Working Toward WELL

Designed to exemplify the Workplace for the Future, the Washington, DC-based headquarters of the Amercian Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the first space in the world to achieve Platinum Level Certification for both the WELL v1 Building Standard (WELL) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), under the LEED ID+C rating system v3.

Why the focus on WELL?

IWELL.jpgnvestments that focus on wellness and sustainability are proving to have exponential results in terms of employee satisfaction and producitivty. The WELL Building Standard is a rating system that provides a model for space design and construction that integrates performance-based systems to positively impact the built environment. Lighting and lighting control can make essential contributions toward WELL certification.

In the ASID offices, every light is controlled, and solar-adaptive shading software silently and seamlessly adjusts the shades over the course of the day, minimizing glare, reducing heat gain, and enhancing comfort throughout the space. The system also provides clear visibility to building data. With the right software
and graphic user interface the facilities team can easily make adjustments and adapt system settings to ensure the space remains dynamic and responsive to occupant needs and changing space requirements. This is one example of how building systems can help save energy, simplify operations, and create the right environment over the life of the space.
The WELL Building Standard serves as a guideline for design focused on wellness, comfort, and productivity. It can also help attract and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive environment. Beyond a simple ROI, the WELL Building Standard offers a value proposition that includes:
  • Improved environment for employees and clients
  • Thought leadership
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved employee satisfaction and retention
Let’s consider WELL certification in reference to one specific project – the ASID headquarters in Washington, DC – to examine how lighting and shading solutions can be used to meet WELL certification requirements.
Seven WELL Concepts
WELL certification starts with seven concepts that influence human behaviors and define a wellness-focused environment: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind. Under these concepts there are "features" or provisions, which have requirements to be met. Some features are mandatory "preconditions." Others are optional "optimizations."
Lighting Design Can Contribute to Essential Light Concept Features
The Light concept area provides illumination guidelines to minimize disruption to the human body's circadian system, enhance productivity, and provide visual acuity. The WELL Building Standard promotes lighting and shading solutions that increase alertness, enhance the overall occupant experience, and even promote healthy sleep.
For the ASID project, lighting designers James Benya and Deborah Burnett of Benya Burnett Consultancy, created a lightingdesign to ensure circadian-optimized lighting and daylighting, critical luminaire placement, and annual lighting schedules and sequences. It's important to note that ASID was committed to achieving platinum level in both WELL and LEED certifications, and the lighting and shading solutions effectively support both certifications. 
Ultimately, the integrated lighting and shading solution contributed toward points in five WELL concept areas and helped achieve 10 of the 86 (12 percent) features required to achieve WELL Platinum. The innovative lighting design contributed to the achievement of all lighting features in the WELL Light