Two certifications focus on a healthier building environment

Two certification programs respond to today’s need for healthier buildings. The WELL Building Standard (WELL) and Fitwel have both have been implemented at leading global organizations. Their common purpose is to improve the health and well-being of building occupants.

WELL certification

International WELL Building Standard Logo

4,288 projects across 62 countries are applying WELL Building Standard. This is bringing optimal working conditions to better protect human health in over 572 million square feet of building space.

WELL has core categories that focus on occupant health and wellbeing:[1]

  • Air quality
  • Water quality
  • Nourishment
  • Fitness
  • Light
  • Comfort
  • Mind

Once the building is completed and occupied, an assessor evaluates it. Registrants have up to 5 years to complete the certification. To maintain the certification, WELL must be recertified every 3 years.

Fitwel certification

Fitwel Logo

Over 1,000 projects in more than 40 countries have registered with Fitwel. The program’s core categories Fitwel focus on the places and functions of a building:[2]

  • Its location
  • Access to it
  • Outdoor spaces around it
  • Entrances and ground floor
  • Stairwells
  • The indoor environment
  • Workspaces
  • Shared spaces
  • Water supply
  • Cafeterias and prepared food retail
  • Vending machines and snack bars
  • Emergency procedures

Fitwel Certification is valid for three years.

News and Notes items accompany the longer articles found in ecoPreserve’s newsletter, Sharing Sustainability. Several issues of the newsletter can be previewed here.

[1] WellCertified.com
[2] Fitwel.org

Alexa Stone
LEED AP, Sustainable Facility Professional, Envision Sustainability Professional - - Alexa has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable operations, decarbonization, and occupant wellness. Her strategic planning work has served local, state, and federal government, higher education, and private industry. Alexa founded ecoPreserve in 2009 as a team of three and has grown the company to over 20 of the brightest sustainability and project management professionals in the industry.
Alexa Stone

@ecopreserve

We empower organizations to reduce environmental impact, improve efficiency, and improve quality of life.
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Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

Facility Condition Report

The report is prepared in accordance with the recommendations of ASTM E2018-15, Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments. This is a partial list of contents:

  • PHYSICAL CONDITION
    • General condition of the building, grounds, and appurtenances
    • Physical deficiencies, their significance, and suggested remedies
    • Photographs
    • Safety issues observed
  • INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPREAD POTENTIAL
  • OPPORTUNITIES
    • Potential operating efficiencies
    • Electricity and water use reductions
    • High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting
  • ORDER OF MAGNITUDE RENOVATION BUDGET
    • Recommended interior finishes
    • Construction costs

Risk Mitigation Improvements

  • IAQ
    • Airflow
    • Temperature and humidity
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC EQUIPMENT
    • Settings
    • Conditions
    • Capability
    • Filtration
  • FLOORPLAN
    • Traffic patterns
  • FURNISHINGS
    • Placement for social distancing
    • Clear barriers where social distancing is not possible

Interior Elements

  • Foundation
  • Building frame and roof
  • Structural elements
    • Floors, walls, ceilings
    • Access and egress
    • Vertical transportation (escalators and elevators)
  • HVAC equipment and ductwork
  • Utilities
    • Electrical
    • Plumbing
  • Safety and fire protection

Grounds and Appurtenances

  • Façades or curtainwall
  • Topography
  • Storm water drainage
  • Paving, curbing, and parking
  • Flatwork
  • Landscaping
  • Recreational facilities
Here's how to request further information. Thank you for reaching out!

AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

Optionally, ecoPreserve's can assist with a comprehensive GBAC STAR™ Accreditation which extends beyond the building to include the goals, actions, equipment, and supplies needed to implement best practices for outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.

An OPTIMIZED Assessment

Certified Sustainability Consultants on a facility assessment team can discover ways to lower energy costs. Their understanding of HVAC equipment suitability and condition along with the specifics of LED lighting retrofits can provide offsets for needed investments in upgrades and replacements.

Knowledge of water systems can bring further savings while averting water waste. It can all be part of an assessment which might otherwise overlook water fixtures and irrigation schedules.

How should a facility be ASSESSED?

A thorough facility assessment finds the issues - on the surface or below - which have a potential negative impact on the building. That brings the facility to meet building codes. Beyond that, the assessment proactively addresses the deficiencies not covered by code.

The occupants of a building benefit as the assessment reveals conditions having a potential impact on their health or safety. The assessment must not overlook those conditions, nor fail to consider the frequency and duration of occupant visits.