As Ontario progresses in its reopening strategy and opens a variety of outdoor amenities, many of us may be wondering when we can return to the indoor spaces we love. It’s no secret that many employees are starting to miss the office environment, from JP Morgan and Barclays planning to eventually bring back most of their workforce, to Ivanhoé Cambridge launching their “Do You Miss the Office?” podcast.
A successful return to work strategy centres around more than just physical distancing and mask mandates. From our Sustainability Group’s experience, tenants are unique and have different priorities when it comes to staying safe at the office. Opportunely, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)’s WELL Health-Safety Rating provides evidence-based best practices that communicate dedication to maintaining a safe indoor experience.
Similar to the WELL Building Standard, the WELL Health-Safety Rating advances healthier and safer spaces through a set of rigorous criteria informed by years of research from IWBI. If your organization is looking to achieve the seal, it may be confusing to dive into the more than 20 features that comprise the Health-Safety Rating. Further, for organizations that are unfamiliar with the WELL Building Standard, there can be a substantial learning curve in starting out. As with all projects, the addition of a project manager in the form of a WELL consultant can be an invaluable asset.
WELL consultants are professionals that possess significant knowledge of human health and wellness in the built environment. For the Health-Safety Rating, WELL consultants wear many hats and may support clients by providing cost estimates, connecting with testing agents, planning timelines, producing verification documents, and launching creative marketing campaigns to promote achievement of the seal.
Gain Verified Expertise. A WELL consultant is often a WELL AP, an accredited professional with the IWBI who has the knowledge and expertise to transform human health and wellness in buildings and communities. WELL APs know the requirements of the rating inside-out, so that the client doesn’t have to. At the start of the project, the WELL consultant can help to establish a project budget with suggested stakeholders and vendors that will makeup the broader project team. They may also undertake a gap analysis that takes into consideration the project as a whole to identify what is needed to move forward and which criteria the building may be falling short on.
Save Time and Money. WELL consultants manage timelines and guide clients towards features they are most likely to achieve–minimizing time wasted and ensuring that property managers can focus on their most urgent tasks. Day-to-day, WELL consultants are available to answer questions, offer technical support, liaise with IWBI, and provide regular project updates–creating a seamless client experience. As the project manager, the consultant works independently and behind the scenes to ensure that all heavy lifting associated with the project is taken care of.
Find Synergies. If your organization chooses to pursue the Health-Safety Rating at multiple properties, a WELL consultant can manage and relay information between different project team members and third-party vendors to ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page.
Develop Innovative Solutions. The WELL consultant applies their industry experience and background to help solve issues that arise and develop creative solutions to meet the criteria of the Health-Safety Rating. During the project, the consultant reviews policies and existing materials, creates new documentation for submission, and verifies information from third-party vendors and consultants in pursuit of ultimately achieving the building seal.
Attract and Retain Tenants. Following confirmation from GBCI that a property has achieved the Health-Safety Rating, the WELL consultant may be responsible for developing creative communications and initiatives that showcase the client’s commitment to health and wellness. The consultant helps the client show off their hard work and simultaneously supports them in attracting and retaining tenants.
100% of our Sustainability team possesses the WELL AP credential. As full-time sustainability professionals, our team has extensive experience in guiding clients through WELL Certification. Over the past year, our team has worked with multiple properties in supporting their pursuit of the WELL Health-Safety Rating. Connect with us today to learn how we can support you in building a healthier environment at firstname.lastname@example.org.