Increased Emphasis on Health and Well-Being a Key Factor in Driving Expansion Across the Region
Following a series of notable project enrollments, the International WELL Building Institute, the world’s leading organization focused on deploying people first places to advance a global culture of health, has seen Canada take a leading global role in the movement to advance health and well-being through better buildings, more vibrant communities and stronger organizations. With IWBI having more than 1.8 billion square feet of space in over 80 countries committed to achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating or WELL Certification, IWBI has seen expansive growth over the past year. Canada’s leadership in the global adoption of WELL programs is notable, having over 100 million square feet enrolled, and many leading enterprises are in the process of certifying or rating their portfolios.
One of the earliest adopters, Brookfield Properties, has led the charge achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating across its North American retail and office portfolios. The Brookfield portfolio that has been rated consists of 114 retail assets and nearly 100 office properties totaling more than 200 million square feet in 10 major markets across the U.S. and Canada, making it the largest office and combined office and retail portfolios to achieve the designation to date.
"Creating healthy buildings and workplaces has been a top priority for us for many years, and today, it’s more important – to us, our tenants and our visitors – than ever before," said Bill Powell, Managing Partner, Brookfield Property Group, and Chief Operating Officer, Brookfield Properties. "We have responded accordingly, installing or improving on the latest systems and programs to provide a healthier and safer environment at our office properties. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an important validation of those efforts, and we are proud to operate the largest office and combined office and retail portfolios to date to have achieved it."
In achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating, Brookfield joins other iconic Canadian buildings such as Scotiabank Arena. IWBI launched the WELL Health-Safety Rating in June 2020, leveraging its existing expertise and feedback from the approximately 600-member IWBI Task Force on COVID-19. Drawing on a subset of features from the WELL Building Standard (WELL), the WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing buildings and space types. It is focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder engagement strategies to help organizations prioritize the health and safety of their staff, customers, visitors and stakeholders.
"Working to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Scotiabank Arena was an important next step in our plan to ensure our fans, employees, players, artists and crews are extremely confident that their health and safety is our top priority," said Nick Eaves, Chief Venues and Operations Officer at MLSE. "IWBI has created a safety rating process that businesses and institutions in Canada and around the world can use as a foundation to help ready their space for a safe and healthy return, while working with all levels of local government and public health officials."
Owners, operators and tenants can pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating for projects independently, seamlessly using the rating as a stepping stone to achievement of WELL Certification, or integrate the rating as a milestone within their WELL Certification or WELL Portfolio journey.
The growth of WELL in Canada has been led by some of IWBI’s earliest adopters. Several leading organizations have achieved WELL Certification across Canada, including Cadillac Fairview’s TD Centre, CBRE’s offices in Toronto and Vancouver, and Oxford Properties’ MNP Tower in Vancouver, with many other industry leading enterprises currently working towards certifying their spaces.
"The growth of WELL programs across Canada tells a powerful success story of positive international engagement and speaks to the universal need to support and advance human health through the buildings and spaces we inhabit every day," said IWBI President and CEO Rachel Hodgdon. "We’re seeing buildings throughout the region utilize WELL as a holistic framework to help improve health and well-being for everyone inside, signaling to the world that these organizations are putting people first."
IWBI’s programs have continued to resonate with organizations and industry leaders, spurring innovations and providing projects with customizable approaches to address geographical and cultural health concerns. In addition to commercial offices, Canadian projects include multifamily residences, healthcare facilities, retail spaces and community centers.
Nearly 850 industry professionals in Canada are WELL Accredited Professionals (WELL APs) or registrants, highlighting the growing pool of practitioners and industry professionals looking to develop and demonstrate their understanding of healthy building strategies.
"We know that our buildings play a central role in enhancing our health and well-being, and now more than ever our buildings are at the frontlines of public health," said Paul Scialla, Founder and CEO of Delos and Founder of IWBI. "We’re excited to expand our programs into Canada to accelerate this movement."
About the International WELL Building Institute
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is a public benefit corporation and the world’s leading organization focused on deploying people first places to advance a global culture of health. IWBI mobilizes its community through the administration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) and the WELL Health-Safety Rating, management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellbeing everywhere. More information on WELL can be found here.
International WELL Building Institute pbc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delos. International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL Portfolio, WELL Portfolio Score, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Health-Safety Rating, WELL Health-Safety Rated, WELL Health-Equity, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute in the United States and other countries.
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