The WELL Building Standard Certification Guide

The main focus of WELL is the connection between the building and its occupants on a whole other level that includes, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, and even nutrition.  WELL has a series of precondition and optimizations for each category or “feature” as it’s called in WELL. The main categories for Kawneer products including: Air, Lighting, Comfort and Mind.

 

Below is an outline of the WELL features and how Kawneer products can contribute toward certification.

 

Category
Potential Points
Requirements
Kawneer Products + Services
AIR
01 - Air Quality Standards
To ensure a basic level of high indoor air quality because volatile organic compounds (VOCs), combustion byproducts and airborne particulate matter are known to trigger nausea, headaches, asthma, respiratory irritation and allergies. While ambient outdoor air is often better quality, natural ventilation methods, operable doors and windows, and general building envelope infiltration can diminish indoor air quality if external air quality parameters are poor.
P

PART 1: STANDARDS FOR VOLATILE SUBSTANCES
The following conditions are met:

  • Formaldehyde levels less than 27 ppb.
  • Total volatile organic compounds less than 500 μg/m³.

 

PART 2: STANDARDS FOR PARTICULATE MATTER AND INORGANIC GASES
The following conditions are met:

  • Carbon monoxide less than 9 ppm.
  • PM₂.₅ less than 15 μg/m³.
  • PM₁₀ less than 50 μg/m³.
  • Ozone less than 51 ppb.

 

PART 3: RADON
The following conditions are met in projects with regularly occupied spaces at or below grade:

  • Radon less than 0.148 Bq/L [4 pCi/L] in the lowest occupied level of the project.

03 - Ventilation Effectiveness
To ensure adequate ventilation and high indoor air quality because routine indoor activities including cooking, cleaning, building operations and maintenance and even the presence of occupants themselves can degrade air quality. Many indoor pollutants resulting from such activities, including particulate matter and VOCs can cause discomfort and trigger asthma and eye, nose and throat irritation.
P

PART 1: VENTILATION DESIGN
One of the following requirements is met for all spaces:

  • Ventilation rates comply with all requirements set in ASHRAE 62.1-2013 (Ventilation Rate Procedure or IAQ Procedure).
  • Projects comply with all requirements set in any procedure in ASHRAE 62.1-2013 (including the Natural Ventilation Procedure) and demonstrate that ambient air quality within 1.6 km [1 mi] of the building is compliant with either the U.S. EPA's NAAQS or passes the Air Quality Standards feature in the WELL Building Standard for at least 95% of all hours in the previous year.

 

PART 2: DEMAND CONTROLLED VENTILATION
For all spaces 46.5 m² [500 ft²] or larger with an actual or expected occupant density greater than 25 people per 93 m² [1,000 ft²], one of the following requirements is met:

  • A demand controlled ventilation system regulates the ventilation rate of outdoor air to keep carbon dioxide levels in the space below 800 ppm (measured at 1.2-1.8 m [4-6 ft] above the floor).
  • Projects that have met the Operable windows feature demonstrate that natural ventilation is sufficient to keep carbon dioxide levels below 800 ppm at maximum intended occupancies (measured at 1.2-1.8 m [4-6 ft] above the floor).

04 - VOC Reduction
To minimize the effects of VOCs in building materials because indoor air quality can be degraded significantly by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that off-gas from paints, finishes and other coatings, and also result from the use of cleaning products, air fresheners, personal care products and other materials brought into the building. VOCs include benzene (classified by the EPA as a known human carcinogen), formaldehyde and other chemical compounds, which at high concentrations can lead to irritation of the nose and pharynx, and have been associated with leukemia, childhood asthma and other respiratory disorders. VOC levels can be 5 times higher indoors than outdoors.
P

PART 1: INTERIOR PAINTS AND COATINGS
The VOC limits of newly applied paints and coatings meet one of the following requirements:

  • 100% of installed products meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2007, Suggested Control Measure (SCM) for Architectural Coatings, or South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1113, effective June 3, 2011 for VOC content.
  • At minimum 90%, by volume, meet the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method v1.1-2010 for VOC emissions.
  • Applicable national VOC content regulations or conduct testing of VOC content in accordance with ASTM D2369-10; ISO 11890, part 1; ASTM D6886-03; or ISO 11890-2.

