The Center for Active Design (CfAD) today announces the 2020 winners of Best in Building Health, its flagship recognition program that identifies the leading firms enhancing human health via Fitwel, the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all. Winners reflect notable geographic diversity—including projects from Thailand, Ireland and Sweden—confirming the rapid expansion of Fitwel’s global reach. The number of countries implementing Fitwel-certified projects has doubled over the last year to generate health impacts across four continents.
The 20 firms recognized as the Best in Building Health also reflect industry diversity, including national and multinational real estate companies, affordable housing, architecture and engineering, consulting, technology, construction, healthcare, and more. By applying the evidence-based Fitwel standard across their portfolios, these leaders are demonstrating their commitment to enhancing human health while maximizing appeal to occupants, investors, and community stakeholders.
“Fitwel was launched into the market just 3 years ago, and from the outset we’ve seen strong and growing demand from individuals to investors,” says Joanna Frank, CfAD’s president & CEO. “Today’s winners exemplify the industry-leading companies who are using Fitwel to attract and retain talented employees, ensure the success of their businesses, and foster the wellbeing of residents. Our team is thrilled to present them with this esteemed recognition.”
CfAD will convene Best in Building Health winners and other Fitwel leaders on February 27th at the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco. This year’s event will feature new awards that reflect Fitwel’s growing breadth of impact, including recognition of Quartier des lumières in Montreal, Canada, the frontrunning project to pilot the Fitwel Community Scorecard. This brand-new standard for neighborhood-scale development was released for public use on January 30, along with a Commercial Sites Scorecard.
Additionally, two firms—QuadReal Property Group and Harrison Street—will receive the distinguished Industry Leadership award, which is offered at the discretion of CfAD to honor companies demonstrating exceptional innovation in advancing Fitwel’s commitment to building health for all. These winners go above and beyond Fitwel implementation practices to cultivate new tools and resources that make health-promoting strategies more accessible to a wide range of practitioners and advance market transformation, such as QuadReal’s Office Guide to Building Health.
“At QuadReal, we are proud of our partnership with the Center for Active Design to develop the Office Guide for Building Health as part of our commitment to making a positive impact on the health and productivity of our tenants and residents. Continuing to work towards Fitwel certifications in our portfolio is vital to maintaining our overall sustainability goals," says Jamie Gray-Donald, senior vice president, sustainability & EHS at QuadReal Property Group.
“At Harrison Street, ESG is an integral part of both our investment strategy and overall culture. We continually work to deepen positive impacts on the lives we touch, as demonstrated by our strong focus around wellness. We want the buildings we own to be the gold standard in health and safety for our tenants, residents, and staff,” states Jill Brosig, chief impact officer at Harrison Street. “CfAD/Fitwel has been a tremendous partner in helping us define, design, and measure what healthy means in our asset classes, especially given the nuances of the senior and student populations we serve. We are honored to be recognized for the Best in Building Health 2020 Industry Leadership Award. This is a testament that what we are doing together is making a difference, and we look forward to continuing to enhance our partnership with CfAD and Fitwel.”
Fitwel by the numbers. Since March 2017, Fitwel has been used by 980+ registered projects, impacting 820,000+ people, with 370+ projects certified or pending certification. 57% of certified projects received a 1 Star Rating, which requires a minimum score of 90 out of 144 points; 32% received a 2 Star Rating; and 7% a 3 Star Rating.
Best in Building HealthTM 2020
Award Recognition Categories
Special Recognition for Industry Leadership
Industry Leading Company: QuadReal Property Group
Industry Leading Company: Harrison Street
Special Recognition for All-Time Performance
Fitwel Excellence Award (Most Certifications of All-Time): Kilroy Realty Corporation
Fitwel Promise Award (Most Registrations of All-Time): Anthem, Inc.
Fitwel Impact Award (All-Time Highest Scoring Project): Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. – Alexandria LaunchLabs® at the Alexandria Center® at One Kendall Square; Cambridge, MA, United States
Greatest Number of Certifications (2019)
Professional Consultant: Verdani Partners
Building Owner: Boston Properties
Tenant: Clark Construction Group
Greatest Number of Registrations (2019)
Professional Consultant: Goby
Building Owner/Manager: LaSalle Investment Management and Jones Lang LaSalle
Greatest Impact on Building Health (2019)
Most People Impacted: Paramount Group (owner) / Sustainable Investment Group (consultant)
Highest Square Footage: Boston Properties
2019 Highest Scoring Projects
Commercial Interior Space v2: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. – Alexandria LaunchLabs® at the Alexandria Center® at One Kendall Square. Cambridge, MA, United States
Commercial Interior Space v2.1: Tenant & Partner - Norr Mälarstrand 14 Stockholm. Stockholm, Sweden
Single-Tenant Building v2.1: Undisclosed Company
Single-Tenant Building v2.1: SCG Consulting - The Stock Exchange of Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand
Multi-Tenant Base Building v2: Skanska USA - Bank of America Tower. Houston, TX, United States
Multi-Tenant Base Building v2.1: Lothbury Investment Management (owner) / Workman LLP (manager) - The Paragon. Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Multi-Tenant Whole Building v2: Lemay - Phénix. Montréal, Québec, Canada
Multifamily Residential v2: Gerding Edlen - ZO. Oakland, CA, United States
Multifamily Residential v2.1: GID (owner) / Verdani Partners (consultant) - Element 47 by Windsor. Denver, CO, United States
Fitwel Community v2.1: MACH (owner) / Lemay (consultant) - Quartier des lumières. Montréal, Québec, Canada
Sara Neff, senior vice president, sustainability at Kliroy Realty Corporation
"Our goal is to provide best-in-class work environments that foster innovation, and we believe that those environments have to help our tenants stay healthy. Fitwel helps focus on the active design features that will best enable us to maximize tenant health outcomes in our properties."
