I recently became a Fitwel Ambassador. What is a Fitwel Ambassador you might ask? First let’s start with what is Fitwel. Fitwel is a certification system that assesses workplace design based on its impact on occupant health and wellbeing. Fitwel was developed by experts in public health and design including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA). Fitwel uses evidence-based design to assess design strategies’ impacts on health. Being a Fitwel Ambassador means that I have expertise in the concepts of evidence-based design, in evaluating and designing workplaces based on these concepts, and in utilizing the Fitwel Digital Scorecard.
This is a growing concern because of the chronic diseases that many Americans face and the growing body of evidence that connects these to office design. Most people spend nearly 90% of their time indoors; most of the awake hours at our place of work. Employees are deciding that a workplace which supports health is one that they want to be in. Employers who incorporate health and wellness into their workspace design are seeing better attraction and retention rates. JLL’s Global CRE Survey estimates that by 2018, 76% of companies will have initiatives focused on workplace experience. There is also a positive financial effect as well, lower healthcare costs, less absenteeism, and higher productivity. World Green Building Council recently published a paper Building the Business Case.
I’m excited about the value Arrowstreet can bring to our clients to create healthier workplaces. The Fitwel system is an important tool that will enhance our design process. It will allow us to evaluate tenant spaces, buildings, and campuses and use this evaluation to select the best space to lease or purchase. Fitwel will also allow us to assess client’s existing spaces and highlight the improvements that will have the most impact when look at renovating.