Fitwel: Five ways Fitwel could benefit you and your buildings

Fitwel was introduced in pilot form in 2014 and officially launched in November 2017. Current uptake statistics are impressive:

  • 95 buildings certified;
  • 620 projects registered;
  • 942 users; and,
  • 661 Fitwel ambassadors in over 22 countries.[1]

The concept of health and wellbeing has evolved over time and progressively broadened to incorporate a huge number of issues and considerations within the real estate sustainability sector. Certification schemes like Fitwel [and WELL] are commensurately wide-ranging, and cover factors related to the indoor environment as well as aspects such as healthy foods, outdoor amenities and green spaces, among others.

Critically, these schemes weight different issues according to their level of scientific evidence and their degree of impact on health. With its 63 evidence-based strategies, Fitwel enables recent research on health and wellbeing to be practically implemented in our daily lives, whether it is in our offices or homes. Its research background is robust, with over 3,000 scientific studies incorporated and input garnered from multiple stakeholders.[2]

Fitwel enables recent research on health and wellbeing to be practically implemented in our daily lives, whether it is in our offices or homes

I have personally embarked upon the health and wellbeing journey by initially qualifying as a Fitwel Ambassador. I have started in this way as I believe that health and wellbeing certifications offer several multidimensional benefits towards people, the environment and have the potential to materially contribute towards securing a better future for both.


Five major benefits of certifying your assets through Fitwel:

  1. Occupant health, wellbeing and productivity
    A healthier building improves occupants’ wellbeing, productivity and satisfaction, increasing employee retention rates, company attractiveness and reputation.
  2. Tenant attraction, retention, longer lease terms and capital value
    We have arrived at a time where location, aesthetics, condition [etc] are not the only ones that will influence and determine your building’s attractiveness. Fitwel could be a tool to improve your building’s facilities, efficiency and even originality, following sometimes only very minor changes.
  3. A framework for a stronger strategy for the future
    Fitwel helps you to verify your approach to health and wellbeing, incorporating health and safety procedures, procurement and supply chain, sustainability and transparency. Additionally, through recertification every three years, Fitwel ensures that your building performance is not only maintained but also [and ideally] continually improved.
  4. Better practices and behaviours contribute to wiser asset and resource management
    Fitwel could push the boundaries of your overall management strategy at the asset level, resulting in the delivery of not only health and wellbeing-related infrastructure improvements, but also general improvements in tenant engagement/management practices, which may ultimately lead to increases in tenant satisfaction. These can benefit the overall performance of the building and increase the property and facilities managers’ consideration and awareness of tenant needs.
  5. Science-based and continuously evolving
    Fitwel’s strategies follow the latest research on health and wellbeing. Aligning to Fitwel therefore provides a way to ensure that your buildings meet the current and future health and wellbeing related requirements of its occupants.

Finally, we all love better looking, more efficient and pleasant cities. Each building resembles a piece of a puzzle for a healthier and better looking future. Fitwel is a way of contributing to the wider community and be at the forefront of future innovation.

If you’d like to know more about health and wellbeing and the Fitwel certification, do not hesitate to get in touch with our consultancy team.


[1]The Business Case for Healthy Buildings: Insights from Early Adopters. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute, 2018
[2]Reference Guide for the Fitwel Certification System. Center for Active Design. New York, NY. Version 2. July 2018

EVORA revealed as finalists in Edie’s Sustainability Leaders Awards

In EVORA’s first year of entering, we are thrilled to be finalists in three categories for the Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019.

We are proud to be finalists in the ‘Consultancy of the Year’ category, along with a number of other outstanding organisations and we also made the list of finalists for the ‘Energy Efficiency’ category with our client Schroder Real Estate Investment Management.

Our Founder and Managing Director, Chris Bennett is also one of the finalists for ‘Energy Management Leader of the Year’ and will be presenting to the panel of judges later in the year.

Chris said, “This is an amazing accomplishment for EVORA. We have doubled in size over the last year and have built a really forward-thinking team, we’re also very fortunate to be working with some great clients. It’s wonderful to be recognised for the work that we are doing in the real estate sustainability sector and we have some really exciting plans on the horizon.”

The team looks forward to meeting fellow finalists and judges at the awards ceremony on 6 February.

