The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and General Services Administration (GSA) have recently developed a new certification for healthy buildings. This new rating system, Fitwel, introduces a user-friendly, intuitive, and affordable approach to not only achieve healthy building certification, but also to create an environment in which employees are happier, healthier, and more productive.

Why Fitwel?

With strategies that increase employee productivity, achieving Fitwel certification can translate into profit gains for the building owner/tenant. While improving occupant health and productivity can often be nebulous, Fitwel helps to guide owners and tenants in the right direction. The rating system is based upon several years of CDC and GSA research, including the review of over 3,000 scientific studies which largely conclude that employee health and lifestyle risk factors are associated with workplace productivity loss.

Will Fitwel work for my project?

Fitwel is designed to be used for a variety of space types including existing buildings, new buildings, and tenant spaces. Unlike most green building rating systems, there are no pre-requisites or mandatory requirements that could be cost-prohibitive or unsuitable for a specific building type. Additionally, certification costs and documentation requirements are considerably less than those of comparable rating systems, making Fitwel a great first step for building owners interested in building or improving their space to increase occupant health and productivity.

How does it work?

Fitwel is administered by the Center for Active Design (CfAD), and is made up of sixty-three evidence-based design and policy strategies, each of which supports at least one of seven health impact categories. These strategies include incentives for the availability of a fitness center, lactation room, water filling station, quiet room, access to a walking trail, and healthy food options, among several others. Facilities that achieve a Fitwel score of ninety or above are considered Fitwel certified at one of three levels, based upon the number of points achieved.
Fitwel Categories

Seven Health Impact Categories

Fitwel Categories

As we continue to push the boundaries and pursue this certification, we hope that much like the Living Building Challenge, the Fitwel Standard can inspire long-term change in the way the built environment affects us.

Newcomb & Boyd would like to partner with you to inspire this change. Contact us HERE

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Danna Richey, PE, GPCP

Danna Richey, PE, GPCP

With more than 7 years of experience consulting on sustainable and energy efficient buildings, Ms. Richey is knowledgeable in energy modeling, measurement and verification strategies, integrated design, and commissioning. In addition to her experience with health care, mixed-use, and office buildings, she is proficient in the requirements for LEED certification and ASHRAE Standards. Ms. Richey is a LEED AP, Fitwel Ambassador, GPCP, and an expert in helping projects reach their sustainability goal. Email Danna
Danna Richey, PE, GPCP
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Comments ( 4 )

      • Nevin Sood says:

        What is the cost of a Fitwel assessment in a commercial office space in the US? How long is the process? Is it a single stage assessment or is there a pre-certification or operational stage analysis required? If so, what would that cost?

      • Newcomb & Boyd says:

        Hi Nevin. Thank you for your questions.

        The cost of a Fitwel assessment for a commercial office space in the US is $6,500. That is, $500 to register the project, and $6,000 for the project review. These fees apply to all buildings pursuing Fitwel certification, regardless of building function, location or size. One of the objectives of the Fitwel rating system is to provide a lower-cost and lower-hassle approach to healthy building certification. For instance, a 60,000 SF office space can be certified under the Fitwel rating system for $6,500. To certify the same building under the WELL rating system would cost over five times that amount, at $36,100 (and this cost increases based the gross square footage of the building).

        The Fitwel review process takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks. It is a single stage assessment during which the review team will communicate with the project team via the Fitwel reviewer port. This allows the reviewers to ask questions during the review process, and provides the project team with an opportunity to provide additional information and clarity.

        Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions.

        Danna Richey

      • Michael Clark AIA says:

        How does one become WELL certified?

      • Newcomb & Boyd says:

        Hi Michael,

        Thank you for your interest in the WELL certification. The process begins with registering the project and having a WELL AP on the design team to guide you. Here is a quick snapshot of the process:

        Well Certification

        We would be happy to assist you with any questions related to WELL certification if you have a project that is considering WELL certification.

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