08 - Healthy Entrance
To minimize the introduction of pollutants into indoor air at building entrances because occupants often enter buildings with unwanted chemicals, biological contaminants and particles on their shoes. Bacteria, toxins from roads and agricultural chemicals are some of the pollutants that might aerosolize once they enter the building. In addition, as occupants walk through entry doors potentially polluted air can enter the building. Both of these modes of introducing outdoor pollutants to indoor environment highlight the need for measures that minimize or prevent the introduction of potentially harmful substances to indoor spaces.
P

PART 1: ENTRYWAY AIR SEAL
One of the following is in place to slow the movement of air from outdoors to indoors at the main building entrance:

  • Building entry vestibule with double doors.
  • Revolving entrance doors.
  • At least 3 normally-shut doors that separate occupied space from the outdoors. For example, a space on the fifth-floor could be separated by the exterior building doors, the first-floor elevator doors and the fifth-floor elevator doors. This option is applicable only for buildings whose entrance lobby is not a regularly occupied space.

11 - Fundamental Material Safety
To reduce or eliminate occupant exposure to lead, asbestos and PCBs from building materials. Exposure to asbestos fibers through inhalation can occur when building materials degrade over time or are disturbed during renovation or demolition, and is associated with lung cancer and mesothelioma. Exposure to lead can have neurotoxic effects, even at low levels, and in early development is associated with negative effects on memory, IQ, learning and behavior.
P

PART 1: ASBESTOS AND LEAD RESTRICTION
All newly-installed building materials meet the following materials composition requirements:

  • No asbestos.
  • Not more than a weighted average of 0.25% lead in wetted surfaces of pipes, pipe fittings, plumbing fittings, and fixtures, and 0.20% for solder or flux used in plumbing for water intended for human consumption.
  • Not more than 100 ppm (by weight) added lead in all other building materials.

12 - Moisture Management
To limit the potential for bacteria and mold growth within buildings from water infiltration and condensation. Good design principles and strategies to mitigate water damage help to preserve good indoor air quality.
P

PART 1: CONDENSATION MANAGEMENT
A point-by-point narrative describes how condensation is addressed, including these leading concerns:

  • High interior relative humidity levels, particularly in susceptible areas like bath and laundry rooms and below-grade spaces.
  • Air leakage which could wet either exposed interior materials or interstitially “hidden” materials.
  • Cooler surfaces, such as basement or slab-on-grade floors, or closets/cabinets on exterior walls.
  • Oversized air conditioning units.

 

PART 2: MATERIAL SELECTION AND PROTECTION
A point-by-point narrative describes how moisture-tolerant materials have been selected and/or moisturesensitive materials (MSP) are being protected, considering these leading concerns:

  • Exposed entryways and glazing.
  • Porous cladding materials.
  • Finished floors in potentially damp or wet rooms such as basements, bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Interior sheathing in damp or wet rooms.
  • Sealing and storing of absorptive materials during construction.

14 - Air Infiltration Management
To minimize air quality and thermal comfort issues resulting from the infiltration of untreated air through the building envelope. A building’s air quality and thermal comfort is compromised by leaks and gaps that break the building’s air barrier. These weak points are not only wasteful, but can also lead to conditions conducive to growth of molds and the infiltration of pests or polluted air.
O

PART 1: AIR LEAKAGE TESTING
The following is performed after substantial completion and prior to occupancy to ensure the structure is airtight:

  • Envelope commissioning in accordance with ASHRAE Guideline 0-2005 and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Guideline 3-2012 (for new construction or structural renovation).
  • Detailed plan for action and remediation of unacceptable conditions.

15 - Increased Ventilation
To expel internally-generated pollutants through an increased supply of outdoor air. The guidelines put forth by ASHRAE provide the basis for acceptable indoor air quality, but not necessarily for best-in-class air quality for buildings. Unusually high building occupancy, a high risk of accidents that might degrade air quality or space capacity to install filtration make exceeding ASHRAE requirements a worthwhile strategy.
O

PART 1: INCREASED OUTDOOR AIR SUPPLY
One of the following is required in all regularly occupied spaces:

  • Exceed outdoor air supply rates met in Feature 03, Part 1a by 30%.
  • Follow CIBSE AM10, Section 4, Design Calculations, to predict that room-by-room airflows will provide effective natural ventilation.

