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Thread: WELL Building Certification

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    Default WELL Building Certification









    I know that we have a few design and construction geeks around here so I thought that I would post some information about a project that is nearing completion for us in Vancouver, WA. It's our first Well Certified building Explore the Standard | International WELL Building Institute which I refer to as LEED on steroids, in terms of the design, construction and certification process. As of today there are only 485 of these projects registered in the world and only 93 have been certified, so it's been quite a project for our client and for our team.

    Essentially WELL is focused on the health and well being of the building occupant, which is a bit of a departure from LEED, which is more energy, recycling, conservation and material performance oriented imho. LEED had become the new black, and as most of us have been trained to deliver LEED certified projects for the past 15-20 years, I must admit that WELL throws quite a few wrenches into the process. As WELL is defined as "exploring how design, operations and behaviors within the places where we live, work, learn and play can be optimized to advance human health and well-being", it can leave a lot of people including myself as saying "Huh?". You can imagine what the folks in the field have to say.

    Anyway, this project has some unique systems integrated into the design such as cross laminated hybrid timber framing, indoor biophilia elements, drinking water filtration, circadian rhythm lighting controls, pre and post occupancy IEQ monitoring, etc. If you are considering taking a project in this direction, you will need resources and help from the outside for sure and the planning process is intense. I'd be happy to share insight into the challenges and benefits of the WELL process and I will admit that I cautioned our client about the intensity and investment required of the project in terms of both fiscal and human capital. They loved the process and they love the product and can't wait to move in, so I consider that a success so far. I'll post finished photos when we close up shop as we always commission professional photos as a part of the process.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Wow, that is cool.

    I'm in the final stages of submitting our application to get certified under the Living Building Challenge.

    The IAQ has been a challenge. 500 ppb is a very low threshold for VOCs and we flunked a few areas. Solved that by bumping up the ventilation schedule, but in one area we had to adopt a low-fragrance policy. At least for the test.

    And drinking water has been a bear, when you say "filtration" are you harvesting it from the roof? We are and have been struggling. After a ton of analysis we determined it was the lab giving us flaky results, so we switched labs. I know, every kid who fails a test blames the test, right?

    Surprisingly, net zero energy has been relatively easy. Once we got all the meters working (another story for a few pints) the solar PV carried the building just fine.

    Does your building have a website?

    Todd
    Tee Aitch

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Please check ours out: BuildingOS

    And follow us on Twitter! The Kern Center (@Kern_Center) on Twitter
    Tee Aitch

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Wow, that is cool.

    I'm in the final stages of submitting our application to get certified under the Living Building Challenge.

    The IAQ has been a challenge. 500 ppb is a very low threshold for VOCs and we flunked a few areas. Solved that by bumping up the ventilation schedule, but in one area we had to adopt a low-fragrance policy. At least for the test.

    And drinking water has been a bear, when you say "filtration" are you harvesting it from the roof? We are and have been struggling. After a ton of analysis we determined it was the lab giving us flaky results, so we switched labs. I know, every kid who fails a test blames the test, right?

    Surprisingly, net zero energy has been relatively easy. Once we got all the meters working (another story for a few pints) the solar PV carried the building just fine.

    Does your building have a website?

    Todd
    I like your site Todd and no, we don't have a specific building site but I can send our company site, which follows the projects in the blog (Insights) section and posts final project histories. The drinking water is from the city as WELL standards push you in the direction of using city infrastructure with supplementary filtration systems in the building. We are using roof water for the recharging of groundwater and for a water feature as a part of the indoor/outdoor art requirement. Post occupancy monitoring will be a challenge for the client so we are involved in that area as well. The most interesting aspect of the process is that we already had delivered 10 LEED Silver facilities for this particular client. They were ready to "move up" in the green world and they wanted to design a facility who's primary purpose was to retain and attract top talent to their organization.

    PS If you ever make it to Pittsburgh, I can arrange a tour for you of Chatham's Eden Hall campus as it's something to see in terms of sustainable design and the direction where this particular school is headed.

    Eden Hall Campus | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Very cool. I admire the people who've got the resources to really push this envelope.

    And speaking of the Living Building Challenge, these guys are my neighbors. A lot smaller than what TH is attempting, but just as weird as Hampshire College!
    GO!

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Nice looking ceiling! I hope ours looks as good. Actually I hope ours gets built first and then it looks as good.

    But we arenít going for any certification of any sort, other than my wifeís stamp of approval, which is better known as WISTAMP certification.
     

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Quote Originally Posted by davids View Post
    Very cool. I admire the people who've got the resources to really push this envelope.

    And speaking of the Living Building Challenge, these guys are my neighbors. A lot smaller than what TH is attempting, but just as weird as Hampshire College!
    No kidding - I used to live on Dresden and then on Boylston between city feed and the mobbed out liquor store. Small world! We have probably run into one another as I used to ride a lot back then.
     

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Quote Originally Posted by JoB View Post
    No kidding - I used to live on Dresden and then on Boylston between city feed and the mobbed out liquor store. Small world! We have probably run into one another as I used to ride a lot back then.
    Ha! I'm off Chestnut. I bought a sandwich from those glassy-eyed slackers at Lil Feed last night.
    I've been here since late '15. Twenty-eight years in Dorchester before that.
    GO!

