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WELLopedia v2 Water Concept

WELLopedia v2: Water Concept

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The WELL Water Concept delves its pivotal role in promoting optimal hydration, ensuring water purity, and advancing sanitation in building environments. Our course delves into the intricacies of water quality, distribution, and control within architectural structures, addressing both the availability and contaminant thresholds of potable water. Additionally, we spotlight the strategic management of water to prevent damage to building materials and maintain favorable environmental conditions.

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the 8 distinct features of the Water Concept as defined by the WELL Building Standard v2. Through real-world project contexts, we equip you with actionable strategies, and a concise case study will further illuminate the Air and Water concepts of the WELL Building Standard.

Additionally, this course is a part of GBRI’s WELLopedia Series: The ins and outs of the WELL Building Standard v2. Whether you’re seeking stand-alone knowledge or wish to integrate this into the series, the choice is yours—tailored to your interests and credential maintenance needs. Dive in and elevate your understanding of sustainable building standards.

Enhance your professional growth by taking GBRI’s 10 CE hour WELLOPEDIA series, approved by AIA and GBCI for WELL-specific content. On completion, you’ll also earn GBRI’s Wellness Ambassador badge.


Upon completion of the Water concept module, learners will be able to

  1. Understand the foundational principles of the WELL Water concept within the WELL Building standard version 2.
  2. Recognize the critical role of clean drinking water in promoting health and well-being.
  3. Familiarize with key water quality indicators like turbidity and coliforms and their implications for safety.
  4. Grasp the factors influencing the chemical composition of drinking water and potential contaminants.
  5. Learn about various water purification methods and their applications in ensuring water quality.
  6. Comprehend the risks associated with Legionella bacteria in recirculated water systems and the importance of effective management.
  7. Appreciate the aesthetic qualities of drinking water, emphasizing taste, odor, and appearance.
  8. Acknowledge the multifaceted role of water in building design and its implications for sustainability and health.


WELL Water Concept, optimal hydration, water purity, sanitation, building environments, water quality, distribution, control, potable water, availability, contaminant thresholds, strategic management, damage prevention, environmental conditions, 8 distinct features, WELL Building Standard v2, real-world project contexts, actionable strategies, concise case study, Air and Water concepts, GBRI’s WELLopedia Series, sustainable building standards, professional growth, 10 CE hour, Wellness Ambassador badge, foundational principles, health and well-being, water quality indicators, turbidity, coliforms, chemical composition, potential contaminants, water purification methods, Legionella bacteria, recirculated water systems, aesthetic qualities, taste, odor, appearance, building design, sustainability.


WELLopedia v2 Water Concept (4)

Water is fundamental to life on Earth. Although it covers about two-thirds of our planet, a mere 2.5% to 3% is freshwater suitable for consumption. Water is also vital to our physiology, forming nearly two-thirds of the human body, facilitating the transport of essential nutrients, waste removal, and temperature regulation.

Over the past century, thanks to extensive health campaigns and educational outreach, many regions have seen profound improvements in drinking water quality. These advancements led to a significant decline in waterborne diseases. Recognizing its monumental impact on public health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed this achievement among the top ten of the 20th century.

Central to the WELL Building Standard, a system that measures, certifies, and monitors-built environment features impacting human health, is the WATER concept. This framework primarily focuses on water quality, distribution, and control within buildings. It encompasses both the availability and purity of drinking water and strategies for managing water to prevent damage to structures and ecosystems.

Clean water is indispensable for optimal health, with adults typically needing between 2 to 3.7 liters daily. This requirement can vary based on age, gender, and pregnancy status. Yet, many remain under-hydrated, often due to concerns about water quality. Consequently, this can lead to a reduced water intake and an increased consumption of less healthy alternatives like sugary drinks.

Within the WELL Water concept, there are eight features. Of these, three are mandatory preconditions for certification, while the remaining five are optional optimizations:

Preconditions (3) 1.     Water Quality Indicators
2.     Drinking Water Quality
3.     Basic Water Management
Optimization (5) 1.     Enhanced Water Quality
2.     Drinking Water Quality Management
3.     Drinking Water Promotion
4.     Moisture Management
5.     Hygiene Support

Feature Summaries:

  1. Water Quality Indicators: This ensures water quality for human contact. Key parameters like Total Coliforms & Turbidity are used for evaluation. Essentially, water meeting specific turbidity and coliform thresholds must be provided to building occupants.
  2. Drinking Water Quality: Access to drinking water adhering to health-based chemical limits is ensured. Variabilities in water quality arise from differing sourcing, treatment, and distribution processes.
  3. Basic Water Management: Addresses potential health threats from Legionella bacteria. Projects are required to actively test drinking water and manage systems against this bacterium.
  4. Enhanced Water Quality: Projects should provide drinking water free from unpleasant tastes, odors, and appearances. Aesthetic concerns, like chloride levels affecting taste or iron causing reddish discoloration, are addressed here.
  5. Drinking Water Quality Management: It aims to consistently maintain high-quality drinking water. Projects need to pre-test water quality parameters, monitor them regularly, and disclose results.
  6. Drinking Water Promotion: Promotes adequate hydration by ensuring access to verified quality drinking water, while also addressing concerns about single-use plastic pollution.
  7. Moisture Management: Addresses common moisture and dampness issues in buildings, aiming to limit bacteria and mold growth.
  8. Hygiene Support: Emphasizes hygienic practices, ensuring the availability of bathrooms for diverse needs and enhancing hygiene through various measures.

Beta Features and Updates: The WELL Building Standard evolves to incorporate new research, best practices, and technological advances. Beta features, which address emerging topics, are optimizations developed through a rigorous process. One notable beta feature is the "ONSITE NON-POTABLE WATER REUSE," focusing on conserving water without compromising health. It emphasizes the safe use of non-potable water within project boundaries.

For detailed information and updates on all beta features, visit: https://v2.wellcertified.com/en/wellv2/concepts



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