International Well Building Institute and BRE collaborate on multiple levels to advance human health through better buildings

In an environment where ‘partnership is the new leadership,’ the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) and BRE used the recent Greenbuild in Boston Nov. 8-10 to demonstrate to the market the value of collaboration.

‘Our relationship with BRE is in evidence across several categories,’ said IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. ‘We’re proud of the pioneering work we’ve done by developing a crosswalk between the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) and BREEAM, simplifying for the market opportunities to use these two leading building standards in tandem to achieve both sustainability and human health goals.

‘Additionally, we’ve partnered with BRE to undertake practical performance verification research as we are developing WELL v2,’ said Fedrizzi. ‘Onsite performance verification is a unique hallmark of WELL. When it comes to human health, good intentions and checklists are simply not enough to ensure that a building’s performance is in a position to improve human performance. Our shared commitment to this idea of verified performance is why leadership companies are committing to the high bar that WELL provides.’

A key resource used by BRE in undertaking this performance verification research is the room-sized environmental chamber in which known concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other indoor air pollutants may be introduced into the space at controlled temperature, humidity and ventilation rates. The chamber, built to the standard room specifications prescribed in the European Standard CEN/TS 16516: 2013, was designed, built, and commissioned as part of a recent collaborative European Commission (EC) research project.

Two VOC source chambers are used – one to trial the VOC sources and one through which air is passed to carry the VOCs into the chamber. In the current, research the chamber is used to compare VOC measurement methods and technologies for the determination of ‘TVOC’ (total VOC) in air at given concentrations of selected VOCs.

The current research initiatives being undertaken jointly by BRE and IWBI also involve evaluation of monitors used to measure particulate matter in air, and evaluation of the methods used to measure light levels and to use the data in order to assess circadian lighting.

‘We see the value of successive rounds of collaborative research in pushing the envelope when it comes to ensuring that performance verification methodologies are robust and fit for purpose,’ said Dr. Andy Dengel, CChem MRSC, Director, BRE Environment. ‘That’s why we’re excited to showcase this work to WELL practitioners and power users who are contributing to the development of WELL v2.’

‘We had tremendous response to BRE’s presentation at the first of our v2 Roundtables, which was held at Greenbuild last week,” said IWBI Chief Product Officer Rachel Gutter. ‘BRE is a great partner for this work, and we look forward to sharing their methodologies at other v2 Roundtables in the coming months.’

‘If we are to drive change for the built environment at all the different scales of design and operation, we need to create strong partnerships with like-minded organizations. In doing so, we can create a supportive environment for the industry to improve the way in which we look at buildings. Such certainty comes from the industry having confidence in an independent approach and standards built on research and science, a belief IWBI and BRE share,’ said Martin Townsend, Director of Sustainability at BRE.

 

 

 NOTES TO EDITOR

 

 About the International WELL Building Institute™

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation that is leading the movement to promote health and wellness in buildings and communities everywhere. IWBI delivers the cutting-edge WELL Building Standard™ and the WELL Community Standard™, performance-based systems for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of buildings and communities that impact the health and wellness of the people who live, work, and learn in them. It also supports the growing number of professionals who seek WELL accreditation, as third-party administered by GBCI. www.wellcertified.com