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Welcome to public comment for the WELL v2 pilot!

Welcome to public comment for the WELL v2 pilot!

On May 31 last year, we launched the WELL version 2 pilot: a leap forward for our standard that was co-created with our community, and done so with aspirations of accelerating our efforts to improve lives around the world.

Thanks to you, we’ve learned so much in the past year. Through the quarterly addenda process, we’ve been able to turn your ongoing insights into action, and have already made a number of important changes to the WELL v2 pilot standard. On its one year anniversary, we’re opening up a six-month public comment period: an exciting and important step as we prepare to move WELL v2 out of the pilot phase.

The intention behind a public comment period, a common process for rating systems and standards of all kinds, is simple but powerful. It’s a way to poll a community of users, collect feedback, and then use those insights to make meaningful upgrades and improvements.

At IWBI, we’re deeply invested in innovative strategies to accelerate market transformation. We strive to make WELL an expression of leadership and innovation and we want the process of public comment to reflect those same values.

For the next six months, you’ll be able to share your thoughts on a wide range of elements within the WELL v2 pilot – from feedback on scoring and certification levels to recommendations for enhancing WELL feature requirements.

Have an impassioned view on the methodology for circadian lighting? A strong feeling about thermal comfort blankets? A suggestion for an improvement to Feature V06 – Physical Activity Opportunities? We want to hear it!

Here’s where the process takes on a new sense of energy, transparency and dialogue: all of this will occur within a digital discussion forum that you can find right here, within the standard itself. In addition to sharing your own perspectives, you’ll also be able to view and respond to comments from others. The result will be a community-driven exchange of ideas, where you can agree or disagree with comments, and add your thoughts to existing threads. Instead of sending your insights off into a void, you’ll be contributing to a rich, dynamic and diverse discussion, unfolding in real time.

One of WELL’s greatest strengths is the brilliant community that surrounds it. After hosting nine roundtables in cities around the world to discuss WELL v2 ahead of its launch, we know that magic happens when we bring diverse perspectives into our test kitchen. Through this public comment process, we want to do more than serve updates to you. We want to build, grow and enhance the standard with you. And we’re grateful for your willingness to share what’s on your mind.

Your comments will aid us as we transition WELL v2 out of the pilot phase. After public comment wraps up, we will reconcile all of the insights and incorporate these perspectives into a final version of WELL v2 that has been thoroughly shaped by extensive contributions from our customers and advisors and reviewed by a governance body. In the coming months, throughout the public comment period, I’ll be hosting live, collaborative sessions with our Chief Engineer Nathan Stodola. Sign on and share your feedback directly with us.

Your participation in public comment will support our efforts to strengthen and continuously evolve and improve our standard. WELL can have a profound impact on human health worldwide, so long as we can rely on your help to learn, iterate and lead the charge.

At IWBI, we understand that the health of people and the health of our planet are inextricable; at scale, they’re one in the same. We believe that buildings can and should balance the health of people on the inside with the health of everyone else on the outside. After all, our buildings exhale what people on the sidewalk inhale. What our cars exhaust, we breathe in.

While anything and everything is on the table for public comment, our team’s aspiration has always been to avoid introducing unpiloted preconditions in moving WELL v2 out of pilot. While we’re proud to say that the majority of WELL Certified projects today have balanced considerations for people and planet, and sought a dual certification under both WELL and a green building rating system, we’re still bothered by the possibility that a project could achieve WELL Certification without sufficiently considering broader environmental impacts like greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water consumption and biodiversity. We’ve tried to encourage more projects to pursue dual certification by awarding projects with five extra points under Feature I05, Green Building Rating Systems, but is that enough? We’d like your feedback on a new WELL v2 precondition that, if introduced, would require all projects to consider the broader environmental impacts of their design and operational choices. We know that introducing a new precondition, especially an unpiloted one, could be disruptive but we also think that the reward may very well outweigh the risk. As you’re partaking in public comment, we invite you to let us know what you think about adding this potential new feature.

Thank you for your passion for WELL, and your desire to use it as a vehicle to enhance the human experience and change lives for the better. We hope you’ll spread the word to your colleagues and contacts and help us to collect a diverse and expansive set of perspectives that will help us take WELL to the next level.

I look forward to reading your comments as they roll in, and building the future of our standard together.

Be well,
Rachel

Instructions & user guide

Getting started

  • Sign in or create a WELL Online account: you’ll need one to participate in public comment.
  • Navigate to the part of the standard that you wish to comment on. Note thatgeneral comments should be submitted on the WELL Building Standard Overview page.
  • Look for the blue public comment icon in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. When you click on it, a comment box will appear. Use this box to submit and respond to comments.

Opportunities for feedback

  • The following sections are open for WELL v2 public comment:
    • Standard overview
      • Share general WELL v2 pilot comments.
      • Share comments on scoring and certification.
    • 10 WELL concepts
      • Share concept-specific comments.
    • WELL v2 features
      • Share comments on the feature intent and background.
    • Feature parts
      • Share comments on scope, requirements, standards, thresholds, verification methods and/or terminology.
      • Please be sure to specify the particular option, requirement or verification method your comment refers to, if applicable.

Types of comments

Here are some guidelines and thought-starters for the types and quality of comments we’re looking for.

