The indoor environment should be a place of comfort. In pursuit of that vision, the WELL Building Standard® focuses on significantly reducing the most common sources of physiological disruption, distraction and irritation and on enhancing acoustic, ergonomic, olfactory and thermal comfort to prevent stress and injury and facilitate comfort, productivity and well-being.
Built environments can harbor sounds that are distracting and disruptive to work or relaxation. Employee surveys show that acoustic problems are a leading source of dissatisfaction within the environmental conditions of an office. As acoustic comfort is determined in part by the physical properties and contents of environments, the WELL Building Standard aims to shape spaces to mitigate unwanted indoor noise levels and reduce exterior noise intrusion in order to enhance social interaction, learning, satisfaction and productivity. While noise is ubiquitous, we are able to adopt policies, technologies and practices that ensure quieter acoustical environments and minimize our exposure to harmful and unnecessary sound.
In addition to acoustic comfort, ergonomics and universal design play a significant role in mitigating physical and mental stress. The WELL Building Standard promotes comprehensive ergonomics solutions that help prevent stress and injury and facilitate comfort and well-being. These design strategies not only provide access for people with limited mobility, but also prevent injury by encouraging navigable spaces for everyone.
Thermal comfort is another factor that plays a large role in the way we experience places where we live and work. Six primary personal and environmental variables contribute to an occupant’s thermal comfort: air speed, dry bulb temperature, radiant temperature, humidity, metabolic rate and clothing or other insulation, all of which interact to create a subjective, individualized response. Finally, in addition to the measurable metrics, there are also psychological parameters such as individual expectations that may also affect thermal comfort. This makes thermal comfort subjective, meaning that not everyone will be equally comfortable under the same conditions. The WELL Building Standard takes a holistic approach to thermal comfort and provides a combination of strategies to address occupant issues.
To read more about the COMFORT requirements of WELL, Click Here