What is Fitwel Certification?
Fitwel is a relatively new certification system developed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA). Unlike other Green Building certifications, Fitwel focuses on improving health within the built environment by providing feasible design and operations strategies to achieve that. This certification takes into consideration all aspects of a building or project site in regards to health, happiness and productivity. Fitwel’s vision is a healthier future where every building is enhanced to support wellbeing.
Who is eligible for Fitwel Certification?
Anyone! One of the great benefits of Fitwel is that it is more accessible than other certification processes. Fitwel uses “scorecards” to assess the applicable certification.
There are scorecards for Community or Commercial Sites where the entire building site can be certified.
For building certifications, there are scorecards for multi-tenant and single-tenant, commercial interiors (single tenant in a multi-tenant building), multifamily and retail. New and existing buildings can receive Fitwel certification. The certification process is relatively simple, less expensive than LEED certification and can be completed within 16 weeks.
Fitwel measures health within 12 areas of design and operations: Location, Building Access, Outdoor Spaces, Entrances and Ground Floor, Stairwells, Indoor Environment, Workspaces, Shared Spaces, Water Supply, Cafeterias and Prepared Food Retail, Vending Machines and Snack Bars, and Emergency Procedures, so it is important to evaluate whether Fitwel makes sense for your project.
Why Fitwel certify your property?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends approximately 90% of their time indoors. Because of this, creating a healthy built environment should be a priority for any building owner. Fitwel is a cost-effective way to ensure tenant and employee health, reduce absenteeism and foster productivity. Not only that, but achieving Fitwel Certification can be a useful marketing tool for a company to signal to employees, investors, and visitors that it cares about the health of it’s building’s occupants.
Fitwel addresses health holistically as an interconnected system, with no single dominant category or area of focus. Empirical evidence links Fitwel’s strategies to at least one of seven Health Impact Categories:
How does a building achieve Fitwel Certification?
There is a 6-step certification process for Fitwel:
- Register - Create an account and enter basic project information.
- Evaluate - Use Fitwel Scorecards to see how well your property measures up to each Fitwel Strategy.
- Benchmark - Archive your answers to the Fitwel strategies in order to benchmark your property’s progress.
- Submit - Upload required documentation demonstrating how you are utilizing and complying with Fitwel Strategies.
- Review - Within 12 weeks, Fitwel’s Certification Team will review your project, and provide comments for your project team’s response.
- Certification - If all is up to Fitwel Standards, your project will be designated a numerical score and corresponding Star Rating!
The Fitwel Star Rating system is as follows:
Green EconoME works with your team to complete the above steps and also handles all of the necessary paperwork.
When does Fitwel Certification expire?
Fitwel certification lasts for 3 years. Recertification is available at a reduced rate.