Are we ready for a new building rating system?

Maia Kumari Bree Chowdhury
2 min readJul 17, 2020

I had the opportunity yesterday to participate in a Zoom call offered by the International Well Building Institute (IBWI) to learn more about the rollout of the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management.

In general, as a Registered Architect, I am a fan of building rating systems because:

1. they provide a common standard of care;

2. they form a backbone of communication between trades and professions;

3. they hold the public in a place of greater awareness of often-unseen systems that are important to health and safety.

The big question on a building rating system that is rolled out in the context of Covid-19, for me is: are we ready?

I was left with more questions than answers after the session. And as I asked in a chat question, I have many open thoughts around the science of coronavirus transmission since it still in a revelatory process. I think it is in some ways important to be more general versus more specific about following the criteria until we know more.

The move toward a new building health and safety rating system is a good one. I think we need more information before we solidify our current understanding into a building rating system that is able to provide a broader standard of care that bridges trades and professions while informing the public. We are in an information-gathering stage.

I look forward to seeing more about the evolution of this building rating system as the data flows in. Thank you to IBWI for broaching this challenging and vital topic.

-Maia Kumari Gilman, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C,



Maia Kumari Bree Chowdhury

Architect | Artist | Author #adaptivereuse #architecture #mixedmedia #ecofiction #solutionsjournalism