LEED® and WELL Building Programs
Facility Performance Associates has been participating in the development, administration, and documentation of many Green Building sustainability programs for over 25 years. We have been involved in hundreds of sustainability projects and have certifications in all the major programs. These include LEED, WELL Building, Fitwell, and others.
Each of these and many other programs consist of multiple emphasis areas that require knowledge, reviews, program development, and documentation for approval. The program approvals result in a rating for the building or project that demonstrates accomplishment and is a value to the organization and facility.
Studies by the USEPA indicate that on average most people spend over 90 % of their time indoors. Additionally, those buildings consume over 40% of the energy produced. Thus, it is critical that the environment in the buildings is safe and healthy and that the building operates efficiently. These factors have become even more important and complex during the recent health concerns including a virus pandemic. The health and efficiency of a building interact and sometimes conflict. There have been several programs that have been developed to address sustainability and building health issues. These programs are valuable but complex in the documentation. FPA is trained in these programs and provides program administration, point documentation, and consulting.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has evolved over the last 20 to 30 years. It is an excellent program and building rating system to improve and evaluate building design and performance. It consists of 110 subjects or points divided into 8 categories including Location and Transportation, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency. Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Environmental Quality. Innovation and Regional Priority. A building or project is evaluated upon the conformance to the point requirements and based on extensive documentation and reviews awarded a rating of Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. This program has become very popular internationally for building performance evaluation and also in the marketing of the resultant building and spaces.
The WELL Building Program is newer and is somewhat similar in structure to LEED but concentrates more on the occupant of the facility or space. It also has 110 points available and the same rating levels. The requirements for WELL are more complex and demanding in some areas, making the documentation more difficult. Well is divided into ten categories including: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community. This program is vey well researched and documented. Achieving the WELL Building rating is also very valuable in meeting the currently evolving demand for healthy spaces and verification of performance. Both of these are valuable for marketing.
The FITWEL Program has a similar intent of improving work spaces but varies in requirements and documentation. It has 63 Strategies including: Location, Building Access, Outdoor Spaces, Entrances & Ground Floor, Stairwells, Indoor Environments, Workspaces. Shared Spaces, Water Supply, Food Services, Vending Machines& Snack Bars, and Emergency Procedures. The documentation and evaluations along with the facility ratings vary from the other programs.
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