Washington, D.C. based real estate developer and recognized sustainability leader, The Tower Companies, announced today that it has achieved the first-ever Fitwel certification for a multifamily residential building. This exemplary designation was awarded to The Pearl, a premier luxury apartment community in downtown Silver Spring, Md., receiving a 2 Star Fitwel Rating from the Center for Active Design (CfAD), the operator of Fitwel.
The Fitwel Certification System fosters positive impacts on occupant health and wellbeing through improvements to building design and operations. Developed by experts in public health and design, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA), Fitwel is a cost-effective, high-impact, and evidence-based building certification system.
The Pearl received a 2 Star Fitwel Rating by incorporating nearly 50 unique evidence-based design and policy strategies that support the physical, mental, and social health of its residents. One such strategy is providing ample open and green space for residents to stay active, unwind, and connect with their community. These outdoor spaces include a courtyard with restorative gardens, a playground, fitness equipment, an urban farm, and more health-promoting amenities. The Pearl also invites residents to breathe easy as a tobacco, vapor, and smoke-free community, in addition to having a stringent indoor air quality policy. Elevators are not in sight upon entering The Pearl, where instead, a glass stairwell encourages residents to climb the stairs and develop everyday habits that lead to better health. Friendly reminders are also in place at all elevator call areas promoting the health and environmental benefits of taking the stairs.

“Our goal was to design The Pearl with elements that promote an active lifestyle and enrich people’s lives by giving them a sense of still and calm,” said Jeffrey Abramson, partner at The Tower Companies. “The Pearl is a home, a place where anyone can live a healthy, balanced, and full life with little effort. The Fitwel Certification System has given us the tools to greatly enhance that experience for our residents.”
“We applaud The Tower Companies for their industry leadership as the first entity to certify a multifamily residential building with Fitwel,” said Lisa Creighton, Vice President of Development and Strategy at the Center for Active Design.  "The Pearl marks a major milestone for Fitwel’s ability to positively impact resident health, setting a high bar for how the development community can integrate health-promoting design and operational strategies within their multifamily projects.”
Tower, a Fitwel Champion as of January 2018, is committed to certifying more properties across its portfolio using the Fitwel Certification System. The company will now shift its focus to certifying its commercial office properties in Maryland for the next phase of this work.