April 21, 2022

The WELL Building Standard: Solving Problems for Humans and the Environment

What is WELL? 

The International Well Being Institute (IWBI) launched the WELL Building Standard in late 2014 after years of research. The WELL Building Standard “seeks to implement, validate, and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness” in buildings, living spaces, and communities. The Standard measures, certifies, and monitors features of building environments that affect human health and well-being – including air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind, and community. WELL identifies 100 requirements that can be implemented to positively influence the health and wellness of the occupant. The core focus of the WELL Building Standard is to create atmospheres that “maximize satisfaction and makes the most out of architecture.”  

Making a Global Impact 

WELL-certified projects are virtually everywhere – including offices, schools, hotels, and residences. With nearly 35,000 projects across 98 countries, covering over 3 billon square feet of land, architects trust the evidence gathered by practitioners, medical professionals, and building scientists around the world to build and maintain spaces that have the most valuable asset in mind – you.  

Solving Problems with WELL v2 

WELL v2, a more refined version of the WELL Building Standard, was launched in 2018, providing more insight on health and wellness solutions and the best practices for standard development. Proven to accurately follow the six core principles that WELL was based on, WELL v2 combines evidence from over 10,000 WELL-accredited professionals and concept advisors to ensure equity, resilience, and more, in all spaces. Evidence-based and customer-focused, WELL v2 is intended to grow over time to accommodate all environments and evolving health concerns. 

WELL Certification Levels 

There are varying levels of WELL certification, with a point system to determine the level of your project. With each concept (air, water, nourishment, etc.) a maximum of 12 points can be obtained, with a total of 100 points available across all ten concepts. Certifications range from Bronze to Platinum. Going further, there are two main groups of WELL v2 projects determined by ownership type. Owner-occupied projects are those mainly occupied by the project owner, who may be different from the building owner. Owner-occupied projects are eligible to receive a WELL Certification. WELL Core projects are partially occupied by the project owner, while most of the space is leased out to multiple tenants. WELL Core projects are eligible to receive a WELL Core Certification. 

How Can Floors Contribute to Well Being? 

Depending on the product you choose, your floor may offer benefits that contribute to WELL certification. How a floor is manufactured and installed may negatively or positively affect the built environment. Considerations include: the material makeup of the floor, the resulting indoor air quality from a floor’s installation, manufacturer product transparency, sustainability benefits, sound attenuation, and comfort features. 

Liquid Elements Can Help You Create Thoughtful Spaces for Your Commercial Environment 

Liquid Elements Artfully Poured Floors is a brand of Stonhard, the leader in manufacturing and installing seamless floors with a century of polymer material innovation and installation for commercial flooring markets. Our floors bring seamless designs in dramatic looks and stunning colors while providing beneficial features like sound dampening, comfort underfoot, easy cleaning and maintenance, and low VOCs, among others. Liquid Elements and Stonhard are long lasting and become a part of your building’s structure, so they won’t ever end up in a landfill after their long life or when a change is desired.  

Liquid Elements and Stonhard are committed to sustainability, implementing innovative packaging that has prevented nearly five million pails and cans from being dumped into landfills annually. Since 2005, Stonhard has prevented 92.7% of all returned material, including discontinued and obsolete products from going into the waste stream through recycling efforts. We are a proud member of the U.S. Green Building Council, and our products are listed on the mindful Materials (mM) library, a free platform with aggregated information on human health and environmental impacts for products from leading manufacturers, vetted by experts passionate about making it easier to make informed product choices. 

Liquid Elements and Stonhard Resinous Floors May Contribute to Several WELL Materials Concepts: 

  • X11, Long-Term Emission Control - This concept is focused on minimizing the impact of slow-emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on indoor air quality. To achieve this credit, product ingredients must be evaluated and disclosed down to 1,000 ppm. Transparency labels must compile and make available such product descriptions. Stonhard and Liquid Elements have the required CDPH Standard Method V1.2 testing to help contribute to the overall goal of this credit.  
  • X12, Short-Term Emission Control - This concept aims to minimize the impact of rapidly emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on indoor air quality. WELL requires testing and adherence to emission thresholds for newly applied adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings to achieve this credit. Most Liquid Elements and Stonhard floors may contribute to this concept by meeting the low-VOC guidelines based on the SCAQMD rule 1113. The rule tackles area source emissions, limiting the VOC of architectural coatings (as they constitute the majority of area source emissions) used in the South Coast Air Quality Management District. 
  • X14, Material Transparency - This concept promotes material transparency across building material and product supply chain. According to its description, “This WELL feature requires the compilation and availability of product descriptions, with ingredients evaluated and disclosed down to 1,000 ppm, through transparency labels.” In partnering with architects and interior designers who seek environmentally informed information and disclosure of product content, Liquid Elements and Stonhard are pleased to publish our HPDs. As a member of the Manufacturer Advisory Panel for the HPD Collaborative, we are leading the way among resinous flooring manufacturers as it relates to disclosure and transparency. 

We take product transparency and product testing seriously. Low VOC products are important for a healthy indoor environment. Incorporating such materials into your building will support the health of staff and visitors, helping to eliminate irritants that cause eye, nose, and throat issues as well as headaches and nausea. 

Beyond WELL 

Liquid Elements and Stonhard have floors that are not only attractive, but provide long-lasting benefits and comfort. Each brand offers low-VOC flooring choices that provide ergonomic benefits, sound absorption, easy cleaning, and many other benefits such as slip, wear, and water resistance. If you have questions about how we can help you choose the right, eco-friendly, human-friendly floor for your next project, contact us: 

Liquid Elements: 877.642.7243 

Stonhard: 800.257.7953