One of the common complaints about the WELL standard is that it’s just too hard to meet. The amount of additional work being tossed into the maelstrom that is construction is unmanageable, in their eyes.
To help simplify things, I’ll be writing up the simplest ways to meet the WELL standards in NYC. Why NYC? Because I work here and it would be foolhardy to claim I can do the same thing for another city that I know nothing about.
First up, the Air Feature.
In the new WELL v2.0 standard, the following are the bare minimum requirements for the air in the project.
- PM2.5: 15 µg/m3 or lower.
- PM10: 50 µg/m3 or lower.
In NYC in 2018, the average PM2.5 was 23 µg/m3 so an air filter at the intakes are pretty much required.
- Carbon monoxide: 10 mg/m³ or lower.
- Ozone: 100 µg/m³ or lower.
In NYC in 2018, there was 1 day that the ozone was above 0.075 µg/m³ so a basic carbon filter might do the trick.
- Benzene: 10 µg/m³ or lower. (smells like gasoline)
- Formaldehyde: 50 µg/m³ or lower. (smells like pickles)
- Toluene: 300 µg/m³ or lower. (also smells like gasoline)
While not tracked by the city, they are easily measurable. Activated carbon filters work here too.
- No smoking or vaping in the building (of course), but also no smoking within 25 ft of the building
All of these factors need to be monitored indoors and reported to WELL. The details for monitoring can be found in the Performance Verification Guidebook (but Delos can probably help you with an off the shelf solution.)
The ventilation systems, new or otherwise, have to meet one the ASHRAE 62.1–2010 or any more recent versions. If you’ve never worked with ASHRAE standards, that could be difficult. Also, if you’ve never worked with ASHRAE standards, you might not want to admit that in public.
Finally, if there’s ever construction in the building all the ducts should be sealed and protected, and all the filters should be replaced before people come back. There are some other construction related details but they all fall under common sense.
- Don’t let stuff get wet and lie around.
- Seal off dusty areas and control dusty stuff.
And just like that, you met the bare minimum WELL standards for Air.
Next time: Water