  • Scientific evidence: Comment that opposes or supports the evidence behind a feature. Please include relevant links and citations.
  • Project implementation: Comment on challenges with feature implementation. Please include the project type and location.
  • Performance verification: Comment on performance verification protocols outlined in the Performance Verification Guidebook[a]. Please leave your performance verification feedback on the corresponding feature part and include suggested changes.
  • Feature language: If you think that a feature intent can be met by a strategy not included in the feature language or “strategies” section, you may suggest new or modified requirements. Please include supporting evidence and/or case studies.
  • Voice of support: If you strongly support a section, please add in your comment as a voice of support along with evidence and/or case studies.

Publishing a comment

  • Look to see if somebody posted something similar to what you are going to write. If yes, you can simply click “agree” in order to show support, and, if desired, respond to the comment.
  • Remember to prepare relevant information and links before you begin writing.
  • Confirm that the comment is being submitted for the appropriate section. Note that a published comment cannot be deleted.
  • Since WELL is an evidence-based rating system, include links to supporting evidence in the form of research studies, industry white papers or case studies.
  • You do not have to provide solutions to the challenges you highlight, but please clearly convey the challenges faced in detail.

Responding to a comment

  • Be courteous to fellow commentators – remember we are all working toward the same mission.
  • Agree: If you see a comment that reflects the intent of your comment, click “agree” and/or add a response comment.
  • Disagree: If you disagree with a comment, click “disagree” and respond to the comments with the reason why you disagree. A response is mandatory for anyone who “disagrees” with a comment.
  • Respond: If you would like to add to the discussion, you can directly respond to a comment without clicking “agree” or “disagree.”

Suggested comment & response format

Drawing a blank, or looking for a template to work from? We’ve got you covered. Use the templates below, if you’d like, to jump start your participation in public comment.

  • Comment

    I would like to [support/raise concerns about] [INSERT CONCERN] for this [Concept / Feature / Part]. The reason for my [support / concern] is [INSERT REASON]. I suggest the following change: [INSERT PROPOSED CHANGE]. Here are links to supporting documentation: [INSERT LINKS TO SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION / EVIDENCE].

  • Response

    I [agree/disagree] with this comment. The reason is [INSERT REASON FOR SUPPORT / CONCERN]. Here are links to supporting documentation: [INSERT LINKS TO SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION / EVIDENCE].

Keep in mind

We look forward to convening a productive and courteous dialogue. Here’s some guidance on how you can ensure your comment is in line with IWBI’s policies.

  • You comment should not:
    • Advertise or focus on the performance of a product and/or how it meets feature requirements.
    • Include profanity, obscenity or offensive remarks.
  • IWBI has the right to remove a comment that:
    • Includes profanity, obscenity or offensive remarks.
    • Advertises commercial products.
    • Contains copyrighted material or confidential information.
    • Violates IWBI’s Terms of Use.

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3 WAYS TO SYNC YOUR OFFICE DESIGN WITH YOUR MISSION

One commercial real estate expert offers a few ways that associations can use their office design to advance their missions as well.

Whether it’s the Auto Care Association, which repurposed a 1955 Nash Metropolitan convertible to serve as its reception desk, or the American Society of Interior Designers, which features a sleek, open office plan that earned WELL and LEED certifications, associations are increasingly using their headquarters to reflect their missions.

“For associations, aligning the space with the mission of the organization is really important,” said Thomas Fulcher, vice chairman and co-regional manager at commercial real estate firm Savills Studley, who added that members and volunteers are expecting this as well.

For associations considering moving in this direction, Fulcher offers a few considerations:

Find the right location. The appropriate address is integral to the success of a mission-driven association. “If one of the things I want my association to do is to communicate effectively with lawmakers on a national level, and they’re in St. Louis, then who’s actually talking to the congressmen when there are events and receptions?” he said. “I want my people [in the DC area] because one of the reasons I’m paying them is to make sure that my interests are protected on a national level.”

Attracting and retaining talent is another reason why location matters, whether that city is Chicago or Albuquerque. At ASAE’s inaugural Associations @ Work conference in October 2017, Fulcher remembers asking Steve Barker, CFO of the World Resources Institute, why location matters.

Barker replied along these lines: “To fulfill your mission, you need the right people, and it really is about finding a space that the right people will find is the right place to work.” To that end, associations should think about accessibility to public transportation and amenities, such as restaurants, when choosing a location.

Fit the workplace design to work styles. While most everybody used to work in a space that had office with doors that closed, Fulcher “now you look at peoples’ functions.” For instance, you ask these questions: What is it you do? Are you engaged in heads-down work? Are you collaborating with people a lot? Who do you need to be next to? And how often do you meet?

“There’s really been a lot of digging in to the actual functions being performed by people in the workplace, how they do things, how they can be more effective, how they can have serendipitous conversations that will enhance the work within the organization,” Fulcher said.

Incorporate your brand. Previously, branding in the workplace looked like slapping some newspaper articles on the wall or framing black-and-white photos of past presidents. But now, Fulcher said, “when you walk into the space, people focus a lot more on communicating what it is that we’re about.”

This can be done directly through exhibits or indirectly through artwork, but Fulcher said when people enter an association’s office, they should say: “I get it. I understand what these people are doing, why they’re here. It’s in the right space, it’s in the right building. It all makes sense; it’s comfortable and it feels good …”

What are ways that your office design supports your mission? Please leave your comments below.

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