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification







    Nothing like a flyby with a drone...as soon as the pro photographer does his thing, I'll post the interior photos.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Well done Robert. Remember the time when you scheduled a helicopter fly over once a month? Our "Drone Master" works from my job site so I now get flyovers whenever I or the owner wants one.

    This looks like a project my company would do.

    Mike
    Mike Noble

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Impressive all the way around, particularly the 100 year lifespan of the Hampshire building. I will make a point of checking it out.
     

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    The aerial shots are striking in how conventional all the parking appears to be. No requirements for permeable asphalt or anything like that?
    "As an homage to the EPOdays of yore- I'd find the world's last remaining pair of 40cm ergonomic drop bars.....i think everyone who ever liked those handlebars in that shape and in that width is either dead of a drug overdose, works in the Schaerbeek mattress factory now and weighs 300 pounds or is Dr. Davey Bruylandts...who for all I know is doing both of those things." - Jerk

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Quote Originally Posted by nahtnoj View Post
    The aerial shots are striking in how conventional all the parking appears to be. No requirements for permeable asphalt or anything like that?
    J...good question. No permeable parking surfaces or walkways...just underground stormwater storage and recharge, mixed with four rain gardens, one of which you can see on the front elevation. It's fed directly from 1/3 of the roof, fills an above ground concrete basin, drains like a waterfall then goes under the cast iron grate and to the garden. Indoor and exterior biophelia features too. As the site is a mix of retail and operations for the firm...i.e. heavy vehicular traffic...a life cycle analysis of the permeable pavement didn't pan out and other design choices were made.

    Mike...as you well know, when you're dealing with new technology, unique design elements and a relatively new set of design and commissioning guidelines (WELL), it can be quite a challenge. We have a super integrated group of high performers who really stepped up, and a super client with whom we have been partnered with for 14 years. Without the "patron" leading the charge, it's all a pipe dream.

    International WELL Building Institute |

    Vancouver – Well on Vimeo
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Those organizations seem similar, right down to their logos and websites.





    But different, ILFI and the International WELL Building Institute Partner on "Crosswalk" to Align Two Ratings Systems
    Tee Aitch

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    ^ I think that they are all linked to the USGBC in some manner. Note that when Fedrizzi retired from the USGBC, he went to to head WELL...the green police are all in the same building in DC, but it looks like your group is in the PNW...so is Green Globes.

    https://www.thegbi.org/green-globes-certification/
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    This is great, stumbled upon this looking for something else. Our office seems to shifting focus over towards WELL and Passive House, which seems to be a good thing. LEED is a nice first step, but can be bought to an extent (although the new version is slightly better), Thats much harder to do with these other groups which is a great thing if you ask me.

    This is sort of unrelated, but my office has a really good open source tool, with a very good precautionary list for materials: Transparency
    --------------------
    another jaunt
    REBAR

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification







    The team pulled it off as our client received WELL Silver Certification just before Christmas. This is the first WELL Certified Credit Union in the world and folks are pretty stoked, as it was a pretty rigorous and sometimes frustrating process. We will be tracking the key objective of retaining and attracting high performing talent for the organization and it will take some time to see if this is realistic or not. They believe that having high performing talent on their team will lead to increased consumer satisfaction, which for them translates to business growth and profitability. The easy metrics for them to monitor are loans and deposits and they have hit their two-year objectives in 6 months. We shall see.
    rw saunders
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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Congrats, that's awesome!

    I got to participate in a design charrette at Carnegie Mellon's Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics with Vivian Loftness years ago. She had productivity studies, and the numbers were mind boggling. She usually shared the lower numbers because people had trouble believing the higher numbers.

    Harvard and United Technologies collaborated on a study more recently, a whopping 101% better score on a cognitive test under "enhanced green building" conditions.



    TH

    PS Well done on how the renderings so accurately depicted what was delivered. Impressive.
     

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Really cool, rw. I'm not in the industry but I am interested in green buildings.

    ~10 years ago my then-agency moved into a LEED Silver building (NBBJ HQ here in Seattle). I was intrigued, then surprised at how long it took to get the space functioning properly. There was a strong feeling of "pre-beta" technology, along with a rumor that the climate control was not calculated for the number of people and desktops we had. The multiple instances of removing flooring and re-doing ducts had to offset a lot of energy savings. It was all running smooth by the time I moved on.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: WELL Building Certification

    Thanks guys.

    Todd...I have been to quite a few Green Building Alliance events in Pittsburgh where Vivian was a part of the program and she has world class credentials for sure...truly ahead of her time.

    Dan...We have been working for the past 6-7 years with a research group out of the UK who benchmarks and measures the employee workplace experience in the form of an index and we use their database of knowledge workers (300,000+), to help drive the project design decisions, instead of relying solely on the experience or the opinions of the architects, interior designers and C-suiters. The index provides an independent perspective into how an organization might improve their function, workflow and effectviveness through the design of their workplace and the index synchs very well with the application of sustainable design strategies and tactics. We used the index to help guide the design of this project and the WELL Certification project requirement was driven from an early design charrette.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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