Hakon Mattson, director of sustainability at Anthem, Inc
“Anthem strives to build for health—in our offices and in our communities. We have certified a quarter of our office space under Fitwel and continue to wake up each day looking for ways to improve the impact we have on the world. This recognition is a testament to that great effort.”
Ari Frankel, assistant vice president of sustainability and high performance buildings at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
“As a mission-driven company focused on advancing human health and improving the quality of people’s lives, we are proud to be recognized by CfAD and Fitwel for our dedication to creating and operating dynamic campuses and cutting-edge spaces that support the highest levels of health and wellness for our innovative tenants and LaunchLabs members. Fitwel remains important to our ongoing efforts to foster the well-being and productivity of our innovative tenants, which enhances their ability to attract and retain top talent and ultimately enables them to discover and develop the scientific breakthroughs that will benefit humankind.”
Ruby Gonzalez, senior director of certifications at Verdani Partners
“Working with the Fitwel certification system has deepened our certifications consulting by giving us the opportunity to educate our clients about the benefits of addressing health as an interconnected system for building occupants. We present Fitwel’s evidence-based strategies and work with clients to identify how to implement programs across selected buildings in their portfolios as they work towards improving the overall health of their properties in communities around the world. We really believe in the value of these certifications to improve quality of life for tenants and residents as Fitwel continues to grow in influence in the real estate industry.”
Ben Myers, vice president, sustainability at Boston Properties
“We are thrilled by the recognition and BXP’s substantial progress in 2019. Our strategy has long been to develop, own, and operate “A Buildings, in A Locations.” We’re making that “Healthy Buildings in Healthy Locations” by strengthening our partnership with Center for Active Design, adding 12 million SF of Fitwel certifications to our portfolio, raising awareness in our regions, and by advancing our healthy building strategy at the Back Bay Station Office Tower development.”
Fernando Arias, director of sustainability at Clark Construction
“Providing our employees across the country with a safe and healthy work environment reaffirms our commitment to being a health-conscious, collaborative company. The journey to become Fitwel champions has allowed us to be a better advisor to our clients looking to build state-of-the-art, healthy workplaces.”
Sean Daley, vice president, ESG at Goby, Inc.
"Aligning with Fitwel allows Goby to further support our clients ESG goals and strategy by helping our clients demonstrate and communicate their commitment to occupant and building health. Fitwel has quickly become a client and consultant favorite, and we’ve seen the demand for Fitwel certification and support grow significantly in the last year."
Eric Duchon, managing director, global head of sustainability at LaSalle Investment Management
“JLL and LaSalle together are proud to be recognized for having the greatest number of registrations in 2019. At LaSalle, the Fitwel standard aligns well to our multifamily investment strategy focus on the health and well-being of our residents. We look forward to certifying these registered properties in 2020!”
Crissy Halley, vice president, energy & sustainability at Jones Lang LaSalle
"JLL strives to provide innovative solutions to our clients that promote health and wellness in the built environment. We are pleased to be recognized as a Best in Building Health 2020 award winner for our leadership in the healthy building movement. JLL works closely with the Center for Active Design to ensure our projects involving public and private spaces support optimal quality of life and public health."
Peggy Brannigan, senior program manager, global sustainability at LinkedIn
“At LinkedIn, we build green and healthy workplaces to support the health and wellbeing of our employees and the local community. We appreciate standards like Fitwel that provide a roadmap for strong indoor environmental quality and responsible operations. Important factors like air quality, ventilation, acoustics, and architectural features that encourage people to get up and move really do enable our Talent to thrive.”
Charlie Cichetti, CEO + co-founder at Sustainable Investment Group
“Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is proud to partner with Paramount Group in navigating the wellness real estate options for their portfolio. Paramount Group has had a lot of success with high-level LEED and Energy Star Certifications, and a healthy building certification was a logical next step for them. We are excited to already have earned several Fitwel Certifications as an early adopter to the program and are looking forward to even more in 2020.”