Co.Exist (10/04/16) Leber, Jessica
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA) recently released Fitwel, a new health and wellness standard for buildings. Fitwel seeks to help employers assess all design factors that go into creating a healthy workplace, including the proximity to public transit, bike parking, indoor air quality, healthy food access, and stairwell design. The certification uses the latest scientific research to establish a checklist and scorecard so employers can grade their building's health and areas that could use improvement. The Perkins+Will global architecture company is the first firm to employ Fitwel, and they say they will apply it to all of their North American offices, as well as work with clients who are interested in the standard. Perkins+Will CEO Phil Harrison says the certification will help the firm concentrate on operational facets of wellness that architects are less attentive to, such as access to fresh vegetables or on-premise gardens. "All the things that make any organization thrive or operate in a more high-performance way are rooted in human well-being," Harrison says. "It seems like more and more of our design projects are starting with that."