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

Exterior active design

Exterior active design


To promote active lifestyles through the integration of active design elements into the building exterior.


Greater land-use mix has been linked to higher physical activity levels and lower rates of obesity. In addition, the presence of retail shops, bus stops and offices within walking distance from residences is linked to a higher likelihood of walking and using transit. Similarly, integrating elements of active design into the building and site, and creating cyclist and pedestrian-friendly environments around the building can help incentivize physical activity. Providing facilities such as benches, drinking fountains and water bottle refilling stations along a building’s walking routes can help support occupant activity throughout the day. Incorporating active design principles is particularly important for projects that are isolated from urban centers where automobile transportation predominates.

Part 1
Pedestrian Amenities

Sites in which the building takes up less than 75% of the total lot size provide at least one of the following within highly-trafficked areas, such as building entrances, public transportation stops, walking paths and plazas:
A bench.
A cluster of movable chairs and tables.
A drinking fountain or water refilling station.

Part 2
Pedestrian Promotion

To encourage more pedestrian activity, sites in which the building takes up less than 75% of the total lot size include at least two of the following in the outdoors:
A water fountain or other water feature.
A plaza or open air courtyard.
A garden or other landscaped elements.
Public art.

Part 3
Neighborhood Connectivity

To encourage neighborhood connectivity and daily activity, at least one of the following requirements is met:
The building address has a Walk Score® of 70 or greater.
At least four existing and publicly available diverse uses (listed in LEED BD+C: Surrounding Density and Diverse Uses, Appendix 1) are present within 800 m [0.5 mi] of the main building entrance.