This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.


In evaluating adherence to the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL), a project’s assessor will grade each concept independently on a numerical scale. While this concept-by-concept analysis is used initially to ensure that all Preconditions per concept are met, the final WELL Score is calculated based on the total Preconditions and Optimizations achieved across the board—not as a function of averaging independent concept scores. Failure to achieve any Precondition in any concept will preclude the award of WELL Certification. If all Preconditions are satisfied, higher levels of certification award are possible. In evaluating award levels, all Optimization features are treated equally. Concept scores and the overall WELL score are calculated as follows for the number of WELL features applicable to a specific project type:

 Total Preconditions = TP
 Preconditions Achieved = PA
 Total Optimizations = TO
 Optimizations Achieved = OA
 Wellness Score = WS

In making these calculations, Innovation and Not Applicable features are not included among the total optimizations (TO), though achieving them will increase Optimizations Achieved (OA). The example below shows an office that successfully meets the requirements of the New and Existing Buildings project type. With all Preconditions met and 29 Optimizations met, it will receive the scores calculated as shown.

Air 12 12 17 3 5
Water 5 5 3 0 5
Nourishment 8 8 7 7 10
Light 4 4 7 2 6
Fitness 2 2 6 3 7
Comfort 5 5 7 2 6
Mind 5 5 12 12 10
Total 41 41 59 29 7

Lower scores (0 – 4) comprise the compulsory Precondition features; a score less than 5 would denote failure to meet the Preconditions in that concept and thus failure for overall certification or compliance. Silver scores (5 – 6) mean that all compulsory Precondition features have been met in the concept. Gold scores (7 – 8) and Platinum scores (9 – 10) comprise the non-compulsory Optimizations.

WELL Building Standard Features, Parts and Requirements

The seven Concepts are comprised of 100 features. Every feature is intended to address specific aspects of occupant health, comfort or knowledge. Each feature is divided into parts, which are often tailored to a specific building type. This means that depending on the building type (e.g., New and Existing Interiors or Core and Shell), only certain parts of a given feature may be applicable. Within each part are one or more requirements, which dictate specific parameters or metrics to be met. In order for a project to receive credit for a particular feature, all of its applicable component parts specifications must be satisfied.

Features can be:
  • Performance-based standards that allow flexibility in how a project meets acceptable quantified thresholds
  • Prescriptive standards that require specific technologies, design strategies or protocols to be implemented


Some WELL features are categorized as Preconditions—necessary for all levels of WELL Certification. These features represent the core of the WELL Building Standard. Preconditions can be thought of as the foundation for wellness in the built environment. It is important to note that for certification to be awarded, all applicable Preconditions must be met.


Optimizations are not required to achieve Silver level certification, but create a flexible pathway towards Gold and Platinum level certification. These features include optional technologies, strategies, protocols and designs. IWBI recommends that all projects strive to achieve as many Optimizations as possible. All optimizations listed as applicable to a project type are applicable to all projects registered under that project type. A project may choose not to pursue an optimization, however projects may not consider an optimization "not applicable" if they do not comply with the requirements of the feature. Rather, all optimizations applicable to a project type are included in a project's scoring, and if a project chooses not to meet an optimization's requirements, this feature is noted as "not pursued."

WELL Building Standard® Silver Certification All applicable None
Gold Certification All applicable 40% of applicable
Platinum Certification All applicable 80% of applicable
WELL Pilot Standards Silver Certification All applicable 20% of applicable
Gold Certification All applicable 40% of applicable
Platinum Certification All applicable 80% of applicable

Not Applicable Features

Features that are labeled as 'not applicable' (N/A) to a particular project type are not expected to be relevant to that project type. These features are not included in the project type's total optimization count in scoring. However, if a project finds that a 'non applicable' feature is indeed relevant and meets all of the feature's requirements, the project may receive credit for the achieved optimization without increasing the total applicable optimization count for scoring purposes.