July 5, 2022

Health and wellness should be at the center of any design strategy. At Kolar, we believe in taking a holistic, human-centered approach to design. By using the most innovative methodologies to create spaces where people, health, and wellness are at the forefront, we create destination spaces where people want to be. This is so important in today’s environment, where employees get to decide where they want to work, learn and play.

Part of ensuring buildings deploy the most innovative wellness strategies is by utilizing the WELL Building Standard®. According to the International WELL Building Institute website, WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being. WELL is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend a lot of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants. WELL Certified™ spaces can help create a built environment that improves the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, and performance of its occupants.

WELL operates on a comprehensive approach of seven key concepts:

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Nourishment
  4. Light
  5. Fitness
  6. Comfort
  7. Mind

When designing an environment, organizations should consider how the space will impact complex human body systems. Every space tells a story – how does your story communicate human health and well-being?

These universal concepts are applicable in virtually every built environment. As such, WELL has been adopted across several diverse industries, including academics, retail, food and beverage, multi-use developments, and beyond. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, organizations everywhere use WELL to prioritize health and wellness, maximize value, and optimize the performance of their business.

In order for an environment to become WELL Certified, an organization must go through a process of applying, designing the build, documentation review, verifying key performance indicators, receiving a WELL report, and then certification.

There are many benefits to building by the WELL standard. In Cundall’s WELL Certified workplace, Cundall reported that employee absenteeism dropped by more than 50% in one year. Apart from boosting the wellness of your people, WELL designs also align with sustainable business plans, supporting Environmental, Social, and Governance programs – the standard is designed to incorporate many other green building standards. With more than 20,500 certified rated WELL projects, it is a proven system, utilized by leading organizations worldwide.

“Through all my various training and personal and professional experiences, it’s wild to me that every interior designer, architect, or contractor isn’t being trained in these concepts. They are so real and so important, and yet buildings are going up every day with poor lighting, ventilation, materials, etc. Knowing what we know about the impact of spaces on human health and well-being, this should not be the case,” said Gala Magriñá, principal and founder of her own design firm and WELL AP in an interview.

“Get the certification. This isn’t the dominant way of looking at design yet, but soon this will be the way of building and designing spaces.”

As a future-forward firm, Kolar prioritizes health and wellness when it comes to creating people-centric environments. Our multidisciplinary team with over 30 years of experience understands how crucial the WELL Building Standard® is and we are equipped to guide your build through the process. To learn more about our various projects or inquire about WELL Certified projects, contact us here.