WSP is one of the world’s first companies to be approved as a WELL Performance Testing Organisation. We are now authorised to provide independent, third-party verification for building projects pursuing WELL certification in support of human health, productivity, well-being and comfort.

Eminent, Sweden

WELL Certification Becomes More Accessible

The process of registering WSP Global as a WELL Performance Testing Organisation was initiated by Eleftherios Zacharakis, a senior project manager from WSP Environmental in Sweden, himself a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP). “Until very recently, only GBCI could undertake on-site building performance testing to verify projects seeking WELL certification,” explains Eleftherios. “GBCI decided to make the service available on the open market through the creation of independent WELL Performance Testing Organisations that employ GBCI-trained WELL Performance Testing Agents. This will make WELL certification more accessible and sustainable for projects everywhere since local agents can be contracted”

It is absolutely fantastic that WSP has the in-house capability of being a Performance Testing Organisation. This gives us inside knowledge on the testing processes and procedures that must be followed for WELL certification, and combined with our WELL AP expertise, offers our clients a world-class health and wellbeing consultancy service which closes the loop between design, construction and operations of healthy buildings. I have already made use of Hans’ knowledge to ensure I am communicating the application of the testing criteria correctly to our UK Clients!
Laura Mayne Associate, WSP UK

Our first WELL Performance Testing Agents

To qualify as a WELL Performance Testing Organisation, companies must have at least one approved WELL performance Testing Agent and at least one WELL AP (Accredited Professional). “WSP has currently 20 WELL APs in Canada, US, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, UAE, Sweden, UK and Germany supporting clients across the globe,” Eleftherios continues. “Two of our colleagues in Sweden, Hans Wetterlund and Stefan Lundell, attended the second-ever GBCI Performance-Testing Workshop in Paris, becoming the first people in WSP to qualify as WELL Performance Testing Agents.”

Hans Wetterlund, a specialist in building physics and energy, describes the role of a Testing Agent. “We perform the final measurements to verify the building performance on behalf of the GBCI, covering the five key areas of acoustics, water quality, air quality, lighting and thermal comfort.” With reference to the course itself, he continues: “The two-day intensive course focused on the roles and responsibilities of Testing Agents, the different steps of certification, preparing for and conducting performance assessments and preparing reports for the GBCI. The course doesn’t provide technical training in the detailed requirements of specific performance measurements. Therefore, if any WSP colleagues are interested in becoming Testing Agents, I would advise that the course is most suitable for those with a background in performance measurement as well as being experienced WELL APs.”

Eleftherios adds: “We are very grateful to WSP in the UK, USA, Canada and Sweden for supporting the WELL Performance Testing Organisation fee. Further WSP employees will train as WELL Performance Testing Agents as demand for the service increases around the world. In the meantime, Hans and Stefan expect to be very busy certifying buildings across Europe, or even further afield!”

Benefits of a Holistic Approach

WSP is already offering certification services with clients in Sweden, including working through the whole process of the WELL certification with a developer on their regional office in Gothenburg, Sweden. “We are undertaking pre-testing in accordance to the WELL Building Standard to assess the performance of our client’s existing office interiors, which were newly fitted out about two years ago. As consultants to the client, we will see how they perform according to WELL Building Standard and advise on any necessary alterations, then, as testing agents on behalf of GBCI, we will conduct third party verification for certification,” says Eleftherios. “The benefit to WSP of offering this new performance testing service will be to bring a more holistic approach, where our sustainability and well-being advisory service is enhanced by our new understanding of the technical requirements of certification in real life.”

When it comes to health and wellness for some of our new commercial building projects, we see that our clients are seeking to implement fundamental base building features, systems and services for the benefit of their clients – i.e. their tenants. In other words, we can help in the creation of new buildings that are “wellness-ready” to support their tenants’ pursuit of WELL certification for their own space, should they so choose.
Mark Bessoudo Manager, Research, WSP Canada

Spreading Knowledge to Open Doors

He concludes: “We hope that adding this totally new area of expertise to our range of sustainable building services will help us spread knowledge about the benefits of testing and encourage more clients to embark on this route regarding existing buildings and interiors. For WSP, we look forward to doors opening to new opportunities for supporting our clients in the delivery of healthy and sustainable built environments, and, through certification, giving building owners and their tenants the confidence that their space is promoting occupant well-being and productivity as it was designed.”

The growing demand for performance testing from our clients and synergies between certifications is a clear indication that the future of our work is tied to performance testing expertise.
Mohammad Abbasi Building Performance Analyst

Approved as a WELL Performance Testing Organisation in March 2019, we are now able to support our clients through the whole process of WELL certification, including pre-testing, certification management and ongoing on-site testing of building performance.

The WELL Building Standard, administered by the GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.), is applicable for both new and existing buildings, as well as interiors. A majority of WELL-certified projects are currently in the commercial and residential sector but it is anticipated that education, hospitality and healthcare sectors will follow suit as interest in WELL continues to increase.

 

For further information about any aspect of WELL Building Standard certification, please contact:


Sweden:
 Hans Wetterlund, Gothenburg and Stefan Lundell, Gothenburg

USA: Narada Golden, New York and Mohammad Abbasi, Chicago

Canada: Mark Bessoudo, Toronto and Maeri Machado, Vancouver           

UK: Laura Mayne, Edinburgh and Harry Knibb, London

UAE:  Farah Yassine, Dubai

Australia: Ben Gibbs, Brisbane and Ruvini Silva, Melbourne