“This could be bigger than anything in real estate since the invention of the roof,” according to Paul Scialla, the founder and CEO of the International WELL Building Institute.
This “may be the most marketable proposition in real estate short of a front lawn overlooking the Fountain of Youth,” was how a recent Bloomberg Business article began.
And then this month, Delos announced that it has completed an equity investment raise of $108 Million where Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment, LLC (owned by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates) were the lead investors.
Hyperbole? Or maybe we should all be paying attention.
The International WELL Building Institute “believes that buildings should be developed with health and wellness at the center of design.” The IWBI is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and wellbeing through the built environment. To realize this vision, IWBI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delos, administers the WELL Building Standard.
WELL is a performance based standard for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
WELL is “grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings in which we spend more than 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants.” WELL Certified spaces and WELL Core and Shell Compliant developments “can help create built environments that improve the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns, and performance of occupants.”
WELL exists where human health and wellness intersects with the built environment, addressing seven concepts (air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind) and through features focused on behavior, design and operations.
WELL is comprised of over one hundred Features that are applied to each building project, and each WELL Feature is designed to address issues that impact the health, comfort, or knowledge of occupants through design, operations and behavior.
The WELL Building Standard is designed to complement and work seamlessly with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification program. Delos has joined forces with the Green Business Certification Inc. GBCI is the USGBC controlled organization that provides third party certification for LEED projects. GBCI is now also providing third party certification for WELL.
The first office to be WELL Certified – Pilot Program, the CBRE Corporate Headquarters in Los Angeles is a 48,000 square feet project. CBRE built out the L.A. office with 50 wellness features, including ergonomic furniture, a juice station, ultraviolet lights to sterilize shared work-spaces, and non-porous countertops to discourage bacterial growth. CBRE says it invested an estimated $3.60 per square foot in construction costs, which was about 1.74% premium on the overall construction budget to implement WELL.
Within the year, IWBI plans to certify 1,500 accredited professionals to administer the Well Building Standard.
IWBI and the several related businesses that operate under the Delos parent company are headed by Paul Scialla, the founder and CEO, his twin brother Peter Scialla, the COO, both former Goldman Sachs partners, and their sister Crystal Scialla, the general counsel.
Operating at the juncture of the health and wellness and the real estate industries (two huge sectors), maybe we should all be paying attention to WELL.