The effort to promote and support population health and wellness has few rivals in its influence on healthcare today, inspiring the planning, design, and construction community to create environments that help providers deliver on that mission. The solutions being brought to the table vary widely, though, each in its own way answering the call. Healthcare Design asked industry members how wellness is being defined in their work—and they showed us. In this special report, "All Is Well," (to be published in the May 2016 issue of the magazine and in installments online in April and May), find a sampling of the myriad innovative and inspiring approaches being taken.
As the healthcare industry continues to explore what the concept of wellness means in approaches to care delivery, partners in planning, design, and construction will have to do the same. Need help navigating the field? Here are a few resources to guide the way. 

  1. ACSM’s Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine has been a resource for wellness-related projects for 24 years. It’s currently in its fourth edition and has evolved to reflect changing directions and business models within the industry, now including directives for medically integrated facilities. With more healthcare organizations beginning to include health and wellness functions in a variety of settings, this guideline serves as a valuable starting point. Available for purchase on Amazon.
  2. McGraw Hill Construction offers a series of Smart Market Reports, with the 2014 white paper “The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings: The Market Drivers and Impact of Building Design and Construction on Occupant Health, Well-Being and Productivity” challenging design and construction professionals to advocate for healthier buildings. Produced with founding partner the American Institute of Architects, the paper offers research and data to the industry to identify the health effects of buildings and the benefits of wellness-inspired project initiatives, serving as a guide to help encourage owners to consider these types of investments.
  3. The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers manufacturers of consumer products to improve what their products are made of and how they’re made, with an eye on sustainability. The organization researches, evaluates, rates, and certifies all types of products, allowing designers to search its online registry for healthy options (currently there are more than 2,000 products listed).
  4. The International WELL Building Institute is the governing body of the WELL Building Standard, an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and well-being. WELL is certified by Green Business Certification Inc., which also administers LEED certification. Similar to LEED, WELL distinguishes silver, gold, and platinum projects. The standard is based on seven concepts: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. Its website includes numerous resources, including webinars, project checklists, and building primers.—Gary Vance, Vance Consulting