19 - Operable Windows
To increase the supply of high quality outdoor air and promote a connection to the outdoor environment by encouraging occupants to open windows when outdoor air quality is acceptable. Achieving natural ventilation through open windows, doors and louvers can provide a positive occupant experience but challenges the ability to maintain strict control over interior air quality. When weather and local environmental conditions are suitable for high quality outdoor air, WELL encourages natural ventilation strategies. Open windows can then provide a supply of fresh air and lower levels of carbon dioxide and VOCs, rather than introducing particulate matter and ozone into the space from outside.
O

PART 1: FULL CONTROL
The following requirement is met:

  • Every regularly occupied space has operable windows that provide access to fresh air and daylight.

25 - Toxic Material Reduction
To minimize the impact of hazardous building material chemicals on indoor air quality and protect the health of manufacturing and maintenance workers. Various chemicals are still used in the manufacture of building materials, despite known or suspected health hazards. Flame retardant chemicals, which are used to increase fire-resistance of materials, include PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) — which, based on animal tests, are associated with potential neurobehavioral, carcinogenic and immune effects.
O

PART 1: FLAME RETARDANT LIMITATION
Halogenated flame retardants are limited in the following components to 0.01% (100 ppm) to the extent allowable by local code:

  • Window and waterproofing membranes, door and window frames and siding.
  • Flooring, ceiling tiles and wall coverings.
  • Piping and electrical cables, conduits and junction boxes.
  • Sound and thermal insulation.
  • Upholstered furniture and furnishings, textiles and fabrics.

 

PART 2: ISOCYANATE-BASED POLYURETHANE LIMITATION
Isocyanate-based polyurethane products are not used in:

  • Interior finishes.

26 - Enhanced Material Safety
To minimize the impact of hazardous building material ingredients on indoor air quality and protect the health of manufacturing and maintenance workers because some of the chemicals used in building materials have not been fully evaluated for safety and may carry potential health risks. Off-gassing from such materials can contribute to SBS (sick building syndrome) and associated respiratory, neurotoxic and dermatologic symptoms. A precautionary approach—taking reasonable steps to minimize risks and avoid hazards—suggests substituting potentially dangerous materials with safe ones when possible. Various voluntary programs in the market allow suppliers that have carefully screened the composition of their products and avoided potentially harmful substances to be recognized for their achievements.
O

PART 1: PRECAUTIONARY MATERIAL SELECTION
At least 25% of products by cost (including furnishings, built-in furniture, all interior finishes and finish materials) meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • Have a Declare: Living Building Challenge Red List Free, Declare: Living Building Challenge Compliant, or Living Product Challenge label.
  • Have a Cradle to Cradle™ Material Health Certified with a V2 Gold or Platinum or V3 Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Material Health Score.
  • Have no GreenScreen® Benchmark 1, List Translator 1 or List Translator Possible 1 substances over 1,000 ppm, as verified by a qualified Ph.D. toxicologist or Certified Industrial Hygienist.

28 - Cleanable Environment
To reduce occupant exposure to pathogens on high-touch surfaces because they can harbor microbes and toxins for extended periods of time. However, these surfaces can be more easily kept sanitary if they facilitate easy cleaning ,this reduces the need for cleaning products that contain potentially toxic chemicals and may also reduce the frequency of cleaning.
O

PART 1: CLEANABILITY
The following requirements are met:

  • Right angles between walls and windows/floors are sealed.

Category
Potential Points
Requirements
Kawneer Products + Services
LIGHTING
54 - Circadian Lighting Design
To support circadian health by setting a minimum threshold for daytime light intensity. Light is one of the main drivers of the circadian system, which starts in the brain and regulates physiological rhythms throughout the body’s tissues and organs, affecting hormone levels and the sleep-wake cycle. Circadian rhythms are kept in sync by various cues, lights of high frequency and intensity promote alertness, while the lack of this stimulus signals the body to reduce energy expenditure and prepare for rest.
P

PART 1: MELANOPIC LIGHT INTENSITY FOR WORK AREAS
Light models or light calculations demonstrate that at least one of the following requirements is met:

  • At 75% or more of workstations, at least 200 equivalent melanopic lux is present, measured on the vertical plane facing forward, 1.2 m [4 ft] above finished floor (to simulate the view of the occupant). This light level may incorporate daylight, and is present for at least the hours between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM for every day of the year.
  • For all workstations, electric lights (which may include task lighting) provide maintained illuminance on the vertical plane of 150 equivalent melanopic lux or greater. Projects may use the lux recommendations in the Vertical (Ev) Targets for the 25-65 category in Table B1 of IES-ANSI RP-1-12 in place of 150.

