WELL Tip: Contractor’s guide to WELL

WELL Tip: Contractor’s guide to WELL

Monday, March 11, 2019
/ By:
Melanie Koch

All members of a WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) project team are agents of public health. By designing, constructing and maintaining a building, project team members have the opportunity to impact the health and well-being of the people who will live, work, learn or play inside the space.

Contractors play a crucial role in a building’s pursuit of WELL Certification. This guide outlines why WELL is important for contractors and how contractors can get involved.

First, join the WELL movement.

Below are three steps to get started and learn more about WELL.

  1. Create a WELL online account and subscribe to the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) updates so you’re in-the-know on all things WELL. Next, build your profile and showcase your skills within our WELL People Directory. You can also search the WELL Project Directory to explore publicly registered projects within your region.
  2. Learn more about WELL. Read up on the WELL process, feature set and check out some WELL projects to help familiarize yourself with the WELL Building Standard.
  3. Study to become a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP). Now that you’ve read up a bit about WELL and you’re starting to dive deeper into the standard and its application on projects, it’s time to showcase your skills. The WELL AP credential denotes expertise in the WELL Building Standard and a commitment to advancing human health and wellness in buildings and communities around the world. It can help to differentiate you and your company within the industry and position you as a leader within the movement. We have many online resources to help you become a WELL AP.

Next, get started on a project.

When you get started on a WELL project, you will likely begin by participating in a WELL charrette with your team. The charrette is part of a larger effort to facilitate a collaborative development process to ensure adherence to the project’s collective wellness goals. It’s a great way to understand the health and wellness goals of the project, the key stakeholders in the process and the WELL strategy. It’s also the perfect time to ensure that you as the contractor are aware of the features that relate to your work.

As you continue working on the project, keep in mind that WELL is a performance-based standard that is third-party verified. This means that before a project is WELL Certified, it will undergo performance verification to ensure that the project is meeting the established thresholds. It’s important to review these features in advance to understand the on-site testing that will occur post-construction and confirm proper protocols are in place to support the project in meeting these goals. For many building materials, the architect may have specified a product because of a particular performance or content property; check with the architect or other specifier before making any product substitutions. More information about performance verification can be reviewed within the WELL Performance Verification Guidebook.

Around the time of construction completion, you will be asked to sign the Contractor Letter of Assurance. Letters of Assurance (LOA) are reviewed and signed by the appropriate professional overseeing the implementation of a specific WELL feature during design, construction or operations. If you would like to see an example of a Contractor Letter of Assurance for a WELL v1™ project, check out this page in the WELL Resource Library. More information on documentation and the WELL process overall can be found in the WELL Certification Guidebook.

Below are examples of features that may apply to a contractor on a WELL project:

WELL v1 (Q4 2018)

WELL v2 pilot (Q4 2018)


Are you a contractor working on a WELL project? Pass along your tips and we’ll incorporate them into this guide! Email technical@wellcertified.com with any questions.

Drawing upon her experiences in environmental health, Melanie serves on the Technical Solutions team at the International WELL Building Institute. She works to support IWBI's mission by providing technical support to project teams, developing tools and resources to facilitate the certification process, and leading workshops and presentations to help educate the industry on the WELL Building Standard. Prior to joining IWBI, Melanie worked at Delos as an Associate on the Solutions team where, in collaboration with architects, engineers, and building owners, she developed wellness-focused design and policy strategies for some of the world’s first WELL Certified projects. Previously, Melanie worked at an environmental consulting firm, the Clinton Global Initiative, and an international non-profit that provides access to clean water and sanitation. Melanie graduated from Tulane University with an MSPH in Global Environmental Health Sciences and is a WELL AP.