Sharing Expertise: IWBI & Hines Continue Collaboration
by Karen Quintana
This past spring IWBI began a series of roundtables with global partners to discuss how the WELL Building Standard can be evolved to better meet the needs of building owners and global employers. Building owners tell us they are joining us because they believe that promoting the health and well-being of occupants can help them differentiate their properties, demonstrate leadership and enhance tenant experience and retention. Global employers tell us that they helping to shape the future of WELL to attract and retain the best talent, maximize employee performance and productivity, build brand equity and improve employee health and well-being. Hines is a committed partner who recognizes both of these perspectives and is at the forefront of championing WELL not only for their employees, but also for their customers.
Recently, Hines invited the IWBI team to continue to discuss how varying ownership and management structures influence a building’s operations. Our team of public health scholars shared perspectives and learned from Hines’ engineering experts while discussing the health impacts of mechanical ventilation systems. Our executive leadership compared market conditions with Hines’ executive leadership regarding global adoption of WELL. Our business development leaders swapped ideas and strategized with Hines’ innovation leaders about the growing opportunities for applied research in WELL Certified buildings. Together we explored the complexities of owner, investor, and occupier relationships and imagined the evolution of WELL’s feature requirements to accommodate these complexities.
I believe that WELL’s holistic approach is the program’s greatest asset as well as one of it’s biggest challenges. Improving human health and well-being through a wide range of design strategies, maintenance protocols and personnel policies involves the support of an incredibly diverse set of stakeholders. These relationships become even more important when we consider that 2/3 of a tenant’s certification is influenced by the base building or landlord. It is key for corporate tenants to build partnerships with building owners and property managers who are committed to WELL’s performance standards as they pursue their own WELL certifications. This new pathway will provide a way for building owners to clearly communicate this level of performance to their tenants to ensure a successful WELL Certification. Fortunately for our team, Hines is very familiar with the cross departmental roles essential to a successful certification process and provided invaluable feedback on how we can structure feature requirements with the needs of all key stakeholders in mind. We are grateful to them, and to all of our committed partners, for sharing their expertise with us and for joining us on this journey ahead!