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Last month, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) announced a new partnership. This new partnership is designed to streamline how LEED and WELL work together in a demonstration of how green building, health and wellness go hand in hand.

As part of the partnership, the GBCI, which administers LEED, will provide third-party certification for IWBI's WELL Building Standard, which assesses how the built environment impacts health and wellness.

"We always say green buildings are healthier for their inhabitants, but until now, we didn't have an aggressive system that looked at wellness and the human condition from a completely separate lens," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of GBCI and president, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). "IWBI and the WELL rating system will bring a better understanding of what it means to be healthy-and the ability to achieve wellness through technology and design-to the front burner."

The announcement was made at an event hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative, the 21st Century Infrastructure and Innovation for a Resilient Economy in Los Angeles.

An evidence-based standard, the WELL Building Standard applies to commercial, residential, and institutional projects and is currently in the pilot phase. It sets performance requirements in seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The IWBI was founded by Paul Scalia-who is also the founder of Delos-to fulfill a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to improve the way people live by developing spaces that enhances occupant health and quality of life.

"The green building community has a historic opportunity to use medical science to create better buildings," says Fedrizzi. "Human health as a pillar of sustainability has long been reflected in LEED, and GBCI's new role as the third-party certifier for the WELL Building Standard will enable us to take that commitment further while making it easier for LEED users to incorporate health and wellness more deeply into their work."

The William Jefferson Clinton Children's Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is a current pilot project that will be LEED Platinum and WELL certified. Additionally, CBRE Group Inc.'s new global corporate headquarters in Los Angeles will be the world's first commercial office space to be LEED Gold and WELL certified.

What do you think about this new partnership? Is there a benefit to another green building standard in the marketplace? Will you be designing projects around the WELL Building Standard? Share your thoughts on how the affects the green building industry below.

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