IWBI Governance Council Votes to Graduate WELL v2 Out of Pilot

Governing body, charged with upholding integrity of the WELL Building Standard’s evolution, greenlights WELL v2
Jul 9, 2020 5:05 PM ET
Press Release

NEW YORK – July 9, 2020 /3BL Media/ -- The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announced today the graduation of WELL v2 out of pilot stage, an outcome voted upon by the IWBI Governance Council, which was formally constituted in February 2020. Comprised of key global thought leaders, doctors, public health professionals and business executives, the roles of the IWBI Governance Council include helping uphold the integrity of the development process for IWBI’s certification frameworks and accelerating the broader movement driving WELL’s adoption.

Members of the IWBI Governance Council include:

  • Amit Bouri, Co-Founder and CEO, Global Impact Investing Network

  • Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States

  • Rachel Gutter, President, IWBI

  • Stephen Huddart, President & CEO, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., PIK Professor of Health Equity and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania and former president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • Avinash Rajagopal, Editor in Chief, Metropolis 

  • Nancy Roman, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America

  • Raymond Yau, General Manager, Technical Services & Sustainable Development, Swire Properties


Launched on May 31, 2018, the WELL Building Standard version 2 pilot (WELL v2 pilot) builds upon the pioneering foundation of the first version of the WELL Building Standard (WELL v1), drawing expertise from a diverse community of WELL users and practitioners and from public health professionals and building scientists from around the world.

“The vote to graduate WELL v2 out of pilot is a tremendous milestone for the WELL movement, and we’re deeply honored to have individuals of such high regard to join us in this next evolution,” said Rick Fedrizzi, chairman and CEO of IWBI. “The roster of Governance Council members speaks volumes about WELL’s strong grounding in scientific evidence and how critical it is for us to make sure that the health and well-being of the people who occupy buildings are at the center of every decision we make.”

An important goal in developing WELL v2 is to drive equity into the very architecture of the standard by reducing barriers to entry while maintaining WELL as a mark of true leadership. WELL v2 is intended to be a system that can continuously learn, evolve and improve.  Through a dynamic scorecard, quarterly addenda and the ability to add new beta features, it is designed to allow IWBI to introduce new pathways, features and parts to make WELL a better fit for buildings everywhere.  It adds more flexible optimizations, giving projects the opportunity to focus on strategies that matter most to their unique context and apply them to more types of spaces.

“Since one of the roles of the Governance Council is to vote on key milestones during the standard development process, we were so grateful for this group’s support in standing up the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19,” said IWBI President Rachel Gutter.  “It allowed us to give WELL v2 one more solid review in light of the current pandemic and fortify it with solutions-oriented interventions and actionable and research-backed strategies before voting on bringing it out of pilot. Because of this decision, we feel that WELL v2 is the most well-positioned certification system on the market to address today’s most pressing health concerns.” 

The WELL v2 pilot was adopted quickly by IWBI’s global community and since its release nearly 3,000 projects have registered to pursue WELL Certification under the pilot. A key element of the development process for WELL is securing input from a variety of individuals. During the two-year pilot phase,       WELL  v2 underwent continuous improvement and refinement through a rigorous development process, including a six-month public comment period generating nearly 450 comments; the review and feedback from more than 150 WELL concept advisors; hundreds more comments during the final stakeholder review; and eight published addenda to provide clarifications and strategies supporting the implementation of the WELL v2 pilot across different projects and in different locations.  In addition, the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19, comprised of 16 co-chairs and nearly 600 leaders and experts from 30 countries, collectively crowdsourced hundreds more comments during a 40-day sprint to further assess ways in which WELL v2 could be further strengthened to better support prevention and preparedness, resiliency and recovery. 

The public launch of WELL v2 is scheduled to take place in August. For more information and to stay up to speed on the official launch of WELL v2, visit https://www.wellcertified.com/certification/v2/

What IWBI Governance Council Members are saying:

“Buildings - the places where each of us spends roughly 90 percent of our lives - must be at the heart of the solution to foster wellness and deliver positive health outcomes at scale,” said Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States. “As part of IWBI’s Governance Council, I’m honored to serve in a position that I see as crucial to not only helping steer the future of WELL but also achieving the shared vision of advancing health and well-being in all buildings all around the globe.”

"Along with my fellow Council members, I'm excited to be part of this historic vote that will usher in WELL v2 to the world," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., PIK Professor of Health Equity and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania and former president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  "It's essential that we have the right tool to help deliver better buildings for all as we strive to achieve a culture of health and ensure everyone has the chance to attain their full health potential."

“This is a pivotal moment for the future of how we think about buildings and the critical role they play to enhance and improve - not to mention protect - human health,” said Nancy Roman, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America. “I’m proud to be part of IWBI’s inaugural Governance Council and join this illustrious group entrusted with ensuring WELL v2 is as strong as it can be and positioned to lead the global movement to transform our built environment.”

"I'm honored to be part of the Council and be part of this important and collaborative work - all designed to help make our communities healthier, stronger and more vibrant," said Amit Bouri, Co-Founder and CEO, Global Impact Investing Network.  "And that's what is so exciting about the launch of WELL v2 — that we now have the opportunity to further that mission and inspire the next generation of what health leadership means in buildings around the world."

"We have united around this ambitious vision of advancing health and well-being in our buildings, but it must be accompanied by action," said Raymond Yau, General Manager, Technical Services & Sustainable Development, Swire Properties.  "As a member of IWBI's Governance Council, I know that WELL v2 provides us all with a powerful tool to take action and continue to implement our vision of bringing health to the forefront through better buildings."

“Tools and frameworks are always vital because they set the bar for design excellence, but in times of crisis they become doubly important, inspiring and informing designers as they push for new frontiers,” said Avinash Rajagopal, Editor in Chief, Metropolis. “By helping to empower the global architecture and design community, WELL v2 is poised to be a catalyzing force to drive incredible change at a time when we couldn't need it more.”

"In the past two decades, we have seen such significant change in how communities have made buildings the hallmark of a sustainable future," said Stephen Huddart, President & CEO, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. "With WELL v2, we can do the same for human health and accelerate this movement to make the places we live, work, learn and play healthier for all."  

About the International WELL Building Institute
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive. WELL v2 is the latest version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness for everyone, everywhere. For more information about IWBI and WELL, visit us here.

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL, WELL Portfolio, The WELL Conference, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Workforce, WELL Health-Safety Rating and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

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