International WELL Building Institute to lead consortium developing global set of standards for indoor and outdoor environmental quality monitoring systems and sensors

The International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™), along with RESET™, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) today announced a joint agreement to work together to develop a coordinated set of global standards and guidelines for indoor and outdoor environmental monitoring systems and sensors.

Accurately measuring indoor and outdoor environmental factors provides data that can meaningfully impact human health and wellness. These organizations will collaborate to develop standards for sensor manufacturers and system installers/integrators as well as building owners and operators, facilities managers and others – for whom indoor environmental quality is a critical performance measurement.

Interest in indoor environmental performance of buildings is growing rapidly, but the proliferation of new and untested monitoring sensors and sensor-based systems is already causing confusion and uncertainty in the marketplace. Building owners and facilities managers have little guidance on which variables they should be monitoring, how to interpret their data to solve real building-performance problems, and what equipment provides the best solutions. Conversely, sensor manufacturers have few specific data quality standards to adhere to, leaving them no verifiable way with which to distinguish their products’ performance.

“Since its founding, IWBI has been focused on providing increased visibility into the impacts buildings have on our health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, IWBI chairman and CEO. “Our methodology has been grounded in science, advanced through university collaborations and informed by leading practitioners in both the public and private sectors. The explosive growth in technology solutions, especially in the area of real time data capture of indoor environmental elements, has accelerated our ability to rapidly improve the quality of our indoor spaces. A protocol to ensure that this data is produced, interpreted, and communicated with integrity is an exciting next step, and we’re looking forward to continuing our practice of partnering with leading organisations and academic institutions to advance this next generation of market transformation.”

IWBI is a founding member of the Well Living Lab, a collaboration with Delos and the Mayo Clinic. The lab is a sensor-rich reconfigurable space where researchers can monitor and test technologies and protocols with human subjects in simulated, real-world environments. IWBI will leverage the information learned from the Well Living Lab to help inform the development of this new set of standards.

Working together and with leading partners across academia and industry, these organisations, led by IWBI, will work to develop a comprehensive framework for continuous indoor environmental quality monitoring with the capability of harmonising and working seamlessly with WELL, LEED, BREEAM, RESET and Green Star. The unified framework will ensure that data reported from these systems meets a high bar of quality, consistency and compatibility across components, and is captured and reported in a way that helps building owners and operators provide the healthiest and most comfortable spaces where people can lead their daily lives. It will also address synergies and eliminate duplicative reporting in the marketplace among leading sustainability programs, providing cost and resource efficiencies to users worldwide.

“Building operations and performance data are moving to center stage, placing unprecedented importance on the quality and actionability of data,” says Raefer Wallis, founder of RESET. “Unfortunately, the industry is still very much in a ‘consumer beware’ state given the incredibly wide range in quality of sensors and lack of knowledge on how they should be deployed to render accurate and meaningful results. The use of common standards within WELL, LEED, BREAAM, RESET and Green Star is a monumental step in terms of helping building owners and occupants operate healthy buildings.”

“GBCA is committed to forging partnerships with like-minded organisations to provide tools and mechanisms that will make it easier for the property and construction industry to create healthy, sustainable buildings,” said Romilly Madew, chief executive officer, Green Building Council of Australia. “Working with IWBI, RESET and BRE to develop a coordinated set of global standards for monitoring systems and sensors is critical, and will help advance our mission to create a healthier, more sustainable world.”

RESET will be contributing experience from over a decade of testing, developing and deploying standards for indoor air quality sensors in China, encompassing standards for installation and maintenance as well as data reporting.

IWBI and RESET intend to leverage Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the exclusive certification body for WELL, and its expertise in validating the operability of indoor environmental quality monitoring according to this newly developed protocol.

Also, IWBI and RESET will leverage BRE’s expertise to provide the industry with performance data for indoor environmental sensors.

“Testing protocols can be employed to assess the efficacy of environmental quality sensor products. BRE has extensive experience contributing to the development of standards, which involves a stepwise process including the necessary level of consultation with stakeholders and industry liaison groups,” said Andy Dengel, environment director at BRE.