By Martina Cappellini
The pandemic has significantly influenced the way we live, work and communicate. It has raised awareness of the importance of designing cities and buildings to promote the health and well-being of the people and the necessity of living and working in a healthy environment.
The building and urban spaces can enable people to connect with their habitat, themselves, and each other, all of which are important components of maintaining well-being.
The global, national and local conditions that impact the health of each individual in a community are known as the social determinants of health, which include physical determinants, or the physical and built conditions that impact health. 
Over the last decade, green building rating systems and standards have made significant strides toward the market transformation of the building industry. This has resulted in a rapid expansion of environmentally conscious building and planning practices throughout the world. An example are LEED, BREEAM AND WELL certifications (WELL-BEING IN INDOOR SPACES: the importance of living in a healthy space). A step further is done with the WELL Community Standard. Through this certification, communities can elevate human health to the forefront of building and design practices to support people and the planet. 
Communities sit at the heart of our culture, connect us with each other, and protect our health and well-being.
The WELL community certification aims to impact individuals not just within the walls of their home or workplace, but throughout the public spaces where they spend their days. The vision for a WELL community is inclusive, integrated and resilient, with a strong community identity fostering high levels of social interaction and engagement. In general, the features of this certification do not address the design or conditions within buildings, but rather the way in which they interact with each other in the landscape. To ensure that all parts of the community are addressed as spaces that hold the potential to deliver health and wellness benefits, WELL Community Certification requires some buildings to be certified under a qualifying health and wellness building standard and provides projects the opportunity to earn additional points for going above the minimum. Because planetary health and human health are inextricably connected, WELL standards aim to be interoperable and synergistic with green rating systems, and therefore WELL Community Certification offers points for buildings certified under green rating systems as well. 
The WELL Community Standard, awarded by the International WELL Building Institute, considers the integration of people through public spaces, prioritizing the promotion of physical and mental health and well-being in all aspects of community life. The certification looks at 10 categories: air, water, nourishment, light, movement, thermal comfort, sound, materials, mind and community. Each concept contains one precondition, and the remaining features are optimizations. Most features address the community at large while a small number apply to rules within the buildings themselves. The program was created with the adaptability needed to cover various types of ownership and development. These include public, private, and joint public-private developments for both new and existing communities. 
At Greenlab, our qualified team of architects and engineers provide consultancy on sustainability and on the green building certifications, helping the client in all aspects of the project. We are always looking out for new strategies and innovations in the field of sustainability, striving to keep up with the times.
 International WELL Building Institute, WELL V2 – The next version of the building standard, 2020
 International WELL Building Institute, Why is WELL Community Certification important?, www.well.support
 International WELL Building Institute, The WELL community standard pilot, 2019
 International WELL Building Institute, How does WELL Community Certification work?, www.well.support