Gale International, a privately held international real estate development and investment firm, won the world’s first WELL Building Standard certification for a residential project. The International WELL Building Institute offers the certification to buildings that focus on enhancing occupants’ health and well-being through the built environment.
The building – 21W20, a new luxury condo in New York City – achieved Silver level under WELL Multifamily Residential Certification based on building performance in the categories of air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and “mind.”
Project features that helped the building nab the certification include the highest standards of air purification, water filtration and sound attenuation, including MERV 13 Air filtration, three-pane, laminated-glass windows and in-floor acoustic mats to mute interior and exterior noise.
The WELL Building Institute says that “wellness is the next trillion dollar industry” and that the buildings we live and work in have a profound effect on our well-being. In fact, in a survey of a WELL certified office building, 92% of occupants said the building had a positive effect on their health and well-being, the organization says.
A Bentall Kennedy study last year appeared to confirm findings of previous surveys over the last several years – namely, that there is a valid financial case for strategies that make buildings more sustainable. Sustainable buildings that achieve certification lead to higher rents, higher occupancy, and more lease renewals, the survey found (via Sustainable Homes).