- Encouraged by a $108 million investment in their growing "well building" certification program, brothers Paul and Peter Scialla — founders of New York startup Delos — are banking on being able to convince building owners that a healthier building environment is a way to attract tenants and employees, Bloomberg reported.
- The Sciallas' International Well Building Institute (IWBI) charges $10,000 to register a building and an additional 8 to 23 cents per square foot to certify the building as specified in the Sciallas' Well standard. IWBI plans to certify 1,500 Well professionals this year to administer the standard.
- Approximately 4.6 billion square feet of real estate worldwide is LEED certified, and the Sciallas hope their Well program can tap into a similar market with guidelines such as ultraviolet lights to sterilize shared work spaces at the end of the day, posture-friendly flooring, access to healthy food and air quality monitoring.
Paul Scialla said of the Well Building Standard, "This could be bigger than anything in real estate since the invention of the roof."
Delos scored a high-profile Well project this year in Tampa. Jeff Vinik, the owner of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, is developing the first "wellness-focused city district," a 40-acre mixed-use development around Tampa’s Amalie Arena, and the project is slated to be a Well Certified district.
"More than half of all people in the world now live in cities, and we spend 90 percent of our time indoors," Paul Scialla said in a press release. "The built environment — our cities — are human habitat, and we have the knowledge to design them to sustain our health, not to harm it."
Suzanna Kelley, managing director for strategic initiatives at the American Institute of Architects is researching wellness and buildings, but is reserving judgment on their effectiveness for now. "Metrics are challenging when it comes to this topic. We can't say buildings make you healthier. Humans lead complex lives intertwined with many kinds of factors. Because you work in one sort of building doesn't mean you're not going to get cancer or have a heart attack someday," she told Bloomberg.