After Green Building, Now a Wellness Certificate for Buildings


While Green Buildings concept has already gained a lot of momentum and there are many buildings which are certified as environment friendly in the country, there is now an emerging trend for offices to be certified on the standards of “Wellness” that promote health and wellness of employees.

You are reading: After Green Building, Now a Wellness Certificate for Buildings

Developers are waking up to the idea of constructing office spaces that support well being of the employees working in the building and can get a certificate for the same. US-based International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) came up with a well-defined standard in 2014 that aids and promotes social, economic and environmental well-being. Basis these standards, an office building can get WELL Certification. These standards define aspects for both construction of the building as well as interiors of the building. The standards developed for WELL Certification are based on several years of research in scientific and medical fields, together with real estate communities. It is basically a marriage of health sciences with building sciences so as to promote the well being of the occupants of the building. Since the contours of this certification hinge on interiors also, there sufficient emphasis on the way desks are laid out, the colour of the walls, the accessories in the office premises, the height of furniture like tables and chairs, the kind of flooring in the office, the colour of the carpet ect. These factors go a long way in enhancing efficiency of the workers and also helps in reducing physical stress like backaches and eye strain.

Wellness Certificate Goes beyond Green Buildings Aspects

Green Buildings standards largely looked at capacity of a building to reduce carbon footprint by reducing its energy requirements for lighting, heating and cooling. The WELL Certification is taking one step further and taking sustainable development as its main goal and that includes wellbeing of the workforce.

Since there is a direct relationship between a healthy workplace and business performance of a company, the corporate tenants are ready to pay 5-22 percent higher rent for a building that is WELL Certified. The concept of certification of wellness for office buildings is thus picking up in India and is the latest buzzword among developers.

Benefit For Coprorate Tenant

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Corporates are realizing that the aspirations of employees from workplaces are rising and they are not satisfied anymore worth just the basics.  They are also coming to terms with the fact that poorly laid out office spaces, insufficient or bad ventilation, correct size and layout of furniture and noisy layouts are leading to various medical conditions among employees such as ‘sick building syndrome’. Employees suffer from back and neck pain, headaches, lethargy, eye strain and mental stress among others which leads to absenteeism and lower productivity.  Employee cost is the highest among all the costs for a company. These corporates are thus willing to pay a higher rent and that is making the developers sit up get the certification. They are laying more emphasis on wellness aspects which include better air filtration systems, better water drainage, better lighting design, bigger windows to allow natural light and many other such factors. The corporates that are engaged with the developer from initial stages of construction of a building for leasing at later stages are also exerting pressure on them to include these features by offering them long term lease commitment. Some of the corporates in India have started mentioning WELL Certification as a basic requirement when looking for office spaces.

A well designed and constructed building results in optimum cost utilization for the corporate occupier of the building and ensures employee happiness and savings in recruitment costs.

Benefit To Developers

The developers are less likely to get vacancies in such projects as compared to the ones that do not have WELL Certification. Research has also shown that there is 30-50 percent higher possibility of signing long term lease agreement for such buildings by the tenant. Such buildings are also expected to perform better financially with REITs now becoming a reality in India as returns from a REIT is based on rent earning capability of a property.

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and India’s The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) have joined hands to certify buildings for wellness. The pilot project buildings that were selected for upgradation for WELL Certification include the Paharpur Business Centre (PBC) and Group 10 Technological Properties.

Some of the Buildings that have earned the WELL Certification recently by IWBI are:

1 Artesia K Raheja Corp Tower, Mumbai (4,92.631 sq ft)

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2 Prestige Falcon Tower, Bengaluru (4,92,000 sq ft)

3  Paharpur Business Center, Delhi (48, 469 sq ft0

4 Citi Enclave Phase 6 C, Pune (19,677 sq ft)

5 Mint Towers, Chennai (16,909 sq ft)

6 Group 10 Office, Gurgaon (7956 sq ft)

7 GBCI India Corporate Office, Noida (3978 sq ft)

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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