RLPS Architects has earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating for its office, located at 250 Valleybrook Drive, through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types. It focuses on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and into the future.
“We’ve implemented a number of features to provide a safe and comfortable work environment as our team transitioned back to the office on a more full-time basis,” says Carson Parr, a firm partner who is also a WELL Accredited Professional or WELL AP. “It just made sense to formalize our health-safety processes and procedures going forward.”
What is the WELL Health-Safety Rating?
The WELL Health-Safety Rating features are a subset of the strategies in the WELL Building Standard, adapted to focus specifically on facilities operations and management. The rating provides policy and procedure guidance to help mitigate virus spread and keep building occupants healthy.
To achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, RLPS has implemented policies to keep spaces clean and sanitized, provide essential health benefits and services, communicate health and safety measures and maintain an emergency response plan. Building occupants and visitors can scan the QR code on the seal, which must be renewed annually. The QR code provides information into how health and safety efforts are third-party verified by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI).
“The seal on the door is a nice way to highlight the WELL Health-Safety Rating for anyone who comes to the office,” shares Parr. “We believe it could provide tangible value for some of our clients so we wanted to go through the credentialing process for ourselves. Now we know what is involved and can assist other organizations who may be interested in this credential.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating gained public recognition when it rolled out a national advertising campaign in 2021 featuring A-list celebrities including Lady Gaga, Venus Williams, and Robert DeNiro to encourage consumers to “look for the seal.” The seal is now in 80+ countries and more than 23,900 locations. Those include recognizable names such as T-Mobile, Planet Fitness, Enlivant Senior Living, Philadelphia 76ers, Loews Hotels, Dallas Cowboys and more.
A Better Work Environment Through WELL Health-Safety Standards
“The RLPS office building was designed in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards resulting in efficient building systems, recycled materials and abundant outdoor connections and views,” states Stacy Hollinger Main, IIDA, the firm partner who oversees our interior design studio and human resources. “The WELL Health & Safety Seal was a logical next step in providing the best possible work setting for our team.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators. It leverages insights drawn from the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19, in addition to guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies. The rating also references recognized standard-making associations such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions, as well as core principles already established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard, the premier framework for advancing health in buildings and spaces of all kinds.
The RLPS Architects office was awarded the WELL Health-Safety Rating following the successful completion of third-party documentation review by GBCI to confirm it has met the feature specific intents and requirements.