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

Project Typologies

The features of the WELL Building Standard® can be applied across many real estate sectors, but the version presented herein is applicable to commercial and institutional office buildings. Furthermore, not all WELL features apply to all office buildings, depending on the stage of construction. WELL v1 is therefore further organized into typologies, which take into account the specific set of considerations that are unique to a particular building type or phase of construction. For WELL v1, there are three project typologies.

New and Existing Buildings Certification 41 61 102
New and Existing Interiors Certification 36 64 100
Core and Shell Compliance 26 30 56

New and Existing Buildings

Entire buildings present opportunities for implementation of the greatest number of WELL features. This project typology applies to new and existing buildings and addresses the full scope of project design and construction as well as aspects of building operations. It is relevant for office buildings where a minimum of 90% of the total floor area is occupied by the building owner and is operated by the same management (i.e., up to 10% of the building may be occupied by a different tenant or operated by different management). For example, a large office building may rent out the ground floor for retail or restaurant purposes; in these cases, the non-office area would not be subject to requirements of the WELL Building Standard or used in area calculations.

New and Existing Interiors

This project typology is relevant for office projects only occupying a portion of the space in a building, or those that occupy an entire existing building not undergoing major renovation. In buildings that are WELL Core & Shell Compliant™, some WELL features may already apply towards New and Existing Interiors certification, making certification easier. WELL Certification is also possible in buildings that have not first achieved WELL Core and Shell Compliance.

Core and Shell Compliance

WELL Core and Shell Compliance is available for building projects seeking to implement fundamental features into the entire base building for the benefit of future tenants. The Core and Shell typology addresses the building structure, window locations and glazing, building proportions, heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and fundamental water quality. This typology also encourages consideration of the site in relation to amenities and opportunities for wellness. Core and Shell is appropriate for projects in which up to 25% of the project area is controlled by the building owner (i.e., 75% or more of the project space is fitted out/occupied by tenants).

Independent of the portion of the building controlled by the owner, 100% of the building must adhere to the requirements of Core and Shell Compliance.

For projects to be WELL Core & Shell Compliant™, all Preconditions are required, as well at least one Optimization from every Concept. WELL Certification is not applicable to Core and Shell projects given that indoor environmental quality and tenant policy have not been established in all parts of the building. Core and Shell Compliance is not described as certification – it is a verified compliance path that will assist in streamlining applications for WELL Certification for New and Existing Interiors. WELL Core and Shell Compliance is a one-time determination that is based on the condition of the building on the date of award.