International WELL Building Institute Launches WELL Community Standard

The pilot program aims to set a new precedent for planning, building, and development by helping communities support the health and well-being of residents across all aspects of community life.

The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) has opened registration for the WELL Community Standard™ pilot, a companion to the pioneering WELL Building Standard™. Grounded in evidence-based research and developed through consultation with leading physicians, scientists, and public health professionals, as well as city planners, engineers, and architects, the WELL Community Standard is a district-scale rating system centered exclusively on human health and wellness.

WELL Community StandardThe WELL Community Standard builds on the principles of the WELL Building Standard, a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of buildings that impact the human experience. It aims to set a new precedent for planning, building, and development by providing a thorough understanding of how communities can employ actionable strategies and interventions to support the health and well-being of their residents across all aspects of community life.

“The WELL Community Standard is an important next step in what I like to call the ‘second wave of sustainability,’ whereby the environments we construct actively promote human health and wellness,” said IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. “We are excited to unveil this program and believe that with its tremendous reach, the WELL Community Standard has a revolutionary capacity to truly enhance people’s health and quality of life on the widest scale to date.”

Building off existing WELL programs and incorporating features specific to urban scale developments, the WELL Community Standard focuses on 10 concepts that impact human health and wellness: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, temperature, sound, materials, mind, and community.

The standard benefitted from expertise provided by several notable community-level projects, including Water Street Tampa in Tampa, FL, which inspired the creation of the standard in September 2015 when Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP), the developer of Water Street Tampa, joined President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative. Water Street Tampa was the first adopter of WELL’s approach for a community founded on health and wellness as part of its core development principles. Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, Water Street Tampa intends to revitalize the surrounding area and create an urban, mixed-use waterfront district consisting of over nine million square feet of new commercial, residential, hospitality, cultural, entertainment, education, and retail uses, totaling approximately $3 billion in private investment.

Other working group member projects included Coeur de Ville in Ville d’Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, a new eco-district developed by ALTAREA COGEDIM that puts digital at the service of social interaction and good living together. It covers more than 30,000 m² of land and includes an urban park, 40,000 m² of housing. 40,000 m² of offices, 15,000 m² of commercial space, a digital creative center, as well as public buildings and facilities, including a school.

Tropicana Field Conceptual Master Plan Project in St. Petersburg, FL is a proposal for redeveloping the current 86-acre Tropicana Field site into a mixed-use destination district that will feature housing, office buildings, retail spaces, public parks and plazas, and even a research and tech campus, as well as a new baseball stadium in the northeast corner of the site.

Shanghai EXPO Urban Best Practices Area was a flagship project from the Shanghai World Expo 2010. By enabling global cities to partake in the World Expo for the first time in history, the project became a successful innovation itself. The project served to showcase, communicate, and promote best practices in development, management, planning, and construction of urban areas, hence creating a positive impact on future urban development. In the post Expo era, Shanghai EXPO Urban Best Practice Area continues its vision for a “Better City, Better Life,” placing a major focus on supporting the creative industry to forge a city district sustaining the Expo spirit and Shanghai style. The UBPA project, as the first in Asia to have achieved pre-certification for LEED for Neighborhood Development at the Platinum level, is committed to a low carbon footprint throughout the district, and is positioned to attract businesses in the area of cultural heritage and creative industry as a new commercial destination in Shanghai.

In addition to the significant contributions by these projects, IWBI collaborated with a team of other working group members and contributors to develop the pilot program. The members, who were instrumental in refining program operations and providing expert content recommendations for community elements and features, include several of the building and health fields’ most highly esteemed organizations, professionals and subject matter experts. Key contributors include Arup, Gale International, Hart Howerton, HKS, Inc., McLennan Design, Shanghai EXPO UBPA Business Development Co., Ltd. and SRIBS and the U.S. Green Building Council.