MQDC Kicks Off WELL Journey for Healthy Buildings

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The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) celebrated the most recent stop of its WELL Journey in Bangkok, Thailand, with much fanfare by bringing together a diverse group of local stakeholders committed to promoting healthy buildings and healthy communities in the country.

The WELL v2™ pilot, the latest version of IWBI’s WELL Building Standard™ (WELL™) became the focus of the highly engaging forum on sustainability held in Thailand’s capital city on August 21, 2018, at the Research & Innovation for Sustainability Center (RISC). RISC is now registered to pursue WELL Certification™.

IWBI collaborated with RISC owner Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) and Frasers Property to launch the WELL Journey event in Bangkok.

Industry stakeholders, including Thai developers, sustainability experts, architects and designers, convened to express a strong market demand for healthier buildings and communities in Thailand, and how to promote WELL in their efforts to deliver health and wellness benefits to the people in Thailand.

WELL Journey is a series of events organized by IWBI to celebrate local achievements in WELL Certification, to engage and educate local stakeholders to help them achieve WELL, and to raise awareness about the role buildings and communities can play in advancing people’s health and wellness.

WELL Journey initially kicked off in Sanya, China, in 2017, and since that time has been celebrated in multiple cities including Shenzhen and Taipei. WELL Journey is scheduled to land in Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing by the end of 2018.

Thailand is responding to the global WELL movement with a strong market traction. So far, three projects of almost 6 million square feet in total space are actively pursuing WELL Certification.

“What can we do to create a sustainable future? Why does sustainability remain elusive to us all?” asked Associate Professor Dr. Singh Intrachooto, chief adviser for RISC, when delivering the keynote introduction to WELL Journey in Bangkok.

“I believe committing to all well-being may hold the key to sustainability; and when I say ALL wellbeing I don’t mean just us, humans, since we won’t survive without plants, insects, or animals.”

“We then need to understand how to balance the wellbeing of all living beings within our ecosystem if we stand any chance of achieving sustainable developments.”

TCC Assets and Frasers Property, both major players in the Southeast Asian real estate market, are at the forefront of WELL adoption.

As big believers in WELL, TCC Assets and Frasers Property have registered over 5 million square feet of their project space for WELL Certification, including the high-profile commercial office towers at One Bangkok and The PARQ.

TCC Assets and Frasers Property are committed to registering more projects for WELL Certification during the WELL Journey event.

“In recent years, the WELL Building Standard has emerged as the best practice in design and construction supported by evidence-based medical and scientific research,” said Anthony Arundell, director, sustainability, smart city and estate management at Frasers Property.

“When we talk about sustainability, it no longer concerns purely the environment. Today human sustainability is also a priority.”

“As we celebrate a booming real estate market in Thailand, it’s important to ensure all stakeholders work together to build healthier spaces where people work, live, learn and play,” said Tony Armstrong, senior vice president of IWBI (Asia).

He noted that WELL is designed as a global system with local flexibilities so that countries such as Thailand can employ interventions that are achievable and relevant for their specific environment.

Panelists participating in the conference came from various backgrounds but shared a concerted sense of urgency to address indoor environmental challenges, underscoring how better buildings can help advance the health and wellbeing of the people who use them every day.

These experts include Dr. Naree Phinyawatana, director of Atelier Ten (Asia); Dr. Hyunju Jang, green building consultant for Africvs; and Lalit Thitipaisal, environmental sustainability design manager at Meinhardt Thailand.

“The cost of not doing WELL far outweighs any other concerns,” said Dr. Naree Phinyawatana, Thailand’s first WELL Faculty member. “The return on investment shows up not only in productivity enhanced, it shows up in a better, healthier quality of life. And that matters.”