IWBI Launches the International Healthy Building Accord With Support From Public Health Luminaries, Dozens of WELL APs and Other Healthy Building Champions

May 8, 2024 2:10 PM ET

Throughout the year, IWBI will mobilize its global community of healthy building leaders, practitioners and advocates to gather signatures for the Accord, with the goal of presenting it to government leaders, international bodies such as the United Nations, and global health organizations, urging action and implementation of its recommendations.

NEW YORK, May 8, 2024 /3BL/ - The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the global authority for transforming health and well-being in buildings, organizations and communities, in collaboration with renowned health luminaries, building science experts and industry leaders, today announced the launch of the International Healthy Building Accord. This groundbreaking initiative seeks to redefine the future of our built environment, emphasizing the critical role of health in building design, construction and operations.

The Accord, shaped by contributions from foremost health authorities and informed by an extensive and thorough body of health and buildings research and scientific evidence, outlines the imperative for healthy buildings, key focus areas and strategic policy actions necessary to accelerate healthy buildings worldwide. It emphasizes the importance of indoor air quality, water quality, healthy materials and design practices that prioritize human health as well as environmental sustainability.

“The International Healthy Building Accord embodies our shared vision and serves as a global clarion call, urging the world’s policymakers and health leaders to do their part to help accelerate people-first buildings for everyone, everywhere,” said Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI. “We invite healthy building champions to unite around the imperative of making sure the places and spaces where we live our lives enhance our health and well-being, not compromise it.”

Throughout the year, IWBI will engage with its global community, including public health professionals, architects, engineers, facility managers, developers, business leaders, researchers and others, to gather support and collect signatories for the Accord. The campaign will culminate in presenting the Accord to national government agencies, the United Nations and its agencies, and international health institutions, including the World Health Organization, at the end of the year.

The Accord calls for the world’s governments to prioritize health in buildings, highlighting the need for strategic policy actions in areas such as building codes, financial incentives, public-private partnerships, and research and innovation. By endorsing the Accord, signatories are also committing to play a role in helping transform the built environment into a healthier, more sustainable space for current and future generations.

“In the role of Surgeon General, we would issue a call to action when the nation’s health, well-being or safety was at risk. This is a similar situation and precisely why we are uniting under the banner of the International Healthy Building Accord, a global call to action urging the world’s leaders to take key policy actions to accelerate change,” said Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States. “And considering we spend 90% of our lives indoors, it is imperative that our buildings protect, support and enhance our health, such as providing clean air to breathe and clean water to drink.”

As of today’s launch, the Accord already has nearly 200 signatories, including these notable leaders:

Rachel Hodgdon, President and CEO, IWBI
Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th Surgeon General of the United States
George R. Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls
Michelle Williams, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Harvard University
Cheryl Durst, EVP and CEO, International Interior Design Association
Kenneth Mendez, President and CEO, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Lakisha Ann Woods, CEO, American Institute of Architects
Khoi Vo, CEO, American Society of Interior Designers
Peter Templeton, President and CEO, U.S. Green Building Council
Esther Sternberg, MD, Author of Well at Work
Yasushi Kinoshita, Representative Member, Eminence Partners
Christhina Candido, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
Chris Pyke, Chief Innovation Officer, GRESB
Avi Rajagopal, Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine
Sarah Enaharo, Director of Global Sustainability and Health, Milliken & Company
Deepa Sathiaram, Executive Director, En3 Sustainability Solutions
Lawrence Sloan, CEO, American Industrial Hygiene Association
Courtney Howard, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
Stephen Huddart, Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria
Kay Sargent, Director of Thought Leadership, Interiors, HOK
Prateek Khanna, COO, IWBI
Pauline Souza, Director of Sustainability, WRNS Studio
Quaiser Parvez, CEO, Nucleus Office Parks
Jennifer Berthelot-Jelovic, Founder & CEO, A SustainAble Production (ASAP)
Tyler Smith, Vice President of Healthy Buildings, Johnson Controls
Carlie Bullock-Jones, Founder and Principal, Ecoworks Studio
Ben Stapleton, Executive Director, USGBC California
Liam Bates, CEO, Kaiterra
Christine Bruckner, Director, M Moser Associates
Colin Milner, CEO, International Council in Active Aging
Deborah Cloutier, President, RE Tech Advisors
Erik Malmstrom, CEO, SafeTraces
Nora Wang Esram, Senior Director for Research, ACEEE
Sam Pickering, Executive Director of Sustainability, The Instant Group
Alexis Holcombe, Faculty, Virginia Commonwealth University
Scott Tew, Vice President of Sustainability, Trane Technologies
Emily Duff, Director of Climate Impact, JLL
Sean O’Reilly, Global SVP, AAF International
Rick Fedrizzi, Executive Chairman, IWBI
Tracy Backus, Director of Sustainable Programs, Teknion
Bill Browning, Founding Partner, Terrapin Bright Green
April Vacca, Associate Principal, Dewberry
Paul Scialla, Founder and CEO, Delos
Jason Shearer, Hybrid Work CTO, Cisco
Komal Kotwal, Founder and Principal, EquiSustain
Steve Levine, CEO, AtmosAir
Lauren M. Wallace, Principal, Epsten Group
Guido Petinelli, Founder and CEO, Petinelli
Wendy Feldman Block, Executive Managing Director, Savills
William Bridge, CEO, Global Green
John Nothdurft, Director, ISSA, The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association
John Loyer, Head of Government Affairs, Somfy North America
Annemarie Lombard, Founder, Sensory Intelligence Consulting
Theresa Lehman, Director of Sustainable Services, Miron Construction Co.
Vicki Worden, President and CEO, Green Building Initiative
Michael White, Director of Business Development, Siemens
Ze Li, Senior Engineer, SOM

“I’m excited to see as leading figures across the healthy building movement mobilize around the Accord,” said Jason Hartke, Executive Vice President, External Affairs and Advocacy. “It’s our chance to speak with one voice and tell all our government leaders to take note and take action by embracing the policy prescriptions in the Accord, ensuring that the places and spaces where we live, work and play contribute positively to our health and well-being.”

For more information about the International Healthy Building Accord and how to become a signatory, please click here.

About the International WELL Building Institute
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation and the global authority for transforming health and well-being in buildings, organizations and communities. In pursuit of its public-health mission, IWBI mobilizes its community through the development and administration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL), WELL for residential, WELL Community Standard, its WELL ratings and management of the WELL AP credential. IWBI also translates research into practice, develops educational resources and advocates for policies that promote people-first for everyone, everywhere. IWBI is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative, and helps companies advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of WELL. More information on WELL can be found here.

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL EP, WELL Score, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Health-Safety Rated, WELL Performance Rated, WELL Equity Rated, WELL Equity, WELL Residence, Works with WELL, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.

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