New Fitwel wellness-focused building certification gains traction

by Brianna Crandall — March 13, 2017 — The new Fitwel building certification program for health and productivity has garnered significant market traction during its soft launch phase through its Champion and Ambassador programs, and has been recognized as a 2017 Most Innovative Company in Social Good by Fast Company, indicating a perceived need for this type of program in the workplace.

Fitwel is a cost-effective, high-impact building certification system that optimizes building occupant health and productivity through targeted improvements to workplace design and operational policies. Fitwel has a vision for a healthier future where every building is enhanced to support the well-being of its occupants and surrounding communities.

Fitwel’s development was led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA). The Center for Active Design is the operator of Fitwel, leading its widespread adoption and future development.

2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies

Fitwel was honored as one of the 2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good by Fast Company, recognizing Fitwel’s ability to catalyze industry transformation of workplaces to promote health.

Most Innovative Companies is said to be one of Fast Company’s most significant and highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. To produce the 2017 list, Fast Company reporters survey thousands of enterprises across the globe to identify the most notable innovations of the year and trace the impact of those initiatives on business, industry, and the larger culture.

Fitwel Champions

The Center for Active Design also announced five new Fitwel Champions, leading companies and institutions that have committed to applying Fitwel’s evidence-based design and operational strategies in all or a portion of their real estate workplace portfolios.

Fitwel Champions are early adopters of Fitwel’s innovative approach to health and wellness, and are key to advancing Fitwel’s mission of creating a workplace culture that embraces performance-enhancing, healthy and human-centric environments. Champion companies will certify their own properties and advise Fitwel on future versions of the tool.

The Fitwel Champions are:

  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation’s health protection agency
  • EYP Inc., a global provider of high-performance building design, research and consulting services
  • Hord Coplan Macht (HCM), an award-winning architecture firm that practices an integrated approach to design excellence with environmental sustainability
  • Integral Group, a global engineering firm delivering sustainable solutions to buildings and communities, with a focus on health and wellness for staff and clients
  • Menkes Developments Ltd, an award-winning, fully integrated real estate company involved in the construction, ownership and management of office, industrial and residential properties

Fitwel says it is proud to partner with diverse organizations that will prove all buildings can impact health, regardless of size, budget, and year built. Champions have committed to applying Fitwel to properties across the United States, Canada, and the U.K. during the soft launch period.

Fitwel Ambassadors

The Center for Active Design also announced that over 100 individuals from leading design, development, and sustainability companies have registered to become Fitwel Ambassadors.

Fitwel Ambassadors are leaders in the healthy building movement who are well versed on the evidence-based connection between workplaces, health and productivity. They are also trained on how to best use the Fitwel Digital Scorecard to help companies track progress and attain Fitwel certification.

CoreNet Global / CBRE Group survey

Demand for workplace environments that support occupant health has increased as companies are recognizing the significant impact on employee health and their bottom line. A recent survey conducted by CoreNet Global and CBRE Group found that companies that focus on employee health and wellness report decreases in absenteeism and increases in engagement and retention rates.

Furthermore, 90 percent of firms surveyed report that they have already piloted or are currently implementing workplace designs that promote health. Of the companies that have focused wellness goals, 19 percent reported a decrease in absenteeism, 25 percent reported increased retention, and 47 percent reported increased employee engagement.

According to CfAD Executive Director Joanna Frank,

The early success of Fitwel is an indication that companies are now, more than ever, eager and excited to use design and operational strategies that are supported by scientific evidence when seeking to promote the health and productivity of employees or tenants. We thank each of our Champions for taking a leadership position in setting a standard for health promotion within the workplace.

For more information, visit the Fitwel Web site.