Topical Area: Nutrition Education and Behavioral Science
To codify scientific, medical and industry research and best practices into design, policy and performance interventions that may improve the nutritional health of individuals in buildings around the world.
The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) is the first global rating system to holistically focus on promoting health and well-being through building design, construction and operations. WELL was developed by integrating scientific and medical research on environmental health, behavioral factors, health outcomes and demographic risk factors with leading practices in building design, construction and management. WELL launched in 2014 after six years of research and development and a comprehensive expert peer review process. WELL Certification is third-party administered and involves on-site performance testing to ensure buildings perform as designed.
WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ and builds upon green and sustainable building practices. WELL addresses 10 topic areas (concepts) of the built environment: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. Each concept is comprised of features that are either preconditions (mandatory) or optimizations (optional). The Nourishment concept includes design interventions and nutrition policies that focus on increasing access to fruits and vegetables and promoting nutritional transparency. Projects may also choose to voluntarily pursue features that target food advertising, portion sizes, nutrition education, food allergies and alternatives, responsible food sourcing and local food production, among other topics that may influence dietary health.
There are currently over 1200 projects across 265 million square feet in 43 countries applying WELL. Post-occupancy survey data from certified projects can help elucidate the impact of the built environment on human health and inform the continuous evolution of the standard.
Conclusions : Given that individuals spend 90% of their time indoors, integrating nutrition research and dietary recommendations into healthy building standards can help improve nutritional health through enhanced food environments.
Funding Sources : None
Senior Associate, Nourishment Concept Lead
International WELL Building Institute