WELL buildings

The WELL Building Standing takes a holistic approach to human health in the built environment addressing behavior, operations and design. 

WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. 

WELL is grounded in a body of medical research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend more than 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness impacts on us as occupants. WELL Certified™ spaces can help create a built environment that improves the nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and performance of its occupants.



11 Sections referenced from the WELL v2 Handbook






The WELL Building Standard for Air promotes clean air through reducing or minimizing the sources of indoor air pollution, requiring optimal indoor air quality to support the health well-being of building occupants.


The WELL Building Standard for Water promotes safe and clean water through the implementation of proper filtration techniques and regular testing in order for building occupants to receive optimal quality of water for various uses


The WELL Building Standard for Nourishment requires the availability of fresh, wholesome foods, limits unhealthy ingredients and encourages better eating habits and food culture.


The WELL Building Standard® for Light provides illumination guidelines that are aimed to minimize disruption to the body’s circadian system, enhance productivity, support good sleep quality and provide appropriate visual acuity where needed.


The WELL Community concept aims to support access to essential healthcare, build a culture of health that accommodates diverse population needs and establish an inclusive, engaged occupant community.


The WELL Materials concept aims to reduce human exposure, whether direct or through environmental contamination, to chemicals that may impact health during the construction, remodeling, furnishing and operation of buildings.


The WELL Movement concept promotes physical activity in everyday life through environmental design, policies and programs to ensure that movement opportunities are integrated into the fabric of our culture, buildings and communities.


The WELL Sound concept aims to bolster occupant health and well-being through the identification and mitigation of acoustical comfort parameters that shape occupant experiences in the built environment.


The WELL Thermal Comfort concept aims to promote human productivity and provide a maximum level of thermal comfort among all building users through improved HVAC system design and control and by meeting individual thermal preferences.


The WELL Building Standard for Mind requires design, technology and treatment strategies designed to provide a physical environment that optimizes cognitive and emotional health.


To promote the continuous evolution of the Standard by enabling projects to propose a new feature that addresses health and wellness in a novel way.








Humans today typically spend about 90 percent of their time inside buildings, and over half the world’s population currently lives in cities. As such, finding ways to optimize buildings so they bring the best out of the occupants while enhancing their daily lives is more critical now than ever before.

Employers spend 92% of their annual operating costs on people. By focusing on employee satisfaction and building a spirit of stewardship, as well as a healthy environment, building owners and businesses generally are making one of the wisest and most fruitful investments possible.



Austin energy head quarters

project overview

design features

environmental features

Location: Austin, TX
Project Square Footage: 275,000 square feet
Project type: Institutional / Educational
Site Context:
Executive Architect:

Design Architect: ELS
Harvey Cleary
MEP Engineer:
Page, CNG
Structural Engineer:
Leap!, IMEG
Landscape Architect:
Coleman & Associates

The new corporate head quarters for Austin Energy is located in the Mueller development and consists of about280,000 SF of office space, including a generous common area at the ground floor dedicated to customer service and staff amenities like a café terrace and patio. The building includes structured parking for about 1,000 vehicles.

The project is targeting WELL v2 Pilot and will serve as a demonstration project for the latest sustainability and energy efficiency strategies. The design team used digital models to evaluate energy conservation options and maximize the efficiency of the building. This process included a whole building life-cycle analysis, which led to the reduction in the depth of the structure and the inclusion of fly ash in the concrete, mitigating the need for cement and offsetting carbon emissions of the building for 15 years. The evaluation also focused on maximizing thermal comfort, enhancing HVAC systems, and sourcing raw and green building materials. The project reduced reliance on portable water through various strategies, including connecting to the municipal reclaimed water infrastructure, encouraging expanded use of this important local system.

In addition to efficiency, health and resilience are prompted in the building design. Some of the health- and nature-oriented sustainable features include: natural light and available nature views for workspaces; daylight-responsive controls all work to contribute to lighting power reduction design during daytime hours; easy access to outdoor spaces; fresh outdoor air monitoring to promote occupant comfort and healthy CO2 levels; wellness-focused break and quiet areas with views to the outdoors; indoor finishes that have been prioritized for health and environmental qualities such as low toxicity, regional materials, and recycled content. The design also celebrates sustainability and human health by using a central, inviting stair to encourage walking and interaction among occupants. Additionally, a community learning space is programmed with wellness activities. Page collaborated with ELS, who served as the design architect for the project exterior.

1.Central courtyard for events, meetings, and individual work and breaks;

2.Large all-hands assembly space on the ground floor that can also be used by neighborhood groups and other city agencies

3.Open monumental “social” staircases connecting interior work and break areas

1. Rooftop solar array

2. Connection to municipal chilled water loop for heat exchange

3. Energy-efficient chilled beam HVAC system

4. Automated daylight harvesting system for glazing