IWBI, BRE to align WELL and BREEAM standards

by Brianna Crandall — December 19, 2016 — The U.S.-based International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and U.K-based building sciences authority BRE recently announced an agreement between the two organizations to pursue alignments between the WELL and BREEAM building standards that will make it easier for projects pursuing both standards.

Launched in 2014, the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, with certifications in 27 countries. BREEAM is an established measure of sustainability for master planning, infrastructure, buildings and communities, covering all stages of an asset’s life, including new construction, in-use and refurbishment, used in more than 70 countries.

Under the agreement, the organizations will mutually identify specific credits whereby submitted documentation will be recognized by both organizations, saving project teams the time and costs associated with submitting the documentation twice.

WELL and BREEAM are both evidence-based systems that have best practice, continual improvement and the interest of both the environment and people at their heart, say the partners. Certification in both systems is achieved through the submission of project documentation and on-site post-occupancy performance testing.

Gavin Dunn, director of Building Performance Group at BRE, commented:

We’re excited about the opportunity to join forces in a way that will advance the inclusion of health and well-being considerations in Europe’s built environment.

Rick Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO, IWBI, added:

Since the beginning, IWBI has worked to find ways that WELL can work harmoniously with the world’s leading sustainable building standards, because we believe sustainability and health are synonymous. We look forward to partnering with BRE to advance this important concept by helping project teams who are using both BREEAM and WELL deliver a more sustainable and healthier built environment as efficiently as possible.

The announcement comes at a time when corporations as well as the real estate industry are increasingly looking at how the built environment impacts human health as well as sustainability. The crosswalk identifying the applicable credits between the WELL and BREEAM standards is being done by BRE and WELL’s certifying body, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), and is expected to be completed in January 2017.