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Gaedeke Group, JBG Smith and The Meridian Group Collectively Certify 29 Million Square Feet at the Policy Level with Fitwel Viral Response Module
May 3, 2021
NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ -- Fitwel®, the healthy building certification system operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD), today announced the latest names in real estate to achieve its Viral Response Module (VRM) certification, designed to mitigate the transmission of infectious respiratory diseases within buildings. Gaedeke Group, JBG Smith and The Meridian Group have certified their operational policies at the enterprise level, while Boston Properties, Tower Companies, BentallGreenOak (BGO) and Alexandria Real Estate Equities have attained asset-level approval at their properties after achieving enterprise certification.
These milestones demonstrate how real estate investors and developers are responding to the challenges presented by COVID-19 by implementing Fitwel's evidence-based policies and practices to promote health and wellness across different asset classes while strengthening occupant trust. Collectively, Gaedeke Group, JBG Smith and The Meridian Group have certified policies covering more than 29 million square feet across multifamily, office and mixed-use properties in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the built environment and optimize the health and wellness of the occupants and employees at their properties.
"Industry leaders understand the strength of the science guiding our Virus Response Module certification and how its strategies work to measurably improve health and wellness in the built environment," said Reena Agarwal, Chief Operating Officer of CfAD. "Unlike other solutions that provide more generalized approaches to viral mitigation, Fitwel's VRM establishes best practices for companies to follow by setting minimum requirements that are necessary to mitigate viral transmission, while also providing turnkey policies to ensure an efficient and consistent approach to guide the industry. This two-pronged approach creates economies of scale, making it affordable to roll out an effective viral response across entire portfolios."
Mark King, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of The Meridian Group, stated, "We are very proud to be recognized as a national leader in finding innovative ways to create safer, healthier environments in our buildings. As the world emerges from the pandemic, we will continue to focus on the health, safety and well-being of everyone who enters our buildings."
Ben Myers, Vice President, Sustainability at BXP added, "As a company focused on developing and maintaining sustainable, healthy and productive workplaces, the VRM certification, at the enterprise and asset-level, is an additional layer of validation that the health security measures BXP has implemented are consistent with established science. Fitwel's science-based approach aligns with our efforts to operate our properties in a manner that supports the health and wellness of customers, employees, service providers, and other BXP building occupants. We are proud to have certified 8.8 million square feet of our portfolio in the asset-level program, with an additional 18.4 million square feet enrolled."
Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategies advanced in Fitwel's VRM were developed with input from a diverse group of public health experts from leading institutions such as Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Queensland University of Technology and prototyped by industry leaders to set the standard for mitigating the spread of contagious diseases across the built environment. While the VRM was developed in response to the pandemic, its strategies are not exclusive to COVID-19. Its methods can also help minimize the spread of other infectious respiratory diseases, including influenza and Legionnaires' disease.
Working toward certification, companies can apply policies to any portfolio, selection of assets or singular tenant space that have consistent operational practices, then submit to have their policies certified by CfAD in a six-week, double-blind review process. Once the certified strategies, policies and practices are implemented at the asset level, companies can apply for asset-level approval. This step verifies that the strategies have been put into practice and asset(s) become eligible to install a Viral Response Module certification decal. For more information on the Viral Response Module, click here.
About Fitwel and the Center for Active Design
Fitwel is the world's leading certification system committed to building health for all®. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel. The Center for Active Design, a global not-for-profit organization, was selected as the licensed operator of Fitwel, charged with expanding Fitwel to the global market. To learn more about Fitwel, please visit: www.fitwel.org.
About the Meridian Group
The Meridian Group is a real estate investment and development firm based in Bethesda, Md. Since its inception in 1993, Meridian has acquired and developed more than 14 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, mixed-use, and land with a focus on the metropolitan Washington, DC market. To learn more, visit Meridian's website at www.tmgdc.com.
About Boston Properties
Boston Properties (NYSE: BXP) is the largest publicly traded developer, owner, and manager of Class A office properties in the United States, concentrated in five markets—Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC. The Company is a fully integrated real estate company, organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT), that develops, manages, operates, acquires, and owns a diverse portfolio of primarily Class A office space. The Company's portfolio totals 51.2 million square feet and 196 properties, including six properties under construction/redevelopment. For more information about BXP, please visit our website at www.bxp.com or follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram.
SOURCE Center for Active Design
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