There were a record-breaking number of entries this year for the awards, which have undergone a major revamp, with a new judging panel and additional new categories for 2019. The awards are a celebration of organisations who are embedding sustainability in their operations, business models and products, the winners are in the vanguard of sustainability and are driving demonstrable results through innovation, engagement and a commitment to doing business better.

You can find the full shortlist here.

EVORA’s Associate Director, Oli Pye, selected to join WELL Portfolio Advisory

Oli Pye, Associate Director has been invited by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) to be part of the 2018-2019 WELL Portfolio advisory.

Oli joins a select group of leading industry professionals who will guide the continuous evolution of the WELL Portfolio Pathway pilot, a new streamlined pathway for WELL Certification for multiple new or existing buildings and tenant spaces in a single portfolio.

Being released as part of the WELL v2 pilot, the latest iteration of the WELL Building Standard (WELL), WELL Portfolio is part of a suite of enhancements to WELL that addresses growing demand across the building industry for a program that helps owners, developers and tenants streamline and scale health and wellness upgrades to their real estate assets.

“Since we launched WELL, we’ve seen an explosion of interest from global companies to bring the same health and wellness benefits across their portfolios,” said IWBI Chairman and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. “The commitment of our early adopters who are now sharing their knowledge in this advisory role is what will make this process realizable for more companies and positively impact more people in every corner of the globe.”

The WELL Portfolio advisory includes a collection of professionals, practitioners and experts across a range of industries and sectors who will help shape and advance the implementation of the WELL Portfolio program.

Advisors will work with IWBI throughout the year to help ensure that WELL Portfolio continues to align with the latest industry research, meets user needs and raises the bar for healthy, high-performing buildings around the world.

Oli said, “I’m delighted to have been invited onto the panel with my fellow WELL Portfolio Advisors and I’m looking forward to supporting the programme.”

You can read more here.

Do sustainability professionals ever ‘switch off?’

It’s official: despite my best efforts, I cannot switch off from work.

It has slowly been creeping into my life away from the office without me even realising it. Don’t get me wrong, as a sustainability professional I am more than happy to recycle at home, switch off lights, nag my friends into action, and do various other things as part of ‘my bit’ for the environment. But lately it has been entering other areas of my life unannounced. I thought it would be interesting to share my experiences in the hope I’m not the only one!


Example 1 – Watching TV. I had a bit of a binge watch of the series ‘Mad Men’ on Netflix recently (for anyone who watched it first time round you will realise I am about 10 years late to this programme!). It has been described by some TV experts as the most historically accurate portrayal of the era out of any show which has made it to the small screen. The sexism and racism is, at times, jaw dropping, the costumes are spot on and everyone smoking and drinking heavily throughout the day is a well-established norm.

And yet, for all the things they got right (I am having to base this on other peoples’ opinions as I was born in the 80s!), there is one glaring error which ruins the show…..the lighting. The camera is regularly angled upwards to show row upon row of perfectly illuminated square LED panels – a major oversight for a show set in the 1960s/1970s!

Example 2 – The shopping experience. Long do I yearn for the days when I would simply walk into shops to buy things. Now however, my first thought is always the temperature. 98% of the time, shops do not take into account the fact that customers will be wearing clothes suitable for the external weather conditions. For example, if it’s 0ºC outside, they will be wrapped up appropriately, and the last thing they’ll want is to walk into a shop which is reminiscent of a sauna and be baked like an arctic explorer in the Amazon. Cue me walking into a shop and swiftly leaving after five seconds (which happens regularly!).

Example 3 – Going for dinner or drinks. Currently, the trend seems to be for bars and restaurants to be fitted out in a ‘vintage’ style, including filament style lightbulbs. My first thought when I walk into these places is whether they are actually old high wattage filament bulbs or a sneaky LED alternative (which can be very realistic). Cue my attempts to try and touch the lights to see how much heat is being given off, prompting some very shifty looks from the bar staff.

So, it seems that I am destined to never ‘switch off’ from the job. However, I take solace in the fact that the above scenarios are not life threatening and do not keep me awake at night (like some jobs must). Instead it has formed an integral, albeit mildly annoying, part of my sub-conscious that will likely never fade.