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Leadership platforms: Building a WELL Collaborative (USGBC Minnesota)

July 12, 2017
Malini Foobalan
Feature image: 

Feature image: Rendering of the plaza at United Properties’ WELL-registered project “The Nordic” in Minneapolis. Image credit: LHB.

The USGBC Minnesota community recognizes that whatever the challenges, we need the right people, tools and platforms to solve them. With increasing focus on not only reducing our environmental impact, but also improving our health and well-being, we have embraced the WELL Building Standard

Over the summer of 2017, USGBC Minnesota will feature three articles that focus on the action being taken to improve health and well-being in the built environment. Join us as we investigate this leadership platform through the lens of the Minnesota WELL Collaborative, the efforts to increase educational opportunities and achieving WELL AP credentials and a case study of one of the first projects in Minnesota registered under WELL. 

Established in May 2016, the Minnesota WELL Building Collaborative promotes healthier buildings for people in Minnesota. For the first year of our work, we’ve been busy crafting our mission and learning about the WELL Building Standard to better assist our community. Because the building standards are still relatively new, we have focused on engaging industry leaders in conversation about this new system. There have been questions about the cost, return on investment and data tracking associated with certification. 

Stakeholders are eager to know how data is being measured and what the cost looks like. Collaborative members have been working to find the answers while also encouraging developers and clients to pursue certification for the wider benefits. 

Meeting of the USGBC MN WELL Collaborative at HGA in Minneapolis.

Meeting of the USGBC Minnesota WELL Collaborative at HGA's space in Minneapolis. Photo credit: Sheri Brezinka.

As the organization continues to develop the idea of healthy buildings, we are constantly informing people from different industries about the research and work being been done by Delos and IWBI

We can organize information in the best way to share across all communities. There is abundant knowledge out there regarding health and building design, but it is not being presented to the community in a structured format. The group works closely to resolve this by organizing workshops and education series for a wide spectrum of interested people.

For future WELL groups in Minnesota and beyond, some of the best practices start from setting a strong foundation and building momentum from the get-go:

  • Define what we are advocating. There are plenty of resources available to various organizations. Seek help from IWBI and industry professionals for unanswered questions.
  • Connect with stakeholders and get their perspectives on the certification. This is a new system that requires new ideas, processes and mindset.
  • Be open to criticism and craft your story on how you would like to see the organization grow.

Join the Minnesota WELL Collaborative Meeting

When: Every fourth Tuesday of the month, 9:30–10:30 a.m.

Where: HGA Architects & Engineers, Minneapolis

To join the calls, email Brent Suski.

Workshop: The WELL Building Standard

Take a deep dive into each of three concepts for a better understanding of how the specific features will affect your design and operational processes. The pre-conditions of each concept will be explained, and other select features will be considered.

When: Three consecutive Mondays: September 18 and 25 and October 2, 1–5 p.m.

Where: Ryan Construction, Millwright 

Learn more and register.

U.S. Green Building Council - Long Island Chapter
150 Motor Parkway - Suite LL80
Hauppauge, NY 11788
info@usgbc-li.org