- 01 Air quality standards
- 02 Smoking ban
- 03 Ventilation effectiveness
- 04 VOC reduction
- 05 Air filtration
- 06 Microbe and mold control
- 07 Construction pollution management
- 08 Healthy entrance
- 09 Cleaning protocol
- 10 Pesticide management
- 11 Fundamental material safety
- 12 Moisture management
- 13 Air flush
- 14 Air infiltration management
- 15 Increased ventilation
- 16 Humidity control
- 17 Direct source ventilation
- 18 Air quality monitoring and feedback
- 19 Operable windows
- 20 Outdoor air systems
- 21 Displacement ventilation
- 22 Pest control
- 23 Advanced air purification
- 24 Combustion minimization
- 25 Toxic material reduction
- 26 Enhanced material safety
- 27 Antimicrobial activity for surfaces
- 28 Cleanable environment
- 29 Cleaning equipment
- P9 Advanced cleaning
To minimize the effect of VOCs in building materials on indoor air quality.
Do products/materials need to comply with requirements set by both Part 5a (ANSI/BIFMA) and 5b (CDPH)?
No, projects can choose whichever standard works best for the set of products/materials they're working with. Given the variety of products/materials considered "furnishing," Part 5b (CDPH) was added to provide projects with additional choice by which to categorize products and materials that do not fall under Part 5a (ANSI/BIFMA).
I am selecting furniture for my project and notice that the test results list a "predicted concentration" in the VOC test results. Is this value sufficient to comply with the F04, Part 5?
No, the emission concentration value must be "actual" (not predicted) in order to comply with the requirements of Part 5.
No, doors and windows are considered permanent fixtures rather than furnishings and don't fall under the scope of Feature 04, Part 5.
Is permanently installed carpeting subject to Feature 4, Part 3 while area rugs are subject to Part 5 as a furnishing?
Yes, permanently installed carpeting is subject to Feature 4, Part 3 as flooring, while area rugs are subject to Part 5 as a furnishing.
Yes, grout is covered within Part 2.
Please can you confirm that any fire stopping and sealing product, linear joint and gap seal is excluded from the scope of Feature 4 Part 2 and/or Part 5?
Any material/product or part(s) used to contain fire or prevent the passage of fire/smoke through joints are excluded from Feature 4 Part 2. Part 5 is not exempt, because "furniture and furnishings" do not generally exist for the purpose of fire protection.
No, such materials applied off-site are excluded from the scope of Feature 4, Parts 1 and 2.
No, insulation used for purposes of fire safety is not required to meet Feature 4, Part 4.
No, fire coatings are excluded from the scope of Feature 4, Part 1.
Are there any materials that WELL considers to be inherently non-emitting that do not need to meet VOC testing?
The IWBI recognizes the following as inherently non-emitting: stone, ceramic, powder-coated metals, plated or anodized metal, glass, concrete, clay brick, natural wool, and unfinished or untreated solid wood flooring. It is important to note that if any of these items have finishes, sealants or adhesives applied, they will require VOC testing either as a whole or in parts, i.e. at least the coating/finish/adhesive requires VOC testing.
No, outdoor furniture is not considered within the WELL project scope, however, we encourage you to extend the WELL feature intent to the outdoor spaces as well!
Feature 4 overlaps with the LEED v4 Low Emitting Materials Credit closely, however the LEED credit allows project teams to choose categories of products that have VOC testing or to use a budget calculation to determine compliance. Therefore, while LEED v4 and WELL 1.0 both consider paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, flooring, insulation, furniture and furnishings, there is not a guaranteed overlap between WELL feature 4 and LEED Low Emitting Materials as the chosen categories of products may be different.
LEED 2009 or v3 considers slightly different categories of products than WELL, so there is still not a direct overlap. In LEED 2009 you can choose from categories of paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, flooring, ceilings, walls, insulation, furniture and composite wood to evaluate for different amounts of points.
The IWBI and USGBC are also working on a WELL and LEED crosswalk to further streamline aligned features for projects that are pursuing both.
These requirements all reference California standards. How do I know if I meet these requirements, or are there other equivalents that can apply? Are there other certifications that could be used?
California has some of the strongest health-based regulations pertaining to VOC content and emissions of building materials, which is why these standards are used to set specific limits on VOC content and/or emissions in WELL. These standards have been widely adopted in the materials space, and are slowly becoming "industry-standard" in the US.
For international projects, the IWBI approves proposals of best-in-class regional standards. Please review the feature 4 approved equivalencies and alternative adherence paths to find a list of previously approved alternative options. In addition, when a best-in-class regional standard does not meet WELL stringency, IWBI will make outreach to the alternate standard organization to confirm aligned missions and encourage movement toward WELL thresholds.
My project is considering some ancillary furniture items that have not been tested for VOCs. Can I use these products?
While it is common for systems furniture to meet ANSI/BIFMA and therefore have VOC testing results, this is not the case yet in the market for ancillary pieces. One way to overcome this challenge is for the project or manufacturer to obtain VOC testing for the individual parts of the furniture, i.e. paints, coatings, adhesives and sealants. With this, you must keep in mind that some products, like composite wood, would have emissions testing accounting for the binder (typically using formaldehyde), however any finishes would need to be evaluated separately.
Furniture and furnishings generally include all stand-alone and built-in furniture items purchased for the project. For example, this may include seating, open office desks, enclosed office desks, cabinetry, storage, white boards and tack boards, carts, free standing screens, tables, partitions, cubicle panels, drapes or curtains. Office accessories (notebooks, monitor arms, waste baskets) are not included in the scope of applicable furniture and furnishings. Custom and built-in furniture such as cabinetry are included in the scope of Feature 4, Part 5. But generally, millwork items, such as window casings, are not included.
Applicable materials (at least 95%, by cost) for WELL must meet sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2 of the BIFMA e3-2011 standard or California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Standard Method v1.1-2010 (or later) to comply. Note, for BIFMA e3-2011, anything that isn't seating or a workstation (other finishes), the "individual components - private office" VOC emissions limitations should be referenced in A.
Salvaged and reused architectural millwork more than one year old at the time of occupancy is considered compliant, provided it meets the requirements for any new site-applied paints, coatings, adhesives, and sealants.