Beneath the Hard Hat
C.D. Smith Company Blog

Building for the Future: LEED and WELL Certifications in Construction

Date: Jan 4, 2024 11:07:39 AM | Author: Tracy Lisowe

The waiting area hums with nervous energy, but the usual clinical sterility is replaced by warmth and light. Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe the space in sunlight, highlighting the sleek curves and calming textures of the natural materials in the space. The air feels fresh and invigorating. This isn't just any waiting area; it's a testament to the power of design to heal. Because  SSM Health's Beaver Dam Clinic was built with LEED® and WELL™ Certifications in mind.

C.D. Smith Construction Manager modern healthcare architecture building project SSM Health Beaver Dam Clinic lobby design

SUSTAINABILITY + THE HUMAN TOUCH: LEED and WELL are not just acronyms; they're philosophies, ways of approaching the built environment with the well-being of both people and planet at the core. LEED®, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design®, focuses on minimizing a building's environmental impact, from construction materials to energy use. LEED is a certification through the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC®) and WELL is managed by the International WELL Building Institute pbc™ (IWBI™). WELL takes a human-centric approach, prioritizing the health and well-being of occupants.

Secura Insurance Company & C.D. Smith Construction completed projects interior photographs

CROSS-INDUSTRY INSIGHTS + BENEFITS: For business leaders in healthcare, manufacturing, food processing, and education, LEED and WELL certifications offer unique opportunities to not only do good for the environment but also benefit your bottom line.

Facade of SECURA Insurance Home Office in Neenah, WI with WELL Certified GoldTM indication

Here are a few advantages these certifications bring to each industry, including some hidden gems that aren't yet common knowledge 👇:

Healthcare: Imagine a place where patients recover faster, staff are less stressed, and infection rates plummet. Studies have shown that by optimizing factors like air quality, lighting, and acoustics, WELL-certified healthcare facilities can achieve just that. WELL buildings create environments that promote healing and reduce stress. This translates to shorter stays, lower readmission rates, and improved patient satisfaction – all of which contribute to a healthier bottom line.

Front entrance of SSM Health's Beaver Dame Clinic - WELL-certified facility built by C.D. Smith Construction

Manufacturing: Beyond the obvious environmental benefits, LEED certification can lead to significant cost savings. Energy-efficient buildings use less power, reducing utility bills. Water-saving measures can further cut costs and demonstrate your commitment to responsible resource management. LEED can also boost employee productivity and reduce absenteeism. Studies have shown that employees in green buildings report higher levels of satisfaction and cognitive performance. A healthier, happier workforce is a more productive workforce, leading to increased output and profitability.

Sustainable Features of City of Madison Fleet Services Facility Built by C.D. Smith Construction Manager

Dairy and Food Processing: In the food processing industry, hygiene and safety are paramount. WELL certification can play a crucial role in ensuring both by promoting handwashing, providing access to healthy food options and encouraging physical activity. Similar to LEED, WELL-certified facilities can also attract and retain top talent in a competitive job market. Employees who value their health and well-being are more likely to choose to work in an environment that supports them. A happy, healthy workforce leads to lower turnover rates, reduced training costs and more successful operations.

C.D. Smith Construction Corporate Office stairway and kitchen area with LEED Gold certification

Education: Students and staff need educational facilities that support a culture and environment for learning. Schools that prioritize the well-being of their students and staff are not just creating better learning environments, they're also investing in the future. LEED and WELL certifications can contribute to improved academic performance, reduced absenteeism, and even lower teacher turnover rates. By providing students with access to natural light, clean air, and comfortable temperatures, these certifications can create a nurturing environment that fosters learning and growth. High-performance schools attract and retain top teachers, who are increasingly seeking workplaces that prioritize their health and well-being. A dedicated, passionate faculty leads to engaged students and a thriving school community.

Exterior facade of modern school building and new construction of cafeteria completed education project

LEED and WELL certifications are not just about doing good for the environment; they're about investing in the health and well-being of your people, the planet, and ultimately, your bottom line.  C.D. Smith Construction is here to help you navigate the journey towards environmentally conscious and healthy building. We have the expertise and experience to guide you through every step of the LEED and WELL certification process, ensuring your next project is not just a building, but a testament to health and sustainability.LEED-vs-WELL-Comparison Chart by C.D. Smith Construction


Date: January 4, 2024 | Author: Tracy Lisowe


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The City of Madison's Nakoosa Trail Fleet Building was certified LEED Gold® in 2021. Featuring ample natural light, rooftop solar units, a sun wall incoming air tempering system and onsite electric vehicle charging stations, it is the first certified automotive fleet shop in the U.S.A.

SECURA Insurance's New Home Office earned its WELL Certified™ Gold status in July 2021. Natural lighting, flexible workspaces and onsite fitness facilities are a just a few of the building elements that contributed to this achievement.

C.D. Smith’s Corporate Office represents the next-generation standard for high-performance building design, construction and operations. The building opened in May of 2019, and in March 2020 the office was awarded LEED Gold® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

SSM Health Beaver Dam Clinic New Construction Building Exterior Entrance WELL + LEED text

SSM Health's Beaver Dam Clinic prioritizes patient wellness by offering a healthy and sustainable environment for patients and employees. The building is expected to earn WELL Building StandardTM version 2 certification and is qualified for LEED® certification.



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Beneath the Hard hat®, our solutions and in the News

Healthcare Construction: A Collaborative Approach to Project Partnership | Beneath the Hard Hat® Press & Blog 10.11.2023

Screenshot from Healthcare Construction Video with Project Team Meeting at CD Smith Office fading to field crew approaching jobsite

Building Treffert Studios Fulfills First-of-its-Kind Healthcare Vision | Beneath the Hard Hat® Press & Blog 07.18.2023

Interior View of Common Area, Front Desk and Kitchen Cafe Built for Treffert Studios Healthcare Facility and Learning Clinic by CD Smith Construction in Fond du Lac Wisconsin IMG_1784

LEED and WELL Building | What is the Difference? | OUR SOLUTIONS

Discover the similarities and differences between LEED and WELL with a focus on sustainability, health & wellness. WELL Building focuses on people & LEED focuses on buildings. Go straight to a LEED and WELL comparison chart or read up on the background information and dive into the details to learn more about what it means for healthcare construction.

WELL Certification overlaid on SECURA Corporate Office gym and LEED GOLD seal overlay on C.D. Smith Corporate Office lobby interior photo



Provide the very best care for your patients, comfort for visitors and state-of-the-art space for your healthcare team by building new or renovating current space. Our team will exceed your expectations with regards to well-building, indoor air quality, renovations and many other unique considerations.

Healthcare Construction Solutions Your Project. Our Priority.


We know that hospitals and clinics are more than buildings. That's why we care about HEALTHCARE. Our team includes healthcare construction experts certified in providing innovative solutions to deliver spaces that meet all your needs. Preview our HEALTHCARE PROJECT EXPERIENCE or explore more healthcare construction projects using this link to the YOUR INDUSTRY: HEALTHCARE CONSTRUCTION pages of our website.




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