WELL & Fitwel

Photo: dllu. License: CC BY-SA 4.0.


The WELL Building Standard, from the International Well Buildings Institute (IWBI), is closely modeled on LEED but is focused exclusively on occupant health (which is just one of numerous factors in LEED). As with LEED, each category includes prerequisites (or “preconditions”) and credits (“optimizations”). WELL buildings can be certified to three levels: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Officially launched in 2014, WELL is buoyed by the industry’s strong interest in health, but the high cost of WELL relative to LEED and other programs has been an obstacle for many projects.

Fitwel is different. There are no prerequisites, only optional credits. To achieve the lowest level of certification (one star out of three), projects need to achieve 90 points out of 144 possible. Although no specific criteria are required for certification, the program is based on an elaborate weighting system that incentivizes the highest-impact criteria based on peer-reviewed science. The weightings are based on the quality and size of the studies reviewed, the extent to which the design feature could impact public health, and whether the link between the design feature and the outcome has been convincingly established.

  • WELL AP Exam Study Guide and Practice Exams

    Study Guide and Practice Exams

    BuildingGreen offers the best available WELL AP Exam study guide, and the only one you'll need. This study guide is designed for an individual studying for the exam, and includes multiple practice exams.

  • Introducing Fitwel v2.1


    Joanna Frank, President & CEO of CfAD, and associate Zach Flora provide an overview of Fitwel v2.1 updates.

  • LEED and WELL Product Labels: A Guide and Analysis

    Feature Article

    LEED and WELL encourage a lot of different programs for green products. Learn the essentials—plus what’s behind the labels.

  • Fitwel 2.1 Adds New Construction Pathway

    News Brief

    Fitwel 2.1 projects can be certified for health-promoting design and construction.


  • Protect Your Spec: 14 Strategies

    Feature Article

    You’ve selected the ideal materials for your project: now get them into the building.

  • BuildingGreen’s Guide to Products for WELL Projects

    Product Guide

    This list summarizes the primary ways that building products show up in WELL. The links embedded in the list go to product collections organized by product category. 

  • The Sustainable Spec Language You Should Be Using

    Blog Post

    Selecting the greenest products doesn’t do any good unless strong specifications support your choices. Here’s some language you can use.

  • WELL v2 Brings Big Changes, Aims for Greater Equity

    News Analysis

    WELL v2 responds to criticism about cost and excessive requirements.

  • Introduction to Fitwel Certification


    Join BuildingGreen and GreenStep for an on-demand webcast on Fitwel certification to get familiar with this rating system and learn how to prepare for the Fitwel Ambassador exam. You can also earn continuing education credits.

  • Introduction to WELL Certification


    Healthy interiors and wellbeing are the trending buzzwords of sustainable design. In this hour-long on-demand webcast, GreenStep Education's Alex Spilger will walk you through the seven concepts within WELL and describe what sets it apart from other frameworks such as LEED and Fitwel. He will also discuss the WELL AP credential and how to best approach studying for the exam.