WELL Concept #3: Nourishment

WELL Concept #3: Nourishment

Does This Building Make Me Look Fat?
Kidding aside, there is a relationship between the built environment and how nutritionally healthy you are. In fact, Nourishment is one of the seven concepts outlined in the Well Building Standard®, which explores how design, operations and behaviors within the places where we live, work, learn and play can be optimized to advance human health and well-being. When it comes to Nourishment, WELL is concerned with access to, and availability of, fresh, wholesome foods, limitations on unhealthy ingredients and the encouragement of better eating habits and food culture.
Beyond thoughtfully designed and smartly appointed dining areas, you might be wondering what all this has to do with the architect and engineer. As practitioners of WELL, we encourage building owners and managers to adopt a holistic view of the work/living space, incorporating the full range of features that promote health and well-being. Naturally that includes the quality of the food we consume in the built environment.
Nourishment preconditions for WELL Silver certification primarily apply to buildings or interior spaces in which food is sold or made available for consumption. The eight features are:
  • Variety and promotion of fruits and vegetables, comprising at least 50% of food options offered
  • Restrictions on refined ingredients such as sugar and grains, and ban on trans fat
  • Food allergy labeling, for peanuts, shellfish, gluten, milk and others
  • Handwashing supplies and sink fixtures
  • Minimizing contamination via provision of safe, cold storage spaces
  • Labeling of artificial ingredients
  • Nutritional information on packaging, menus or cafeteria signage
  • Food advertising that encourages consumption of whole, natural foods;
    discourages sugary or process foods and beverages
When aiming for Gold or Platinum WELL certification, Nourishment optimizations take it a step further, promoting safe cooking and preparation, portion control, humane and organic food choices and provisions for special diets, mindful eating, and onsite gardens for food production. More information on Nourishment features can be found in the WELL Building Standard.
To view past installments in our WELL Building Standard series, please click here.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into WELL concepts and related building features, please email me directly.

Wishing you WELL,

Bruce Lilker, PE, LEED® AP,  WELL AP

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