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

Processed foods

Processed foods


To help occupants avoid highly-processed ingredients and foods.

Yes, the project is meeting the requirement as long as in at least 50% of grain based foods, a whole grain is the first ingredient.

Yes, naturally occurring trans fats are okay. The project should ensure that partially hydrogenated oils are not listed as an ingredient.

If a project does not sell or provide food and beverages on a daily basis, it is considered in compliance with the Nourishment precondition features 38-40 (and 43-44 when designated as preconditions) and is considered not having achieved optimization features 47 and 49 (and 43-44 when designated as optimizations). To demonstrate compliance, projects should simply add a note to explain their lack of daily food and beverage offerings within the 'Notes' column of the project checklist.

Note that all Nourishment optimizations will still appear on the project scorecard and contribute to the denominator when calculating scoring.

Yes, foods and beverages are considered to be provided on a daily basis if they are available to occupants each day. This is irrespective of the frequency of delivery.

Yes, all beverages including fresh fruit and vegetable juices or smoothies must contain fewer than 30 g of sugar per container.

This feature restricts partially hydrogenated oils, which are manufactured, artificially-produced trans fats. Thus, naturally occuring trans fats are not addressed by this feature.

Yes, the project is meeting the requirement as long as the whole grain sandwiches make up at least half of all of the food offerings made with grain flour.

Feature 39 Parts 1a, 1b and 1c apply to total sugar content, not just added sugar.

Yes, all foods and beverages that are sold and provided must comply with the requirements. This includes packaged and prepared items, as well as all items in vending machines.

Beverages, regardless of size, are typically consumed in one sitting even if they contain multiple servings (per the FDA's Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed). The updated Nutrition Facts label reflects this change and requires that calories and other nutrients be declared for the entire beverage package rather than per serving. For foods, nutrition information is typically presented per serving as typically consumed.

If the multiple-serving food package contains fewer than 30 grams of sugar "per serving," then Part 1c of the requirement will be met for WELL certification.

If the project owner of the Core & Shell project pursuing WELL certification does not sell or distribute food, or provide vending machines within the building, feature 39 and 40 are considered out of scope.

No, while the availability of processed foods is limited in WELL projects, employees are not prohibited in which foods and beverages they bring from home or purchase outside of the project.

No, the Nourishment requirements are only applicable to food provided by the project owner or provided by a vendor who is under contract with the project owner, which for a Core and Shell project the project owner is the building developer. Tenants within the building do not need to meet these requirements.

If the tenant decided to pursue the New and Existing Interiors or the Retail Pilot certification, then the Nourishment feature requirements would be applicable.

IWBI recognizes the various cultural differences in meal practices and therefore recommends the project to submit an Alternative Adherence Path (AAP) to confirm the project meets the feature intent for the Nourishment concept. In addition, please review the already accepted AAP's for each nourishment feature.

This includes all foods and beverages supplied by the project owner, or by a vendor under contract with the owner, including items sold or provided in the cafeteria, in vending machines, at a coffee bar and items available to occupants in the kitchen/pantry area.

Yes, if the food served in the eating area is provided daily under the direction of the owner, all of the Nourishment preconditions need to be met by the project regardless of where the food is prepared.

If no food is sold or served within the eating area or break area, most of the Nourishment precondition features would be considered out of scope. However, features 41 and 45 may still be applicable to the project.

No, if food is not catered on a daily basis, most of the Nourishment features are considered out of scope. However, Features 41 and 45 may be applicable to the project.

Yes, if any food is provided to occupants the precondition nourishment requirements need to be met for these items. For example, when coffee and milk are provided, milk would need to be labeled for allergens.