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Mindful : February 2019
It’s not only traditional businesses, however, that are paying attention to this phenomenon. Although the first iteration of the WELL Build- ing Standard was crafted with office buildings in mind, Version 2 is adaptable for pretty much any type of project but a single-family home, and so far interest in pursuing certification has come from warehouses, airports, resorts, res- taurants, affordable-housing projects, militar y installations, and a YMCA. What’s more, there has been a tremendous surge in demand for WELL-inspired elder-care facilities, as aging Baby Boomers scheme to outrun the actuarial tables while simultaneously bolstering their quality of life. Of course, complying with 112 multi-part features spread across 10 diverse concepts may require budgets beyond the means of some hoping to emulate the WELL pioneers, possibly constraining this movement’s evolution. For example, Traci Rose Rider, PhD, coordinator of North Carolina State University’s Design Initia- tive for Sustainability & Health, says that, by and large, public school administrators aren’t yet asking for the likes of biophilia and innovative building-related technologies. “ You could say, ‘I want circadian lighting for all these kids, and we think it might work. Or we could use those funds to patch the roofs on the four buildings that need patching.’ So there is a huge funding issue, and so far the people adapting it are those that have the money and dedication to do it, often larger corporations.” Similarly, while blue-sky thinkers envision adapting WELL for such structures as prisons—which research clearly demonstrates would contribute to inmates’ psychological well- being—retrofitting a supermax to bathe cells in north-facing light and insure optimum thermal comfort is not likely on any horizon. But in the meantime, it’s clear that a WELL- certified building can fit seamlessly into a shifting corporate culture that has beg un adding to its ranks chief wellness officers and chief mindfulness officers, just as it routinely added chief sustainability officers over the past decade to monitor and improve environmental efforts. “ We believe in the triple bottom line: Shoot for the intersection of people, planet, and pros- perity,” says Rachel Gutter. “If your employees are more present, if they’re more satisfied, if they’re more engaged and more productive, then everybody wins.” ● 74 mindful February 2019 well-being