56 - Solar Glare Control
To avoid glare from the sun by blocking or reflecting direct sunlight away from occupants. Though bright levels of light during the day are conducive to good health, uneven levels of brightness in the visual field can cause visual fatigue and discomfort. In buildings, sources of glare are often unshielded or poorly shielded light, or sunlight directly hitting the eye or reflective surfaces.
O/P

PART 1: VIEW WINDOW SHADING IN WORKSPACES
At least one of the following is present for all glazing less than 2.1 m [7 ft] above the floor in regularly occupied spaces:

  • Interior window shading or blinds that are controllable by the occupants or set to automatically prevent glare.
  • External shading systems that are set to prevent glare.
  • Variable opacity glazing, such as electrochromic glass, which can reduce transmissivity by 90% or more.

 

PART 1: DAYLIGHT MANAGEMENT
At least one of the following is required for all glazing greater than 2.1 m [7 ft] above the floor in regularly occupied spaces:

  • Interior window shading or blinds that are controllable by the occupants or on a timer or set to automatically prevent glare.
  • External shading systems that are set to prevent glare.
  • Interior light shelves to reflect sunlight toward the ceiling.
  • A film of micro-mirrors on the window that reflect sunlight toward the ceiling.
  • Variable opacity glazing, such as electrochromic glass, which can reduce transmissivity by 90% or more.

61 - Right to Light
To promote exposure to daylight and views of varying distances by limiting the distance workstations can be from a window or atrium. Exposure to adequate levels of sunlight is critical for health and well-being, for effects ranging from visual comfort to potential psychological and neurological gains: there are measurable physiological benefits to receiving the quality of light provided by the sun, as well as positive subjective reports from occupants able to enjoy access to sunlight. Proximity to windows, outdoor views and daylight in indoor spaces are some of the most sought-after elements of design. As such, buildings should utilize daylight as a primary source of lighting to the greatest extent possible.
O

PART 1: LEASE DEPTH
The following requirement is met:

  • 75% of the area of all regularly occupied spaces is within 7.5 m [25 ft] of view windows.

 

PART 2: WINDOW ACCESS
The following conditions are met:

  • 75% of all desks are within 7.5 m [25 ft] of an atrium or a window with views to the exterior.

62 - Daylight Modeling
To support circadian and psychological health by setting thresholds for indoor sunlight exposure. Exposure to appropriate amounts of natural light provides a connection to nature that reinforces circadian rhythms and reduces dependence on electricity for artificial lighting. This is not only important to consider throughout the course of the day, but also throughout the course of the year, such that occupants are able to enjoy the benefits of daylight exposure in all seasons.
O

PART 1: HEALTHY SUNLIGHT EXPOSURE
Lighting simulations demonstrate that the following conditions are expected:

  • Spatial daylight autonomy (sDA300,50%) is achieved for at least 55% of regularly occupied space. In other words, at least 55% of the space receives at least 300 lux [28 fc] of sunlight for at least 50% of operating hours each year.
  • Annual sunlight exposure (ASE1000,250) is achieved for no more than 10% of regularly occupied space. In other words, no more than 10% of the area can receive more than 1000 lux [93 fc] for 250 hours each year.

63 - Daylighting Fenestration
To optimize occupant exposure to daylight and limit glare through enhanced fenestration parameters. Exposure to natural light can improve occupant mood, alertness and overall health. Ideal lighting involves proper exposure to diffuse daylight, as well as careful design of windows and glazing to avoid excessive glare and heat gain. Windows are therefore a key variable for both ensuring that occupants receive enough light for positive physiological and subjective effects, but also not too much light that causes discomfort or becomes a source of distraction. Balancing energy performance, thermal comfort and access to quality daylight are essential to proper building design.
O

PART 1: WINDOW SIZES FOR WORKING AND LEARNING SPACES
The following conditions are met on facades along regularly occupied spaces:

  • Window-wall ratio as measured on external elevations exceeds 20% and does not exceed 60%. Percentages greater than 40% require external shading or intelligent glazing to control unwanted heat gain and glare.
  • Between 40% and 60% of window area is at least 2.1 m [7 ft] above the floor (Daylight Glass).

