Recognizing leadership in places and spaces that advance people’s health and well-being is the goal of a new awards program for 2019 announced today at Greenbuild in Chicago.

The USGBC Health Leaders Awards will become an annual recognition of projects across the world that use design, construction and operations as an antidote to a wide array of issues that impact health, such as obesity, asthma, and social isolation. The awards will be presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the International WELL Building Institute (IWBITM) and the University of Virginia School of Medicine, with financial support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest philanthropy in the U.S. dedicated solely to health.

“We’re excited to be part of these new awards,” said Rachel Gutter, president of IWBI. “This gives the movement a way to celebrate those who are leading this ‘second wave’ of sustainability, by focusing on the intersection of human health and planetary health, because at scale these things are one and the same.”

“At IWBI, we believe that green building certification and WELL Certification must go hand in hand—this is yes/and, not either/or. The majority of buildings that have achieved WELL Certification to date have also received a green building certification. That’s why we have collaborations in place with USGBC, GBCA, ILFI, BRE and GIGA to help streamline and incentivize dual certifications.

“We are also deeply committed to moving the market to a state of continuous monitoring because we aspire to a future where people and buildings are in dialog in real time. I’m looking forward to working with USGBC, UVA and RWJF to celebrate these leaders as a yet another way to advance buildings that help people thrive,” Gutter said.