Sharon Lew, Ye Zhang and Joyce Kelly are Now Accredited Professionals to Support the WELL Building Standard

GLHN is proud to have two GLHN Architects, Joyce and Sharon, and Ye, an Electrical Engineer pass the WELL Building program’s accreditation exam in September 2020.

Remote testing at home presented challenges but enabled Sharon Lew, pictured above, Ye Zhang and Joyce Kelly to test for 2-1/2 hours without breathing contaminated air. Testing centers, in most buildings, can’t provide enough outside air – especially 100° temperatures – to dilute viruses. Coincidentally, air is the largest feature of the WELL Building standard. Throughout the summer the GLHN WELL Team, which also includes Sloan Tennant, Russ Combs and Erin Price, did a deep dive into Air and Water quality and testing; Lighting including zeitgebers; Comfort including acoustics; Nourishment, Fitness and Mental health. Despite the strict rules of the remotely proctored exam, Joyce obtained a special accommodation to be allowed to drink water, known to enhance focus, during the two hour and twenty-minute exam.

At this point you may be wondering what Nourishment, Fitness and Mental Health, let alone zeitgebers, have to do with buildings? Poor nourishment accounts for 2.7 million deaths worldwide per year and is one of the top ten risk factors for mortality.  Four fruits and five non-fried vegetables is the daily target to avoid this. Physical inactivity accounts for 6-9% of deaths and is the fourth highest risk factor with 20-30% higher risk of stroke and 3 –5 year shorter lifespans. Designing buildings to encourage use of stairs and exterior circulation, as we designed in ENR2, helps occupants incorporate physical activity while at work. Eight million deaths are related to depression, which affects 16 million Americans. Incorporating nature in our buildings can support the mind, as can targeted employee health programs. Daylighting can provide external clues to align our physiological functions to the solar cycle and support solid sleep, which sums up zeitgebers.

We learned a lot of “death numbers.” But we also became more fluent in ASHRAE, filtration, occupancy surveys and active furnishings. We plan to introduce WELL’s Health and Safety Rating to our clients to help them reoccupy their office buildings safely and will lead by example, applying these principles to our own offices before we reoccupy.


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