 

PART 2: WINDOW TRANSMITTANCE IN WORKING AND LEARNING SPACES
The following visible transmittance (VT) conditions are met for all non-decorative glazing.

  • All glazing located above 2.1 m [7 ft] from floor (Daylight Glass) has VT of 60% or more.
  • All glazing located below 2.1 m [7 ft] from floor (Vision Glass) has VT of 50% or more.

 

PART 3: UNIFORM COLOR TRANSMITTANCE
All windows used for daylighting meet the following requirement:

  • The visible light transmittance of wavelengths between 400 and 650 nm does not vary by more than a factor of 2.

Category
Potential Points
Requirements
Kawneer Products + Services
COMFORT
72 - Accessible Design
To promote equity by providing buildings that are accessible and usable to people of all physical abilities.
P

PART 1: ACCESSIBILITY AND USABILITY
The project demonstrates compliance with one of the following:

  • Current ADA Standards for Accessible Design or comparable local code or standards.
  • ISO 21542:2011 - Building Construction - Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment.

74 - Exterior Noise Intrusion
Preventing excessive exterior noise from reaching building interiors can help improve occupant comfort and well-being. Particularly in urban areas, loud or repetitive exterior noises can be a source of stress and a risk factor for certain health outcomes.
P

PART 1: SOUND PRESSURE LEVEL
Each regularly occupied space meets the following sound pressure level as measured when the space and adjacent spaces are unoccupied, but within 1 hour of normal business hours:

  • Average sound pressure level from outside noise intrusion does not exceed 50 dBA.

76 - Thermal Comfort
To promote occupant productivity and ensure a sufficient level of thermal comfort. Thermal comfort can affect mood, performance and productivity. However, temperature references are highly personal and differ from one individual to another. Balancing the energy requirements of large buildings with the varied occupant preferences can thus be challenging.
P

PART 1: NATURAL THERMAL ADAPTATION
All spaces in naturally-ventilated projects meet the following criteria:

  • ASHRAE Standard 55-2013 Section 5.4, Adaptive Comfort Model.

Category
Potential Points
Requirements
Kawneer Products + Services
MIND
97 - Material Transparency
To promote material transparency along the supply chain because just as consumers have a right to know the contents of the food they consume (whether to avoid an allergic reaction or to make healthier nutrition choices), they should be able to find out what is in the products that make up the buildings they occupy. Due to the complex and multi-tiered nature of the global material production supply chain, little is known about the tens of thousands of chemicals in circulation today. This lack of data obscures necessary information required to identify potential hazards to the environment and human health. Demand for material ingredient disclosure at the consumer level pushes supply chain transparency and - even more importantly - supports innovation and green chemistry.
O

PART 1: MATERIAL INFORMATION
At least 50% (as measured by dollar value) of interior finishes and finish materials, furnishings (including workstations) and built-in furniture have one of the following material descriptions:

  • Declare Label.
  • Health Product Declaration.
  • Any method accepted in LEED v4 MR credit's "Building product disclosure and optimization -material ingredients" credit, Option 1: material ingredient reporting.

 

PART 2: ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION
The following condition is met:

  • All declaration information is compiled and made readily available to occupants either digitally or as part of a printed manual.

98 - Organizational Transparency
To promote economic and social equity by requiring the adherence to and disclosure of fair and equitable business practices. Organizations that espouse fair, equitable and just treatment toward their workforce help create a culture of reduced stress and greater employee satisfaction, as well as a heightened sense of loyalty. Research shows that high levels of perceived justice in the decision making process at work are correlated with a lower risk of poor health, whereas declining levels of perceived justice can in turn increase such risk. By transparently sharing their policies and investment decisions, organizations not only allow employees, clients and patrons to determine if their personal values are shared by the organization, but also provide them the opportunity to voice their opinion about the organization’s social equity practices.
O

PART 1: TRANSPARENCY PROGRAM PARTICIPATION
The entity seeking WELL certification or WELL compliance must participate in one of the following programs, and results must be publicly available within the project premises and on the entity's website:

  • The JUST program operated by the International Living Future Institute (for more information, see www.justorganizations.com).
  • Sustainability reporting following the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines organized by the Global Reporting Initiative (for more information, see www.globalreporting.org).

top anchor