November 2017

WELL Building Standard is a Game Changer

Amy Hockett And Scott Hughes

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

The World Health Organization

Our built environment has a profound impact on health, happiness and productivity. Much like nutrition labels, where each ingredient has an assigned value, the products you specify will shape the health of your buildings – and affect the health of future occupants. To help quantify a building’s “health performance,” in 2014 the WELL Building Standard initiative was formed.

WELL Building Standard Measures, Verifies and Monitors

WELL merges health sciences, building science and business metrics. WELL certification helps ensure that your building designs are conducive to higher productivity, less employee sick time, less employee attrition or retraining and higher employee moral.

To assess the parameters of a healthy building environment, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) developed an eight-concept checkpoint system called the WELL Building Standard. This standard examines a building’s attributes regarding Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort, Mind and Innovation. Within these eight concepts, there are 105 features that comprise the entire WELL certification matrix. This certification matrix requires precise measurements, performance verifications and evidence-based documentation to meet the rigorous WELL Building Standard.

GBCI Provides WELL Certification

IWBI teamed up with the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) to facilitate third-party certification services for the WELL Building Standard. GBCI also provides third-party certification for LEED projects. Like LEED certification, WELL evaluates the overall building assembly and how components interface with one another. High-performing, quality products with built-in longevity, like those we manufacture at National Gypsum, are critical to achieving and maintaining a WELL Building Standard. Unlike LEED certification, WELL certification is awarded when a building is completed and then reevaluated every three years. It is not a “once and done” process.

National Gypsum Products Help Achieve WELL Building Standard

From a WELL Building Standard perspective, National Gypsum has high-performance products that contribute to three concepts: Air, Comfort and Mind. National Gypsum’s commitment to WELL is really an extension of our company’s overall pledge to sustainability and material transparency as reflected in our Health Product Declarations (HPDs). Here you can see our tangible, measurable documentation, which answers the WELL Building Standard concept for Mind feature 97 Material Transparency of full disclosure of product content.

National Gypsum’s select line of ProForm® BRAND Interior Finishing Products, with long-time GREENGUARD Gold Certification, fits into the WELL certification for its Air concept. Our excellent moisture-resistant products, PermaBase® BRAND Cement Board and Gold Bond® BRAND eXP® Gypsum Panels and Gold Bond® BRAND XP® Gypsum Products, also meet the requirements for the WELL Air feature 4 VOC Reduction. Some have the added features of inhibiting mold growth or microbial contamination, another plus for WELL.

The WELL concept of Comfort, in this case dramatically reducing noise transmission between rooms or dwelling units, can be checked off by including Gold Bond® BRAND SoundBreak® XP® Gypsum Board in your design. SoundBreak® XP® is our celebrated product for a high-rated Sound Transmission Class (STC) in wall and ceiling assemblies.

As you can see, you can have peace of mind specifying National Gypsum products, which enhance a healthy environment, while also contributing to Well Building Standard certification.

How Your Projects Can Attain WELL Certification

WELL Building Standard can be a bit confusing, but that’s why we are here. We can help you determine which National Gypsum products will assist you to attain WELL certification for your specific projects. Call or email your National Gypsum construction design manager or architectural specialist today for more information.

"I am sure you would agree, “Sustainability” is no longer a buzz word. It is now part of our everyday conversations at work and at home. National Gypsum is committed to support your efforts in achieving your clients’ sustainable objectives. Our products can help you achieve specific goals within the various green building programs, including Well Building Standard, LEED and Green Globes. Let us know how we can make your job easier!"
- Scott Hughes, FCSI

"Many companies have an increased focus on the well-being of their employees and are developing strategies and initiatives that promote healthier work environments. Rating systems, like the WELL Building Standard and the GSA’s, Fitwel, recognize the opportunity to encourage occupant health and wellness through the built environment. These systems advocate for both active and passive approaches – for example, encouraging the use of stairwells through design tactics and passively through healthy building product selections. National Gypsum partners with project teams to achieve healthy indoor environments by providing material transparency documents for our products. National Gypsum continuously evaluates our product ingredients to assure we offer products that can meet the rigors of these new rating systems rooted in wellness and health."
- Amy Hockett

Product Overview

For Challenging Exterior or Interior Applications, You Can’t Beat eXP®

Our technologically advanced Gold Bond® BRAND eXP® fiberglass-faced gypsum line offers a solution for most every design challenge you face. If your projects could be exposed to wind, rain, snow or extreme temperatures for extended periods during the construction process and beyond, specify Gold Bond® BRAND eXP® Sheathing. eXP® Sheathing offers a moisture- and mold-resistant panel with superior extended exposure capabilities as well as fire protection. When your projects warrant extra protection against mold and moisture in interior applications, Gold Bond is an excellent choice. The inorganic fiberglass embedded in the core adds strength and moisture-resistant properties to eXP® Interior Extreme® Gypsum Panels.

For more information:

Project Profile

Bishop Ranch City Center Industrial Park

Bishop Ranch City Center, in San Ramon, California
Sunset Development
Renzo Piano

Bishop Ranch, the largest mixed-use business community in northern California, is home to 600-plus companies. When completed, this industrial park in the heart of Bishop Ranch, called Bishop Ranch City Center, will feature about 60 small shops and restaurants in 300,000 square feet. 4.5 million square feet of National Gypsum products will be integrated into this project, including Gold Bond® BRAND XP® Gypsum Board, Gold Bond® BRAND XP® Fire-Shield® Gypsum Board, Gold Bond® BRAND eXP® Sheathing, Gold Bond® BRAND eXP® Interior Extreme® Gypsum Panels, Gold Bond® BRAND Hi-Impact® XP® Gypsum Board and Gold Bond® BRAND eXP® Tile Backer.

Read More About The Project

Continuing Education

With holiday travel upon us, consider taking these convenient online courses:

Gypsum Board: More Than Recycled Content
1 hour/AIA HSW CE Hour
Abuse and Impact Resistant Gypsum Board: Stronger and Safer Walls
1 hour/AIA HSW CE Hour

See How eXP® Sheathing Really Protects From the Elements

Learn why Gold Bond® BRAND eXP® Sheathing is the number-one solution for building exteriors.

Watch Video


Amy Hockett
National Marketing Manager, Architectural Services & Sustainability

Trang Schwartz
Architectural Specialist

Scott Hughes
Northeast/Atlantic, Southeast/Gulf

Thad Goodman

Pat Grotlisch

Frank Fuller