Healthier Buildings on the Horizon for Australia
The healthy building
movement in Australia received a boost last week, with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the International WELL Building Institute
™ (IWBI™) announcing a new partnership.
The GBCA and IWBI have agreed to work collaboratively to promote health and well-being in the design, construction and operations of buildings, fitouts and communities in Australia.
The GBCA launched the Green Star rating system in 2003, and since then has certified more than 1050 buildings, communities
and fitouts throughout Australia.
IWBI administers the WELL Building Standard™ (WELL), a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
The two organisations announced the new partnership at the Green Cities 2016 conference
in Sydney, after signing a memorandum of understanding which outlines their commitment to work towards common goals.
“A truly sustainable building not only addresses environmental impact, but social and economic impact too. Green Star’s focus on indoor environmental quality provides a critical foundation for human health and well-being – one which WELL enhances through its dedicated focus on evidence-based medical and scientific research and measurable performance,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew.
“We are excited to be joining forces with IWBI to elevate the focus on buildings that are efficient, productive and healthy for the people who live and work in them,” Ms Madew adds.
“Joining forces with the Green Building Council of Australia will help grow the healthy building movement by bringing health and wellness into Australia’s indoor environments through the WELL Building Standard,” said IWBI Founder Paul Scialla.
“With this agreement, we see tremendous opportunity for the wellness, sustainability and real estate communities in Australia to come together to support human health through the buildings where we spend more than 90 per cent of our time.”
The organisations will now work together to identify opportunities to align the two rating systems, develop events and education offerings, and promote building practices that improve the health and well-being of occupants. Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which provides third-party certification for the WELL Building Standard, will also support efforts to promote and deliver WELL across Australia.
“Increasingly, Australians recognise that our buildings have a dramatic impact on our health and well-being. This new partnership is an important step towards designing and building places that are sustainable, productive and healthy,” Ms Madew concludes.