March 30, 2020
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) has announced that it is setting up a task force to reduce the enormous health burden from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Its goal is to define the critical role buildings, organisations and communities play in prevention and preparedness, resilience and recovery. The task force’s work will take a broad approach, considering both new and recurring infectious agents that can affect large populations.
The task force will include experts from public health, government, academia and philanthropy, as well as the architecture, design and real estate communities.
“IWBI’s work centres on providing evidence-backed solutions that advance better health and well-being in the places and spaces where we spend our lives,” said IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. “The creation of this task force provides a mechanism to focus on this immediate challenge and collect and apply the expertise and insight of our global community, which includes practicing physicians, environmental and behavioural scientists, leading design practitioners and innovation leaders from global corporations.”
“This pandemic is the challenge of our time.”
“The aim of the task force is twofold,” said IWBI President Rachel Gutter. “First, to identify and develop a set of signature deliverables and resources, including guidelines for individuals, organisations and communities to help them better integrate actionable insights and proven strategies into how they manage both their buildings and their organisations. Second, the task force will assess ways in which the WELL Building Standard (WELL) itself can be further strengthened so the system, which touches more than a half-billion square feet of space across 58 countries, can best continue to support prevention and preparedness, resiliency and recovery in this critical moment and into the future.”
“WELL already reflects the massive amount of current health research and data we’ve amassed and integrated since its launch in late 2014,” she said. “But the landscape shifted at the first of the year with the global onset of this virus. We are committed to making sure we share freely everything we’ve learned with our global community and beyond. We owe it to everyone to make sure the comprehensive, evidence-based interventions that we’ve codified in WELL move us in the direction of better health and enhanced resilience for everyone, everywhere.”
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