The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) has recently launched the WELL Performance Rating. This new certification modality is characterized by the fact that it uses performance data and user experience to help improve the interior environment of buildings in health issues.
What is the WELL Performance Rating?
The WELL Performance Rating is a new rating that encourages building owners and facility managers to use performance metrics to validate and improve indoor environments as well as the health and well-being of occupants.
Its main characteristic is that it focuses on measurable performance strategies that are verified through on-site tests and sensor technology, as well as user experience surveys so that organizations can make intelligent decisions based on data.
Core components of the WELL Performance Score
WELL Performance Rating includes 33 features grouped into 7 categories. All projects must achieve a minimum of 21 characteristics to achieve the WELL Performance Rating:
- Indoor air quality (9 features)
- Water quality management (4 features)
- Lighting measurement (2 features)
- Thermal Conditions (2 features)
- Acoustic performance (5 features)
- Environmental Monitoring (6 features)
- Occupant experience (5 features)
What are the steps to follow in the WELL Performance Rating?
- Goal setting: some strategies aligned with the objectives of the project are selected.
- Data Monitoring: Sensor technology tests and user surveys are tracked to measure progress.
- Timeline Acceleration – Milestones are reached faster with a streamlined review cycle.
- Reports and transparency: performance data, survey results, and other reports are displayed.
How is the WELL Performance Rating different from WELL v2?
WELL v2 proposes to measure a series of metrics called concepts. This includes features within 10 main concepts: Air, Water, Nutrition, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind, and Community.
Features include both preconditions and optimizations. To successfully obtain the WELL v2 standard, preconditions and weighted optimizations must be met. Certification of a project is calculated by an overall WELL score that encompasses completion of project preconditions and optimizations. Verification is done through an on-site assessment by a WELL assessor and is completed once all respective documents have been submitted and approved.
In contrast, in the WELL Performance Rating, there are no rating achievement levels, preconditions, or points, as it focuses on performance-based metrics, most of which require verification by sensor data and/or performance tests. Technical documents or real-time data reports are also accepted.
The WELL Performance Rating can be achieved as a stand-alone designation or a milestone on the path to WELL v2 Certification at different levels.
The importance of indoor air quality in the WELL Performance Rating
Indoor air quality remains front and center for the WELL Performance Rating due to its significant impact on occupant well-being.
By investing in indoor air quality monitoring technology, projects can earn points on:
- 9 “Indoor Air Quality” Category Functions (PA1~PA9)
- 3 additional features in the “Environmental Monitoring” category to measure air parameters (PM1), install IAQ monitors (PM2), and promote air quality awareness (PM3).
This adds 12 features to the total of 33, with only 9 more needed in other categories to meet the 21-feature requirement for qualification.
Monitoring of air quality parameters
With the heavy focus on performance-based metrics, continuous monitoring plays a critical role in the WELL Performance Rating.
The indoor air quality and thermal comfort parameters that can be verified through the continuous monitoring route are:
- PM 2.5 particles
- PM10 particles
- Total Volatile Organic Compounds
- Carbon monoxide
- Carbon dioxide
- Nitrogen dioxide
- Temperature (dry bulb)
In addition, clarifications have been added to the WELL 2021 Performance Verification Guide related to:
- The location of the devices
Previously the monitors had to be installed on a wall (vertically), at a height of 1.1 to 1.7 m above the floor. With this update, the devices can also be installed on the ceiling (horizontally). However, this placement option is only applicable in spaces with ceilings no higher than 3.7 m, that do not use displacement ventilation, and where there is evidence that the air is evenly mixed.
- Equipment density based on space
For all parameters (except for radon):
- Projects with occupancy space < 3250 m2: 1 monitor for every 325 m2 in (minimum 2)
- Projects with occupancy space of 3,250-25,000 m2: 1 monitor per 500 m2 (minimum 10)
- Projects with occupancy space > 25,000 m2: 1 monitor per 1000 m2 (minimum 50)
- Field Calibration
Air quality sensors must be recalibrated or replaced annually to ensure data accuracy. Field calibrations using a reference sensor are accepted; however, the sensors must be co-located, and the calibration period must capture a sufficient range and concentration of contaminants, either using known standard gases or exposure to ambient contamination, to accurately adjust.
How can Nanoenvi IAQ help achieve the WELL Performance Rating?
Nanoenvi IAQ is a monitoring device that can help in the measurement of indoor air quality parameters, including PM2.5, PM10, TVOC, CO2, as well as thermal comfort parameters such as temperature and humidity, helping you to ensure up to 13 points in the following qualification features of the WELL Performance Rating:
Indoor air quality (+7 points)
- PA1 Compliance with particle thresholds.
- PA2 Compliance with improved thresholds for particulate matter.
- PA3 Compliance with the thresholds for organic gases.
- PA4 Compliance with the improved thresholds for organic gases.
- PA5 Compliance with thresholds for inorganic gases.
- PA7 Ensure adequate ventilation.
- PA8 Increase the supply of outside air.
Thermal Conditions (+ 2 points)
- PT1 Provide an acceptable thermal environment.
- PT2 Manage relative humidity.
Environmental Monitoring (+ 4 points)
- PM1 Measurement of air parameters.
- PM2 Installation of indoor air equipment.
- PM3 Promote awareness of air quality.
- PM4 Monitoring of thermal comfort conditions.
Why the WELL Performance Rating?
Despite the fact that lately there has been an awareness of how environments should be and how they can help people, the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this process: existing systems began to be questioned and what protocols could be implemented to manage the buildings and improve their interior quality while ensuring the health of the users.
This has been critical to living safely with the virus and building a collective understanding of how to create healthy indoor environments. The WELL Performance Rating roadmap is based on the scientific evidence that was considered in the WELL Health & Safety Rating, which implemented policies and protocols to immediately address the situation.
Inspired by the success of the WELL Health & Safety Rating, the idea arose to create this other model to compare and improve performance in buildings through strategies that can be measured with on-site tests (sensors) and user surveys. And it is that society increasingly demands more transparency in terms of safety and health in buildings.
Therefore, the WELL Performance Rating is a new certification modality that rewards building owners and managers for using measurable human and construction performance metrics to obtain useful information on the health and well-being of people. found in an interior and improve the conditions of spaces by making decisions