WELL Building Verification Testing 101
Occupant health is our clients’ top priority. But when the design looks great on paper and the builder thinks they’ve done a great job, how do you know if a building really met owner goals for healthy building? WELL Building Verification Testing is where the rubber meets the road. These verification measures are created and defined by IWBI and the WELL Building Standard.
Why WELL verification testing? Follow the money…
We know that for most buildings over 90% of the life cycle costs are spent on salaries and wages.
And we know that indoor air quality directly impacts employee productivity and cognitive ability.
So the money businesses spend on people far outweighs whatever they spend on construction, utilities and maintenance costs of a building over time. So, as long as the cash is available, it is a no-brainer (pun intended) to invest in design and construction techniques that will have lasting benefits on occupant health and productivity.
WELL, unlike LEED, requires many verification tests by an independent, 3rd-party WELL Assessor. WELL verification testing proves whether or not the design-build team actually met WELL Building preconditions (“prerequisites”) and optimizations (“credits”).
What does WELL Building Verification Testing involve?
WELL Building certification requires a site visit by a WELL Assessor. The duration of the site visit and number of assessors required depends on the size, layout, and type of spaces within the building. Many aspects are verified simply through visual examination, but some require onsite or lab analysis. Lab results take time and you should not expect to know “if the building passed” during the site visit. It may take 1-4 weeks before you receive a WELL Building Verification Testing Report from GBCI.
Visual WELL Verifications require only that the WELL Assessor “see” evidence of compliance:
- 02 – Smoking Ban
- 06 – Microbe and Mold Control
- 08 – Healthy Entrance
- 18 – Air Quality Monitoring and Feedback
- 22 – Pest Control
- 24 – Combustion Minimization
- 29 – Cleaning Equipment
- 41 – Hand Washing
- 44 – Nutritional Information
- 45 – Food Advertising
- 57 – Low-Glare Workstation Design
- 64 – Interior Fitness Circulation
- 84 – Health and Wellness Awareness
- 97 – Material Transparency
- 99 – Beauty and Design II
WELL Verifications Requiring Testing necessitate specialized sampling equipment and lab analysis:
- 01 – Air Quality Standards
- 30 – Fundamental Water Quality (Water)
- 31 – Inorganic Contaminants (Water)
- 32 – Organic Contaminants (Water)
- 33 – Agricultural Contaminants (Water)
- 34 – Public Water Additives
- 37 – Drinking Water Promotion
- 74 – Exterior Noise Intrusion
- 75 – Internally Generated Noise
- 78 – Reverberation Time (Acoustics)
- 79 – Sound Masking
WELL Building Verification Testing Qualifications
HBS is uniquely qualified to offer full-service WELL Building Verification consultant services. Our industrial hygienists are well versed in LEED IAQ and WELL IEQ verification testing. We look forward to supporting your next WELL Building project with our team of sustainable architects and industrial hygienists.