches WELL Portfolio

The streamlined certification pathway for multiple existing buildings will leverage efficiencies and drive health and wellness improvements across portfolios.

CBRE Group, Inc., Hines, and Lendlease are collaborating with the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) to deliver WELL Portfolio™, a new cost-effective, existing building portfolio certification pathway within the WELL Building Standard™. This new pathway will reward a commitment to ongoing enhancements to existing buildings, with specific focus on policies, programs, procurement guidelines, and plans that can be applied across a portfolio of buildings.

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“We know that when building owners, operators, and corporate tenants look across their portfolios, they typically shift their parameters one policy at a time, not a building at a time,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO of IWBI. “We believe this new approach can introduce immediate and measurable performance improvements and allow projects to earn recognition for their achievements, reducing fees and overall costs in the process.”

The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact the health and wellness of the people who live, work, and learn in the buildings. WELL focuses on seven categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. WELL is administered by IWBI and third party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).

“Hines is very interested in this approach of certifying health and wellness attributes in existing buildings, not only development,” said Hines Innovation Officer Charlie Kuntz. “With a large global development and property management portfolio, we want to build on our sustainability commitment in this leadership-defining area.”

“Global third-party sustainability indices and benchmarking tools like WELL have helped institutional investors make informed investment decisions and improve their portfolios,” said Brian Long, group head of safety and sustainability at Lendlease. “While focus has traditionally been on achieving positive environmental outcomes in buildings, greater focus is now on human health and wellness outcomes. Lendlease will continue to do both across our portfolio, providing competitive differentiation and longer-term value for our clients.”

“We are pleased to assist with the development of a comprehensive portfolio-wide approach for WELL Certification and believe this will be an important addition to ongoing efforts to introduce this standard to a wider marketplace,” said David L. Pogue, global director of corporate responsibility, CBRE.

The comprehensive scientific evidence that lays the groundwork for wellness decisions is growing every day, further supporting the value of WELL Certification to companies looking to improve employee productivity and engagement, lower absenteeism, and potentially reduce insurance health care costs.

“WELL Portfolio is a direct response to owners and operators who have shared with us their desire to rapidly incorporate proven, science-based practices across all their existing buildings, and to have their work third-party verified. We’re looking forward to their input on the best ways to move these practices rapidly to scale,” Fedrizzi added, “because improving health and wellness through better buildings is sustainability’s second wave.”