Arizona Leading Age 2020 Virtual Conference

Empowering Senior Living Communities Through the WELL Building Standard

Recently, Ashley Mulhall had the opportunity to talk with Paul Vanderveen, Vice President of Real Estate, Planning and Development with Sun Health on their decision last year to embrace the WELL Building Standard for the design, construction and operation of their Senior Living campuses.  The session is part of the Arizona Leading Age virtual conference, running until October 15th.

The WELL Building Standard can be used as a tool for empowering senior living communities and organizations, architects, designers and engineers to transform project and operational outcomes.  WELL is a framework for aligning Community and Organizational values with building infrastructure and Community management, ensuring that community buildings reflect and support their values.  Design, construction and operational processes are integrative and inclusive.

Projects become focused on resident andemployee health and wellness.  Organizational operations also become aligned with resident and employee health and wellness through the parameters of the WELL Building Standard. WELL supports measurable excellence of quality in 10 key metrics: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind, Community and Innovation.

WELL is changing the conversation at the design table around sustainability, creating a new normal and raised expectations for indoor environmental quality and redefining success. Projects support resiliency and community viability, maintaining improved livability and operations over standard code compliant buildings.  

WELL Buildings provide a visual connection for occupants to building technology and operational systems. Senior Living Community employees and residents become knowledgeable on how their facility benefits their overall health and well-being.  Priorities shift in building programs and budgets to align with organizational goals of human health and wellness.  The results are better buildings, healthier employees and residents, and more marketable communities.

Process improvements are tracked through surveys, data collection, monitoring and reporting as part of the WELL documentation process, ensuring that buildings are not simply handed off by the design team and the contractor at the end of construction.  A building or community’s WELL certification is recertified every 3 years, so monitoring and improvements are constant and maintained as part of human resources, community engagement, building operations and maintenance.  This process encourages continuous improvements as opposed to an endless cycle of deferred maintenance.

If you are interested in learning more about the WELL Building Standard and how to get started with or how it can help your project or organization, please contact Ashley Mulhall at mulhall.a@owp.comor 602-257-4732