About WELL

The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring building features that impact human health and well-being.

The result of seven years of interdisciplinary research and administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), WELL sets an evidence-based standard and performance requirements for seven Concepts of impact: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. WELL-certified buildings ensure human-centric design principles and the promotion of human health and well-being, creating buildings that improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance of their occupants.

What is WELL?

  • The WELL Building Standard (WELL) aims to improve the way people live by furthering spaces that enhance occupant health and quality of life.
  • More than 10 million square feet of commercial, institutional and multifamily projects have been registered or certified through WELL in the U.S. and globally.
  • WELL was developed by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI), launched by Delos in 2013 and is administered by Green Business Certification Inc.
  • WELL is the result of seven years of research, development consulting and peer review that explored the linkages between the built environments where people spend more than 90 percent of their time and the health and wellness of occupants. WELL works in concert with USGBC’s LEED certification for green buildings.
  • Applicable for a wide range of projects, WELL certification can be achieved for:
    • New and existing buildings, addressing the full scope of the building and construction process;
    • New and existing interiors, applicable to commercial interior projects in existing buildings; and
    • Core and shell projects, meeting basic standards related to windows, heating, cooling or ventilation systems and water quality.


  • This human-centered approach to buildings and design adds value to real estate, generates savings in personnel costs and enhances health and well-being.
  • Investments in well-being have been reported to benefit businesses as well as individuals; more than 90 percent of people who work or live in WELL-certified environments said the spaces had a positive impact on their business performance or health and well-being.

The seven concepts of the WELL Building Standard

  • The WELL Building Standard creates an environment that improves the following seven Concepts, or categories:
    1. Air: Indoor air quality is optimized through removal of airborne contaminants, prevention and purification.
    2. Water: Water quality is optimized through filtration and treatment. Strategic placement of water resources promotes accessibility.
    3. Nourishment: Healthy eating habits are encouraged by providing building occupants with healthier food choices, behavioral cues and an understanding of nutritional quality.
    4. Light: Specifications for window performance and design, light output, lighting controls and illumination levels minimize disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm, improving energy, mood and productivity.
    5. Fitness: Requirements around providing opportunities for activity and exertion allow occupants to accommodate fitness in their schedules.
    6. Comfort: Recommendations and design standards for thermal and acoustic controllability create an environment that is distraction-free, productive and soothing.
    7. Mind: Design elements, relaxation spaces and state-of-the-art technology support mental and emotional health.

Updated October 2016