USGBC HQ Washington DC

The USGBC HQ in Washington DC reflects the company's values as a LEED Platinum rated building. Credit: USGBC

Impact

Green and healthy | Dual WELL and LEED certifications underway

The US Green Building Council and the International WELL Building Institute have formed a partnership to simplify certifying buildings for both health and sustainability.

The USBGC’s LEED certification rates a building’s sustainability credentials, while WELL ratings consider a building’s impact on the wellbeing of people who use it.

Beginning in early 2023, the USGBC and IWBI will work together to streamline the process for achieving dual WELL and LEED certifications. The process will involve a third-party review overseen by Green Business Certification Inc.

Over the last few years, the Covid pandemic has pushed wellbeing up the agenda for both landlords and tenants at the same time as sustainability dominates global concerns.

That has upped pressure on real estate to prove that buildings are both healthy and sustainable.

‘Powerful market signal’

Rachel Hodgdon, president and CEO of IWBI, said: “By forging this stronger alliance with USGBC, we’re not only taking substantial steps to better support the uptake of WELL and LEED together. We’re also sending a powerful market signal that sustainability and health must go hand-in-hand.

“IWBI and USGBC share a deep, collaborative ethos. This is a pivotal moment to double down on the partnership and seize opportunities to unlock new ideas and efficiencies, ignite more innovation and inspire our global community.”

The two organisations have worked together before. In 2017, for example, the pair teamed up on a database called Origin, which helps companies find certified sustainable building materials.

Calling the latest move “the next chapter” in the partnership, Peter Templeton, president and CEO of USGBC and GBCI, said: “Not only are we doing more to bridge LEED and WELL in the market, we’re also coordinating across shared organisational objectives, such as elevating equity in the built environment, opening up new sources of capital for green and healthy buildings and bringing a unified voice to our shared priorities.”

The partnership will also explore future opportunities to accelerate the adoption of LEED and WELL, as well as the development of new tools and resources to support a growing green workforce.


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