Healthy buildings movement receives a shot in the arm

A stronger partnership between the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) will have a rapid impact on both planetary and public health.

Speaking at the Green Cities conference in Sydney yesterday, IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi announced a raft of updates that will support Australian building owners looking to boost the sustainability of their assets while supporting the health of building occupants.

“From the beginning of the green building movement, we’ve known that more sustainable buildings would also be healthier for the people we care about – our families and friends, employees and students,” Fedrizzi said.

“The WELL Building Standard™ (WELL) has given us a framework for focusing on the building enhancements that can have direct positive impact on human health. By partnering with the leaders in the movement, especially those here in Australia, we’ve identified a number of things that enhance the WELL experience. 

“I’m especially excited about our new ‘all projects in’ strategy, where any building type can use our Alternative Adherence Path process to account for variables needed for a specific building type. We’re shifting from WELL for healthy buildings to WELL for ‘your’ healthy building and creating a framework that will make implementing WELL easier.”

According to the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew, “the Green Building Council of Australia’s job is to get the best outcomes for our buildings, for our environment and for our industry and ultimately tenants. The best way to do that is to work in partnership.”

The GBCA and IWBI announced their partnership in March 2016, and subsequently released Green Star and WELL Building Standard™: Approaches to buildings or fitouts seeking a dual rating – a document which maps the credits and criteria that may be used for an assessment under both Green Star and WELL.

“We’ve made a lot of headway in advancing our joint goals over the last year, and have identified several pathways to add more value to industry by reducing the time and cost of certification and harmonising Green Star and WELL,” Ms Madew said.

Education and training in Australia will be delivered by both GBCA and IWBI in partnership.

The GBCA will work with IWBI on the product development of other WELL standards, including the WELL Community Standard™.

“The GBCA is renowned globally for its achievements with the Green Star – Communities rating tool, and the team and Australian industry’s insights will be invaluable as we work together the WELL Community Standard,” Mr Fedrizzi explained.

“Partnerships are a key pillar of our strategic plan. We recognise that our ambitious agenda cannot be achieved in isolation. By working with other like-minded organisations, we can amplify our efforts – and help our industry become a world-leader in healthy buildings in much the same way it already leads the world in sustainable buildings,” Ms Madew concludes.

Download Green Star and WELL Building Standard: Approaches to buildings or fitouts seeking a dual rating from the GBCA.