Buildings are evolving to make meaningful changes in our built environment. With a global focus on health and wellness from the impacts of COVID-19 and carbon reduction to combat climate change, organizations are raising the standards for construction. Understanding certification opportunities through various accredited organizations can set your next construction project apart from your competitors and attract top talent.
Over the last decade, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED®) green building program and WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) have gained national recognition for leading the way in modern, responsible buildings and design. LEED is a certification through the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC®) and WELL is managed by the International WELL Building Institute pbc™ (IWBI™). While both four-letter acronyms have similar requirements and standards, the two certifications are very different. WELL Certification focuses on people's health and wellness, while LEED is a certification that focuses on environmental impact and sustainability.
Both certifications' requirements involve healthy, sustainable construction practices and ongoing building operations after a building is turned over. From improved air quality management and sustainable water management to occupant health and wellness, they positively impact the people who live, work and occupy the spaces for the life of the building.
So what are some of the key differences between LEED and WELL projects? The LEED certification program is the most widely used green building rating system globally. Criteria focus on the building's overall impact on the environment. Key elements of LEED certification include optimizing energy performance, reducing carbon footprints, preventing pollution and sustainable water management practices, among many other sustainable standards. (NOTE: We celebrated LEED Gold® certification on our new Fond du Lac Corporate Office in early 2020. According to the USGBC LEED Project Directory, the C.D. Smith Corporate Office was the first non-confidentially recognized LEED BD+C: New Construction-v4 Gold Certified building in Wisconsin.)
On the other hand, WELL Certification focuses on the building's overall impact to human health and well-being. WELL Certified buildings set air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind standards to improve occupants' wellness. It sets standards for indoor air quality management, water testing and treatment programs, microbe and mold control, cleaning protocols, access to fitness and nourishment.
OUR LEED GOLD® SUSTAINABILITY | Our corporate headquarters represents how we've set the next-generation standard for high-performance building design, construction and operations. Explore sustainability features with a video tour (embedded below) or by visiting cdsmith.com/our-sustainability.
WHAT IS THE WELL BUILDING STANDARD®? | The way we design and build our communities can improve quality of life. WELL Building Standard® is a standard of measurement to monitor these features. Go to our WELL BUILDING STANDARD® web page to learn more about advancing health and well-being through our built environments.
WELL CERTIFIED PROJECT EXAMPLES | As of July 8, 2021, SECURA Insurance Companies' Corporate Headquarters made it the first insurance company in Wisconsin to earn the WELL Certification, and only the second building in the state to be certified. The first was SSM Health's Beaver Dam Clinic. Achieving WELL Certification for both projects was a collaborative effort among the owners and design architect Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA), with C.D. Smith delivering construction management services through project and trade partnerships.
YOUR PROJECT. OUR PRIORITY.® | We'd love to hear from you and look forward to learning more for discovering how to build community by connecting you with integrated commercial construction expertise.
Beneath the Hard Hat®, our company press and blog, offers an intimate look at the people and stories that make C.D. Smith Construction. With the latest industry news and project updates, we share insights on the superior spaces we are safely delivering year-round. Our team of technical experts provides useful tips and topics to help plan your next commercial project.
C.D. Smith Construction is an industry leader in safely providing the highest quality commercial construction services. Utilizing an integrated approach and self-performing trade services combined with technical expertise, our team serves as a solutions provider throughout all phases of a project, from planning through construction. With veteran leadership and a dedication to our employees and clients, we proudly place our name on projects of all sizes across the United States.
125 Camelot Drive
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
241 North Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202
316 West Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53703
La Crosse Office
333 Front Street North
La Crosse, WI 54601
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