FROM THE DESK OF DAVID BERNETT NEMIC Administrator
Measuring Building Occupant Health and Wellness
It’s a truth, universally acknowledged, that high-performance, smartly designed and operated buildings can have a positive effect on occupants’ health and wellness. But to date, there haven’t been too many great metrics for proving that. Much like the notion that sustainable, high-performance buildings increase worker productivity, the metrics (fewer sick days, for example) used to gauge health and wellness have often not been as illustrative as many facility managers would like.
According to Greg Zimmerman, executive editor of “Building Operating Management” magazine, the advent of the WELL Standard is changing all that. The WELL Standard is a LEED-like rating system to measure health and wellness with several different credits in several different categories – facility managers can follow a checklist, get a building certified, and be reasonably sure they actually are employing strategies that have real impact on occupant health and wellness.
A new project — a collaboration between Mayo clinic and Delos — called the Well Living Lab — will attempt to further prove the link between buildings, and health and wellness. The three-year study will explore “the interplay of elements such as sound, lighting, temperature, and air quality; the plan aims to provide insight on the positive, neutral, and negative effects that these features have on the people exposed to them.”
The study’s results will be a huge benefit for FMs and the industry at large for making workspaces more comfortable and healthy.