NUS and IWBI to promote building designs that advance health and wellness

12 June 2017 | Education , Research
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The National University of Singapore (NUS) School of Design and Environment today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) to promote building designs that improve health and wellness. The collaboration between NUS and IWBI will create new knowledge about human health, well-being and performance in health-supportive environments, which is urgently needed for high-density urban living.

The MOU was signed by Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of NUS School of Design and Environment and Mr Paul Scialla, Founder of the International WELL Building Institute. 

Professor Lam Khee Poh, Dean of NUS SDE, said, “To improve human health and well-being in buildings, we need to take bold steps to transform building practices and effect changes in mindsets and occupant behaviour. Human-centric design that responds to health and well-being requirements of building occupants has not been fully capitalised beyond achieving sustainability and liveability. NUS School of Design and Environment hopes to champion this strategic effort.”

“We will work closely with IWBI, together with our NUS colleagues from Medicine and Public Health as well as Sociology and Social Sciences to promote and advance R&D in this emerging field. We look forward to working with all the stakeholders in the building industry to develop critical domain knowledge that is applicable to the local context,” Prof Lam added.

Mr Scialla, Founder of IWBI, said, “We are thrilled to work with NUS to propel the adoption of healthy buildings and indoor spaces in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Importantly, we will work closely together to help advance and facilitate engagement of the practitioner market and the uptake of WELL Accredited Professionals, which is critical.”

Under the MOU, SDE and IWBI will collaborate to advance global standards for promoting health and wellness in buildings and the built environment. The areas of cooperation include education, training and accreditation of the WELL Building Standard™. Both SDE and IWBI will also work closely to introduce this global standard to different stakeholders in the building industry in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

The WELL Building Standard™ is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact the health and wellness of the people who live, work, and learn in the buildings. More information about WELL Building Standard is available at

“Major industry players understand that fostering human wellness makes good business sense,” says Mr Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO of IWBI. “WELL was developed in response to the crucial need for a comprehensive performance-based tool for helping developers, landlords and tenants achieve healthier places and spaces for the people who live, work, play and learn in them every day. WELL has become an important catalyst in the global wellness movement for how buildings can be part of the wellness arsenal, driving efficiency and leading to better productivity and well-being of building users.”