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The WELL Building Standard: Overview of Changes from V1 to V2

The WELL Building Standard: Overview of Changes from V1 to V2
The Well Building Standard is the first evidence-based system used to certify, measure and monitor building features that impact occupants’ health and wellbeing. Many organizations are investing in wellbeing and holistic health programs as they lead to a more productive workforce and increased employee engagement. Because of these reasons, WELL is undoubtedly becoming a benchmark for wellbeing and health in the workplace. It is designed to work harmoniously with the LEED Green Building Rating System, the Living Building Challenge, and other leading global green building standards.

The WELL Building Standard was developed over the course of 7 years and first launched in 2014 under v1. Today, WELL v2 is open for registration, building upon the pioneering foundation of WELL v1.

Overall, WELL v2 has fewer requirements and more options, a new point system, and a revised fee structure. In addition, to support project teams with their comparison, IWBI has created a mapping tool for projects to see how the WELL v1 features map to WELL v2 features.

Fewer Requirements and More Options

WELL v2 has expanded upon the foundation created by WELL v1. WELL v2 is comprised of 112 features within 10 concepts:

The WELL Building Standard: Overview of Changes from V1 to V2

The image above gives a quick overview of the total number of features for each of the 10 concepts. In addition to the overall changes, some features have shifted around, others have changed significantly, and still others are brand new. You can learn more about specific features using the International WELL Building Institute’s downloadable comparison tool.

New Point System

IWBI has also introduced a point system similar to those found in LEED, with “optimizations” (optional features) split into different parts with different numbers of points. Projects can earn up to 100 points, plus ten innovation points.

  • Concept achievement – In the v2 pilot, projects will need to achieve at least 2 points per concept with a maximum of 12 per concept. Some concepts have over 20+ points available, so keep this in mind when deciding which ones best support your project’s goals. For WELL Core projects, the concept point maximum is the same, but the minimum requirement is 1 point per concept.
  • Feature achievement – In the v2 pilot, some optimization features will have more points available than the maximum achievable for that feature. Projects can choose the feature part strategies that best align with their project goals, but keep in mind the maximum.
  • Part achievement – In the v2 pilot, projects need to achieve all parts of a precondition feature, but can elect to pursue optimization parts separately. In v1, projects need to achieve all parts of a feature for achievement.

Revised Fee Structure

IWBI has altered the pricing structure for WELL. There is now a subscription option available, which helps spread costs over multiple years. Additionally, there is now a 35% discount on registration and certification fees for schools, non-profits, government organizations, and affordable housing. The same discount applies to all project types in “developing markets”—countries defined by the World Bank as lower-middle-income and low-income nations.

Mapping Tool

Teams can use IWBI’s Mapping Tool to estimate how many points their project could potentially achieve in WELL v2 based on the features they were targeting in WELL v1.

The mapping tool is available for download here. Reviewing the Certification Guidebook and Performance Verification Guidebook can also be useful in understanding the new processes of v2.

For more information on WELL v2, visit this site or reach out to us at GreenCheck! Our team can help you with the application process to get your property WELL Certified and answer any questions.

You can visit our website at, or call us at 416-640-2444.