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How to Achieve Hotel WELL Certification Through FF&E and OS&E

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Build your custom FF&E and OS&E materials library today -- and achieve WELL certification faster for your hotel.

The WELL certification (WELL) is a globally recognized standard for buildings, interiors, and communities that focuses on enhancing people's health and well-being. By obtaining WELL certification for your hotel, you demonstrate your commitment to providing a healthy and sustainable environment for your guests and employees. 

Additionally, WELL certification differentiates your hotel from competitors and attracts health-conscious travelers. It can also lead to cost savings through improved energy and water efficiency, and increased productivity among employees. 

Achieving WELL Certification Through FF&E and OS&E

One of the requirements for WELL centers around materials. The scoring system used to evaluate this aspect takes into account furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) and operating supplies and equipment (OS&E).

This is called the WELL Material Ingredients credit. It is used to assess the materials and products used in a building to ensure they do not contain harmful chemicals and promote the health and well-being of the building occupants. The credit is divided into three subcategories:

  1. VOC Emissions: This subcategory evaluates the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from materials and products used in the building. Materials with low VOC emissions will score more points than materials with high VOC emissions.
  2. Chemical Ingredients: This subcategory evaluates the chemicals used in materials and products used in the building. Materials with low chemical emissions will score more points than materials with high chemical emissions.
  3. Material Transparency: This subcategory evaluates the level of transparency of the materials and products used in the building. Materials that are more transparent, meaning that the materials and products used are clearly labeled and easy to understand, will score more points than materials that are less transparent.

Each subcategory has a certain number of points available, and the total score for the Material Ingredients credit will depend on the scores achieved in each subcategory. The higher the score, the better. 

The Material Transparency subcategory, for example, allows a maximum of 3 points. You get one point for each of the 3 requirements under this subcategory.

One requirement states that “at least 25 distinct, permanently installed products (including flooring, insulation, wet-applied products, ceiling and wall assemblies and systems) and furniture” should have their ingredients disclosed.

This disclosure can be done through the manufacturer, a disclosure organization, or a third party. 

If you meet this specific requirement, you earn one point.

Learn more: [Recorded Webinar] Specifying Sustainable and Healthy Materials: Best Practices

How to Achieve Hotel WELL Certification Through FF&E and OS&E | brand matrix | hotel design matrix | Fohlio | FF&E spec sheet | FF&E template | Inn at Moonlight Beach
Image: Inn at Moonlight Beach

Building Your Hotel Design Matrix Around WELL Certification 

Managing all your FF & E and OS&E is hard enough – keeping track of WELL requirements makes it even more complicated.

The solution is to build a materials library that manages both your brand standards and WELL standards.

In Fohlio, for example, you can create a checklist that keeps track of all your materials and the specific WELL requirements that they meet. That means you can simply open your library, select FF&E and OS&E that tick the WELL box, and that’s it! 

How to Achieve Hotel WELL Certification Through FF&E and OS&E | brand matrix | hotel design matrix | Fohlio | FF&E spec sheet | FF&E template

You’ll be saving yourself and your team hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in your efforts to achieve certification.

Learn more: Specify Healthy and Sustainable Materials (in Seconds!) With Fohlio

WELL Certification Requirements for FF & E and OS&E – In Action

So what does material health and wellness look like when it’s put into real-world applications?

Here are a few examples:

  • Furniture: Furniture should be made of materials that do not emit harmful chemicals and should be designed to promote good posture and ergonomics.
  • Lighting: Lighting should be designed to minimize glare and eyestrain, and should provide appropriate levels of light for different tasks.
  • Air Quality: OS&E should be selected and used in ways that minimize the release of pollutants and contaminants into the indoor environment.
  • Acoustics: OS&E should be chosen and used in ways that reduce noise pollution and promote a comfortable acoustic environment.
  • Thermal Comfort: OS&E should be chosen and used in ways that promote thermal comfort and minimize drafts and temperature fluctuations.

The WELL Certification Process

In brief, the process to obtain WELL certification for your hotel will look like this:

  1. Review the WELL Building Standard to ensure your hotel meets the requirements for certification.
  2. Register your hotel for certification with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the organization responsible for administering the WELL certification program.
  3. Hire a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) to guide your hotel through the certification process.
  4. Gather all required documentation and evidence to demonstrate that your hotel meets the requirements of the WELL standard.
  5. Submit your hotel's documentation and evidence to IWBI for review and assessment.
  6. Once your hotel has been assessed and found to meet the requirements of the WELL standard, it will be awarded WELL certification.

Note that WELL certification is a rigorous process, and it may take several months for your hotel to be certified. Also, it may require some investment in upgrades and changes to meet the requirements. Even so, it can also bring many benefits such as increased occupancy, repeat customers, and overall better reputation.

Build your custom FF&E and OS&E materials library today -- and achieve WELL certification faster for your hotel.

Featured image: Good Nature Hotel, Kyoto, Japan

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Published Jan 24, 2023