Australians are featuring heavily in the new WELL Portfolio pathway introduced by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) for WELL Certification of multiple new or existing buildings and tenant spaces.

The IWBI recently announced the first participants in WELL Portfolio, which has been released as part of the WELL v2 pilot, the latest iteration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL).

The WELL Portfolio addresses the growing demand across the building industry for a program that helps owners, developers and tenants streamline and scale health and wellness upgrades to their real estate assets.

By adding an early phase review process, projects can seek the WELL D&O designation, introduced in WELL v2, which will allow them to move through the certification process in a more streamlined and systematic fashion across their asset base.

The WELL Portfolio Pathway will encourage owners to treat achieving WELL as a journey and not a destination, and to make incremental improvements across their portfolios over time, tracking their progress along the way.

Tenants, developers and investors from Europe, North America, Australia and Asia have all expressed interest in pursuing the WELL Portfolio Pathway. Having already used WELL for individual buildings, they are now looking to bring the same value and evidence-based performance to their portfolios.

Organisations that have committed to piloting a sample portfolio of qualifying buildings include, among others, Barclays, Brandywine Realty Trust, CBRE Global Investors and CBRE, Charter Hall, Forest City Realty Trust, Gro, Investa, JLL Asia Pacific, the Lendlease managed Australian Prime Property Fund (APPF) Commercial, Miron Construction Co., Inc., Prologis, Inc., Shaw Industries, and SL Green Realty Corp.

According to IWBI CEO Rick Fedrizzi, a phased implementation of WELL features across multiple buildings in a portfolio can be more efficient and will also provide additional flexibility in how owners and landlords can pursue WELL Certification.

To enhance efficiency and flexibility, WELL Portfolio Pathway projects will receive custom scorecards, adapted for their respective building portfolios, and will be guided to make portfolio improvements over time. Building owners will also be able to benchmark health and wellness-related building performance, both across their own portfolios and relative to peer portfolios.

The WELL Building Standard is interoperable with leading global green building standards. Therefore, developers and property managers who have already made a green building commitment using LEED, BREEAM, Green Star or Living Building Challenge, for instance, are well-positioned to reap the vast opportunities provided by WELL Certified buildings.