Over a very short period of time, Fitwel has established itself as a leading health and wellbeing-related certification scheme for the built environment.
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.
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.
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:
- Occupant health, wellbeing and productivity
A healthier building improves occupants’ wellbeing, productivity and satisfaction, increasing employee retention rates, company attractiveness and reputation.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The Business Case for Healthy Buildings: Insights from Early Adopters. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute, 2018
Reference Guide for the Fitwel Certification System. Center for Active Design. New York, NY. Version 2. July 2018