We’ve all heard of LEED, so what is WELL? I requested a copy of their standard and have now read through it. You can probably request it too but in a nutshell it’s this:
Building practices and standards have changed to improve the efficiency and control of materials used in construction to make buildings “green” (or “greener”).The WELL certification takes this idea one step further by considering the health of the INSIDE of the building and of its occupants.
WELL Building Standard ®
Based on the different criteria the WELL lays out, the end result is an environment where the general/overall health of its occupants improves (nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep….). The criteria focus primarily on promoting more active lifestyles as well as avoiding/reducing exposure to harmful chemicals and pollutants.
It is based on Air, Water, Nutrition, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.
I’ve taken the liberty to summarize where IMDesign plays a role in this:
IMDesign products meet all the criteria established in the WELL handbook.
VOC reduction in (among other things) Furniture and Paints and Coatings. (page 25)
- IMDesign’s cabinetry contains NO VOCs
Most buildings have poor air quality and with WELL this will improve. Poor air quality is due to:
- Off-gassing from materials in the building. IMDcabinets produce NO off-gassing
- Surfaces which accumulate germs. IMDcabinets are made with aluminum, a non-porous material which does not allow for the presence of microorganisms such as germs. Also aluminum is humidity and moisture resistant so no mold grows on it.
- Aluminum is also non-flammable reducing the risk of kitchen fires
Cleaning materials used and hygiene.
- Aluminum as a non-porous material is extremely hygienic and very easy to clean. No chemicals are needed, just a damp cloth to wipe them down. As stated above, the nature of aluminum is that it doesn’t allow for microorganisms to grow on it.
- Moisture management to avoid pests, mold, bacteria. See above.
Under the Comfort guidelines, ergonomic designs are a must to avoid stress and injury while promoting comfort and well-being.
IMDesign always takes these into consideration when designing our cabinetry for kitchens and bathrooms as well as our furniture lines. We are manufacturers of high quality custom cabinetry. This allows us to adapt width, height and depth to cater to any ergonomic requirements each individual situation may have. Our cabinetry also partners perfectly with all the modern hardware options available to make living spaces comfortable and easy to use, promoting the well-being of the user.
There are more and more people affected by multi-chemical sensitivities and allergies. Off-gassing, paints, synthetic materials, odors, many things in our home can trigger adverse reactions. WELL addresses these issues and it is definitely a trend that is becoming more and more popular. We want healthy efficient buildings inside and out but we don't want to sacrifice aesthetics, comfort and durability to get it.