WELL Certification Concepts

Explore the ten concepts of a WELL Certification below. These concepts consist of features with distinct health intents. The preconditions and optimizations included in the Student Health Care Center are outlined below.



Concept Intent
Fundamental Air Quality Provide acceptable air quality levels as determined by public health authorities.
Smoke-Free Environment Ban indoor smoking and ban or restrict outdoor smoking within its boundaries.
Ventilation Effectiveness Bring in fresh air from the outside through mechanical and/or natural means in order to dilute human and product-generated air pollutants.
Construction Pollution Management Protect indoor air quality during building construction and renovation through a combination of strategies such as envelope protection, moisture and dust management, filter replacement, air flush and proper equipment selection.
Enhanced Air Quality Go above current guidelines to provide enhanced air quality levels that have been linked to improved human health and performance.
Enhanced Ventilation Implementation of advanced ventilation strategies that can secure higher air quality levels and thus benefit human health and productivity.
Pollution Infiltration Management Reduce transmission of air and pollutants from outdoors to indoors through the building envelope and entrance.
Combustion Minimization Utilize low emission combustion products or eliminate combustion-based products entirely.
Air Filtration Implement adequate air filtration and document a maintenance protocol for installed filters. For naturally ventilated spaces, this feature requires that outdoor air quality standards be met.
Microbe and Mold Control Conduct regular inspections in order to eliminate sources of microbes and mold and to inactivate existing microbes.



Concept Intent
Fundamental Water Quality Meet threshold for turbidity and coliforms for drinking and other uses likely to come in contact with building occupants and verifies performance using on-site tests.
Water Contaminates Meet threshold on contaminates based on thresholds published by national and international research and regulatory groups and verifies performance using on-site tests.
Legionella Control Analyze facilities to risk of Legionella and set up teams and response processes to manage concerns.
Enhanced Water Quality Provide drinking water that meets thresholds on contaminates that address aesthetics and taste and verifies performance using on-site tests.
Water Quality Consistency Use of filters on drinking water dispensers or testing of key water quality parameters at a more frequent level.
Drinking Water Promotion Requires readily available and maintained dispensers for drinking water.
Moisture Management Implement techniques to minimize the presence of unintentional water and, when unavoidable, to manage it through material selection.
Handwashing Requires sufficiently large sinks, disposable soap containers and hand drying towels.



Concept Intent
Food Advertising Requires healthy food advertising and nutritional messaging and strategic menu design to guide healthy food choices.
Nutrition Education Requires the provision of nutrition education.
Mindful Eating Requires designated eating spaces that contain tables and chairs for the provision of daily meal breaks.
Local Food Environment Requires projects to take into consideration the local food environment during site selection or programming.



Concept Intent
Light Exposure and Education Ensure appropriate light exposure in indoor environments by using daylighting or electric lighting strategies. To encourage users to seek light exposure on their own, projects are required to provide users with education about the importance of light for health.
Visual Lighting Design Provide appropriate illuminances on work planes for regular users of all age groups while taking into account light levels required for the tasks performed in the space.
Enhanced Daylight Access Design spaces to integrate daylight into indoor environments so that daylight may be used for visual tasks along with electric lighting. It also provides individuals with a connection to outdoor spaces through view windows.
Visual Balance Develop and implement strategies that take into account the light sources used in a space and create a visually comfortable lighting environment.
Electric Light Quality Take into account the characteristics of electric light used in the space such as color rendering, color quality and flicker.
Occupants Control of Lighting Environments Implement innovative lighting strategies that take into account personal preferences of users as well as their interaction with the physical space.



Concept Intent
Active Buildings and Communities Requires projects to select from a series of design-based optimizations.
Visual and Physical Ergonomics Provide basic ergonomic workstation furnishings for desk and standing-based workstations and education about workplace risk factors, signs and symptoms of discomfort, ergonomic policies and available furnishings.
Movement Network and Circulation Consider the circulation network within the building and implement design and promotional strategies that promote regular movement and stair use as applicable.
Site Planning and Selection Demonstrate that the project site is near diverse uses and walkable and bike-friendly streets and has proximate access to mass transit.
Physical Activity Opportunities Provide no-cost physical activity opportunities led by a qualified professional.
Active Furnishings Provide occupants access to traditional sit-stand desks and active workstations such as treadmill or cycle desks.
Physical Activity Spaces and Equipment Provide occupants access to dedicated physical activity spaces and equipment at no cost.
Exterior Active Design Projects leverage site design and amenities within the immediate vicinity to encourage physical activity throughout the day.
Enhanced Ergonomics Requires that projects collaborate with a qualified professional to audit the ergonomic conditions of the space and implement changes or recommendations through a qualified professional.
Physical Activity Promotion Provide at least two types of physical activity incentives and monitor uptake of incentive offerings.


Thermal Comfort

Concept Intent
Thermal Performance Create indoor thermal environments that provide comfortable thermal conditions to the majority of people in support of their health, wellbeing and productivity.
Enhanced Thermal Performance Provide high levels of thermal comfort through compliance with design requirements or by determining occupant satisfaction through a survey.
Thermal Zoning Increase thermal control of the space by allowing control of either the conditions of a thermal zone or movement between thermal zones.
Individual Thermal Control Improve thermal comfort of people in the space through the provision of personal thermal comfort devices and flexible dress codes that ensure individual thermal preferences are met.
Humidity Control Maintain optimum relative humidity levels that are conducive to human health and wellbeing.
Manage Outdoor Heat/Support Outdoor Nature Access Design outdoor spaces to avoid excessive wind and manage elevated temperatures through shading and other strategies.



