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American Institute of Architects partners with International WELL Building Institute

American Institute of Architects (AIA) CEO Robert Ivy advocates collaboration between fields, even seemingly divergent ones. He forged a partnership between AIA and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to improve architectural design in manners that contribute to human well-being.

Architecture continues moving from a focus on human welfare to well-being. That means an expanded focus that forces design to move past simple health and safety to actively promoting a healthy lifestyle that incorporates physical and mental health. Design achieves this by integrating features that admit sunlight, such as windows and skylights, for example. Another way is the integration of stairs in the design to foster exercise. Read the article at ZDNET about Robert Ivy

The IWBI partnership allows architects access to the latest health and design research and unique professional education offerings. The AIA integrated into the partnership an opportunity for its architects to become WELL Accredited Professionals (WELL APs).

“Design has the power to improve the health of the American public,” Ivy said.

By advocating and integrating the Demos-developed WELL Building Standard (WELL), AIA aims to increase the number of healthy buildings available to the American public. The first of its kind, the WELL standard uses a building performance standard and regular monitoring to determine the impact various building features have on human health. It monitors effects on the:

  • air,
  • comfort,
  • fitness,
  • light,
  • mind,
  • nourishment,
  • water.

IWBI administers the WELL standard while the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) provides third-party certification of structures. As of 2016, 30 million square feet of WELL certified space existed in 13 countries.

IWBI CEO Paul Scialla recognizes the “pivotal role in designing for health and wellness” architects play. The partnership he and Ivy fostered will develop other tangible products, including: collaborative research and articles, a co-developed publication, support for the AIA’s Design and Health Research Consortium and regional workshops, webinars, online education and the development of a WELL/AIA Summer Scholar program. For more updates, Like the page on Facebook.

The AIA began its earnest investigation of the impact of design on health aspects at its 2003 convention. The organization named Ivy as CEO in 2011, a strong proponent of the effects of the built environment on overall well being. Its Design and Health Leadership Group, established in 2013, develops a multi-disciplinary strategy for integration of well being in architecture and planning. The following year, the AIA partnered with the American Institute of Architects Foundation (AIAF) and Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) to create the Design and Health Research Consortium, that pulls together leading public health institutions and universities to bridge the communication gap between academic research and policymakers.

Read this article:http://www.aiainternational.org/