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.
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.
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.
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.
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
*Images from fitwel.org