Concept Intent
Sound Mapping Create an acoustical plan that identifies internal and external noise sources that can negatively impact the acoustical environment of interior spaces.
Maximum Noise Levels Facilitate comfortable interior noise levels.
Sound Barriers Bolster acoustical privacy between rooms.
Sound Absorption Address acoustical comfort by assigning requirements for surface finishes and reverberation time depending on the room functionality.
Impact Noise Management Manage background noise levels by demonstrating compliance with impact noise mitigation techniques.



Concept Intent
Fundamental Materials Precautions Requires the restriction of hazardous ingredient components in newly installed building materials, specifically through the restriction of asbestos, mercury-containing lamps and lead in plumbing products and paint.
Waste Management Requires the safe, ongoing management and disposal of hazardous waste, including construction and demolition waste.
Pesticide Use Requires the minimization of pesticide use through IPM and, when necessary, the use of low-hazard pesticides accompanied by signage detailing pesticide information at the site of application.
Hazardous Material Reduction Requires the restriction of heavy metals in various building materials and products, including furniture and furnishings and electrical components.
Cleaning Products and Protocols Requires the restriction of hazardous or harmful ingredients in soap, shampoo, cleaning, disinfecting and sanitization products as well as program training for staff, a plan for maintenance of a cleaning schedule and a protocol for entryway cleaning and maintenance.
Long-term Emission Control Requires the testing and adherence to emission thresholds for newly purchased furniture and furnishings, flooring and insulation.
Short-term Emission Control Requires the testing and adherence to emission thresholds for newly applied adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings.
Enhanced Material Precaution Requires screening and labeling of products in accordance with programs that restrict the use of hazardous ingredient contents in materials and products.
Material Transparency Requires the compilation and availability of product descriptions, with ingredients evaluated and disclosed down to 1,000ppm, through transparency labels.



Concept Intent
Mental Health Promotion Promote mental health by integrating it into their commitment to overall health as well as provide basic education and resources on management of mental health, common mental health conditions and services within the local community
Access to Nature Requires the integration of nature into the project’s interior and exterior through design elements that support direct access with nature using plants, water, light and views, and indirect access to nature using natural materials, patterns, colors or images.
Mental Health Support Provide occupants with access to essential mental health services as well as offer supportive accommodations for those living with mental health conditions.
Mental Health Education Provide Education and training to employees and managers.
Stress Support Requires the restriction of hazardous or harmful ingredients in soap, shampoo, cleaning, disinfecting and sanitization products as well as program training for staff, a plan for maintenance of a cleaning schedule and a protocol for entryway cleaning and maintenance.
Restorative Opportunities Implement policies that support recovery and restoration from work and encourage a healthy work-life balance, such as breaks throughout the workday and sufficient paid time off.
Enhanced Access to Nature Requires the integration of nature and natural elements into the interior and exterior of the project, as well as the provision of nature views and nearby nature, such as green and blue spaces.
Focus Support Requires projects to assess and organization’s work style, type of work, processes and space utilization to optimize employee satisfaction and productivity through workplace program and design.
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Requires employee access to tobacco cessation support programs such as counseling, prescription, over-the-counter tobacco cessation medications and nicotine replacement products.
Substance Use Education and Services Outline policies regarding drug and alcohol use in the workplace, provide education on substance use and addiction and support access to substance use services.
Opioid Emergency Response Plan Have a plan in place and resources available in case of an individual experiencing an opioid overdose, including emergency response training for occupants and the availability of an opioid emergency kit containing naloxone, a medication that can be used to reverse the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose.



Concept Intent
Health and Wellness Awareness Provide a guide to occupants that highlights the relationship between health and buildings, a description of the WELL features pursued by the project, educational materials on a variety of health topics and annual communications about available health resources and programs.
Integrative Design Facilitate a collaborative design and development process from commencement to completion of WELL Certification.
Occupant Survey Collect feedback from building users on their health and wellbeing and on topics related to WELL.
Enhanced Occupant Survey Collect and respond to an exhaustive spread of information from building users on their health and wellbeing and on topics related to WELL, both before and during occupancy.
Health Promotion Cultivate a culture of health through various health promotion strategies, including communications, stakeholder involvement and risk assessments.
Community Immunity Requires the provision of annual influenza (flu) immunizations, flu prevention campaigns and support in accessing other necessary vaccines.
New Parent Support Requires paid parental leave, supportive services for parents returning to work and resources to ensure workplace support and inclusion.
New Mother Support Requires the provision of designated lactation rooms with supportive design and amenities, as well as initiatives and educational opportunities that help women initiate and sustain breastfeeding.
Accessibility and Universal Design Comply with basic accessible design requirements in their region and integrate principles of universal design into the design and operation of the space.
Emergency Preparedness Have an emergency management plan in place and to have accompanying supportive resources for responding to an emergency.