Now that the first group of office fitouts to receive WELL certification has been completed, the business case can be analyzed.
A few of the early adopters completed fitouts for less than $1 per square foot in additional costs. For the others, the cost to achieve WELL certification ranged from $1 to $4 per square foot, according to a report by the Urban Land Institute.
The costliest items for most tenant fitout projects were noise reduction in an open office environment, enhanced HVAC filtration and zone control, and increased employee access to healthy food by replacing vending machines with cafés and kitchens.
The WELL standard focuses on seven key elements of a healthy building—air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. Other initiatives by early adopters included subsidies for a bike-share program, discounted fitness facility memberships, and new sit/stand desks and tables.
Early adopters will now track the potential benefits of WELL—improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, and reduced turnover.