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Jun 5, 2020

In part 2 of Cheryl’s interview today with Rachel Gutter, President of the IWBI, they discuss the IWBI’s new Task Force---with more than 250 members---whose goal is to help reduce the health burden of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections in the built environment. Rachel shares, “There was an unprecedented opportunity and a moral obligation in this crisis and we stood up the Task Force. I am thrilled to report that we had more than 400 volunteers raise their hands to participate, and the diversity is what is so astonishing.” This and more on the changing face of health and wellness in the built environment on part 2 of today’s episode with Rachel Gutter.

The International WELL Building Institute is a public benefit corporation with a mission to improve human health and well-being through the built environment. The WELL v2 pilot is the latest version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness everywhere. IWBI is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative, and helps companies advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of WELL. More information on WELL can be found by visiting: and

In Part 2 of Cheryl’s conversation with Rachel Gutter, you will learn:

  • What was the IWBI office environment like when COVID-19 hit?
  • As a response to the current global pandemic, the IWBI announced on March 31st, its assembly of a Task Force---with more than 250 members---whose goal is to help reduce the health burden of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections in the built environment. What is this task force and how can it help healthcare design professionals, moving forward?
  • Why was it important to include academics and public health leaders from other countries outside of the US in IWBI’s Task Force?
  • What is the timeline of the Task Force and what is happening now?
  • What is the WELL Conference?
  • As the healthcare design community in the US begins to reassess and strategize about how to best work with their clients moving forward on infectious disease control issues in the built environment, what specific things should they be now focusing on?
  • What is the most important thing the healthcare community can do to prepare for another outbreak?
  • How can the IWBI help mitigate and address the mental health issues--the trauma from this time?
  • How is the IWBI partnering with hospitals?
  • What is the first step for healthcare professionals interested in the WELL Building Standard?
  • How to build up your own WELL scorecard within your own building.
  • Why there’s never been a better time to take the WELL AP Exam. Right now, the cost is 50% off with a $99 price tag for students.
  • What Rachel learned during her work at USGBC that she has applied and is applying to her work on the IWBI.
  • How both Rachel’s Grandmothers powerfully influenced her life and her work.
  • Rachel’s advice for the younger generation of interior design and architecture students who are considering health and wellness and healthcare as a specialization, but are also afraid of it.
  • What is the IWBI’s Healthcare Advisory?
  • How can you become a member of the IWBI or get involved?

This program is brought to you by Porcelanosa who extend their heartfelt appreciation for your support of this podcast. Stay safe and be well. To learn more about Porcelanosa, visit

Thank you to our industry partner, The Center for Health Design. To learn more about CHD’s new program MakingRoom, Connecting hotels and hospitals with urgent needs for space, please visit,

Additional support for this podcast comes from our industry partners:

  • The American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers
  • The Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design

Learn more about how to become a Certified Healthcare Interior Designer®  by visiting the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers at:

Connect to a community interested in supporting clinician involvement in design and construction of the built environment by visiting The Nursing Institute for Healthcare Design at