Now more than ever, employees, tenants, and customers are prioritizing the health and safety of the places they work and live. COVID-19 has made us re-evaluate the health of our daily environment. How do we know the spaces we inhabit are safe? With the WELL Building seal, your tenants will know you’re putting their health first. Here’s why WELL Building Certification is a must for commercial properties in Atlanta.
What is WELL Building Certification?
The WELL Building Standard acts as a set of guideposts for creating and certifying spaces that support physical and mental health through design, operations, and company policy.
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) takes a people-first approach to buildings and organizations, in order to improve health in the places where we spend our lives. This human-centered approach to design is the latest in office amenity trends, and is grounded in years of research about what makes people healthy, happy, and productive. Health is about more than preventing disease. The World Health Organization defines health as—
“A state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing.”
WELL pathways guide building standards across 10 core concepts essential to a holistic perception of health:
- Thermal Comfort
If you’re familiar with LEED certification, you know those standards focus on environmental and planetary health. WELL shifts that focus to human health, but that doesn’t mean the programs are exclusive. In fact, LEED and WELL work symbiotically and many properties pursue both certifications.
How does WELL Certification work?
Properties pursuing WELL certification earn points for each concept based on preconditions (a must for certification) and optimizations. Optimizations allow your property to achieve a higher WELL Building score—Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum, depending on the number of points your property earns.
WELL in Atlanta
Health can be a key competitive advantage for Atlanta commercial properties.
Angela Spangler, a Director at the IWBI, says, “One of the things I think is most personal about WELL is the Nourishment concept because food is such a celebration, such a culture, and such a personal journey...We’re trying to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice.”
Jim McCutcheon, Copiana’s founder and CEO, says he is “proud to be able to work with the WELL Institute in trying to help folks understand how they can create healthier spaces.” Jim has seen first-hand the need for healthy communities in our urban environment. With nearly 5 million people living and working in the Atlanta metro area, farms have been pushed out in favor of homes, office complexes, and shopping centers. Jim’s goal with Copiana is to bring agriculture “back to the city, to get people around it, to be able to touch it and understand it...so many people struggle to have access to good quality food.” We began introducing our aeroponic farms to commercial properties in 2018, and we have seen the benefit that a fresh, local source of produce has on urban environments.
Advantages of WELL Building Certification
1. Prioritize the Health and Well-being of Your Tenants
Investing for health has a measurable impact on the value of your property and on your company’s bottom line. An Urban Land Insitute report showed WELL-certified offices had increased employee satisfaction and retention. One residence building in California was 80 percent leased within 6 months with top-of-market rents.
2. Foster Community
Jackie Greene, Copiana’s Vice President of Business Development, says, “A big part of having a well and healthy building is having that sense of community.” As one of the key concepts of WELL Building Certification, fostering community builds stronger teams, encourages employees to be more involved, and increases retention.
3. Boost Productivity and Engagement
According to an independently conducted report by the World Green Building Council, WELL-certified offices see fewer sick days, less staff turnover, and increased productivity, all with minimal additional project cost.
4. Offer Peace of Mind
WELL Certification is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges and anxieties around COVID-19. The WELL Health-Safety Rating uses the WELL Building Standard (informed by a COVID-19 task force and the latest recommendations by the WHO and CDC) to set guidelines for operational and policy strategies that prioritize human health. The WELL seal is an indication that a space is taking evidence-based, independently-verified measures to keep customers, employees, and tenants safe.
5. Become a Leader in Your Market
WELL is quickly becoming a global standard and symbol for health. Currently, there are over 5,275 WELL projects on over 780 million square feet in 66 countries around the world. Since the start of the pandemic, WELL has experienced an enormous surge of interest in its projects (properties are registering at the rate of 1-2 million square feet a day). People are beginning to understand the impact that built environment has on wellbeing.
There are currently three WELL certified buildings in Georgia, with 183 more registered and undergoing the certification process.
Get a Jump-Start on WELL with Copiana
Alongside WELL, Copiana is working to build healthier communities through education, health, and wellness in Atlanta commercial properties. Our vertical farms are a unique amenity for any property manager in Atlanta. As Jackie Greene says, “We develop, maintain, and create harvest markets and events surrounding our aeroponic tower farms.” The farms increase property value and sense of community and may be eligible to meet several preconditions and optimizations of your WELL Building plan.
The Nourishment concept requires properties to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables—and there’s no better way to do that than growing them on-property. At Copiana, we bring the farm to you. We make fresh produce easy and exciting. Jackie Greene says, “One of my favorite things about Copiana is how passionate our team members are about explaining to others why fresh, local produce is very important.”
A precondition of the Mind concept is access to nature. With a Copiana farm on your property, your tenants get to be involved in the process. They get to watch their produce grow aeroponically and they get to meet our farmers. We can help set up a greenhouse facility that provides a space for tenants to take a break and enjoy a natural space.
To further explore how Copiana may be able to help your commercial property achieve a WELL Building Certification,* check out our Certifications page here. If you choose to pursue a WELL Certification for your Atlanta commercial property and want to incorporate a Copiana tower farm as part of that, we are pleased to offer your first month free.