Budget-friendly design strategies to mitigate the cost of WELL
Thinking about pursuing WELL Building Standard Certification for a project but concerned about the added cost? Like any option that puts pressure on your budget, the extra expense warrants scrutiny. WELL registration fees range from $1,500 to $10,000, depending on project type and size, and the costs of infrastructure and materials needed to meet the standard’s requirements also add up.
There are ways to mitigate the additional upfront investment, however, to make WELL certification more achievable even on a modest budget. For example, IMEG used the following cost-reduction strategies to achieve WELL Standard Gold Certification for the firm’s Denver office:
1. Establishing WELL as a goal early on and making WELL-specific due diligence a priority. This engages the project team early and continuously throughout design and construction, helping to minimize costly changes during construction due to lack of WELL preparation.
2. Making design trade-offs. One of the most effective cost-saving design trade-offs you can make is reducing the overall area of the project. One way to do this is to create smaller, more efficient workstations and collaborative spaces. There are also many small trade-offs, such as specific finish specifications or reusing existing materials, that can add up and make room in the budget for high-impact WELL features.
3. Finding the right building. If you are going to be a tenant in an office building, choose one that already aligns well with some of the WELL criteria (e.g., buildings with high indoor environmental quality and healthy amenities such as an on-site fitness facility).
Remember, too, that WELL Certification is an investment in your operation, and the additional upfront expense can provide long–run paybacks, such as increased employee performance.