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Fitwel® Announces an 80% increase in Certifications in One Year, Showing a Surging Trend in Building for Health

The Center for Active Design, operator of Fitwel, Recognizes 17 Industry Leaders Advancing Best in Building Health

February 14, 2019, New York, NY—The Center for Active Design (CfAD) announces a sharp uptick in the application of the Fitwel Certification System, with an 80% increase in projects achieving certification between 2017 and 2018. Today, CfAD recognizes exceptional real estate, design, and consulting companies for their unique achievements in leading the industry towards building health.

“We see Fitwel’s rapid adoption as a response to the growing demand for healthy buildings and places, spanning from individuals, and employers, to institutional investors in real estate,” said Joanna Frank, president & CEO at CfAD. “We are committed to supporting industry-wide adoption—from existing buildings to new construction; from commercial and residential properties to affordable housing. We are proud of our partnership with Fannie Mae’s Healthy Housing RewardsTM, which provides affordable housing developers a financial incentive to prioritize health by applying Fitwel.”

Fitwel Certification System by the numbers: 650+ registered projects, impacting 570,000+ people, with 180+ projects certified or pending certification, 1,600+ global users and 1,000+ Fitwel Ambassadors, spanning 35+ countries. 42% of certified projects received a 1 Star Rating, which requires a minimum score of 90 out of 144 points; 33% received a 2 Star Rating and 11% a 3 Star Rating.

Fitwel 2018 Best in Building Health
Recognition Categories


Industry Leading Company: Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE)*

Alexandria has shown significant leadership in supporting human health and well-being through real estate assets. After being named the first Fitwel Champion in 2016, Alexandria certified six properties, five of which have received a 3 Star Rating and one of which has the highest score of any certified property to date. Alexandria continues to innovate and set a high bar for its building operations and developments, as demonstrated by its 2018 green bond and its stated goal to achieve Fitwel certifications for all new ground-up development projects.

“As a mission-driven company focused on advancing human health and improving quality of life, Alexandria is grateful to CfAD and the CDC for their leadership in creating Fitwel, and we are pleased that in turn we have been able to support its transformative impact on the commercial real estate industry since 2016,” said Ari Frankel, assistant vice president of sustainability & high performance buildings at Alexandria. “Fitwel will play an integral part in driving our ability to meet our industry-leading goal of achieving 50 healthy building certifications by 2025, and as part of our ongoing efforts to enable the success of our tenants and enhance their ability to attract and retain top talent.”

Industry Leader: Eleni Reed, Head of Sustainability — Americas, Lendlease

Over the past eight years, Eleni Reed has played a critical role in leading the industry in prioritizing health within buildings. As the Head of Sustainability at Lendlease, Eleni leads the implementation of health and well-being practices, both for employees and within the firm’s lines of business. In her prior role as the Chief Greening Officer at the US General Services Administration, Eleni was instrumental in driving healthy and productive workplaces across GSA’s real estate portfolio.

“As a leading global property and infrastructure solutions provider, Lendlease believes that sustainable economic growth, vibrant and resilient communities and a healthy planet and people are central to our vision to create the best places,” said Eleni Reed, head of sustainability—Americas at Lendlease. “Fitwel and the Assembly Guidelines are among the critical tools Lendlease is leveraging to set new benchmarks that advance health and wellbeing at the building and community scale in our developments.”

Greatest Number of Certifications

All-Time: Kilroy Realty Corporation*

Professional Consultant (2018): Verdani Partners*

Real Estate Company/Manager (2018): Brandywine Realty Trust* and Clarion Partners

Tenant (2018): Anthem, Inc.*

Greatest Impact

Most People Impacted: (1) Undisclosed Organization (2) Brandywine Realty Trust (3) QuadReal Property Group*

Highest Square Footage: (1) Brandywine Realty Trust (2) Vornado Realty Trust* (3) QuadReal Property Group

Highest Scores

Multifamily Residential: (1) The Tower Companies* – The Pearl; Silver Spring, MD, USA (2) Clarion Partners – Montclair Residences; Montclair, NJ, USA (3) AvalonBay Communities* – AVA NoMa; Washington, D.C., USA

Single-Tenant Building: (1) Anthem – Lytle office; Indianapolis, IN, USA (2) Undisclosed Financial Institution 3) U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention* – Atlanta, GA, USA

Multi-Tenant Base Building: (1) Menkes Developments Ltd* – One York Street; Toronto, Canada (2) Cushman & Wakefield* – 125 Broad Street; New York, NY, USA (3) QuadReal Property Group – South Core Financial; Toronto, Canada

Multi-Tenant Whole Building: Vornado Realty Trust – theMART; Chicago, IL, USA

Commercial Interior Space: (1) FOX Architects office – Washington, D.C., USA (2) Bupa Headquarters – London, UK (3) HDR* office – Arlington, VA, USA

Sara Neff, senior vice president, sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation
“At Kilroy Realty Corporation, we believe that buildings have the ability to promote the health and productivity of the people who work in them, which is why health is a core component of our ESG programs. Fitwel gives us clear guidance on what building features and programs are most likely to generate those positive outcomes.’

Ruby Gonzalez, director of certifications at Verdani Partners
“Multifamily and office tenants have become increasingly more interested in the quality of their indoor environment and the health programs offered at their properties. Through the adoption of Fitwel, we’ve seen great enhancements made to building efficiency and the quality of life for building occupants, communities and cities across the country.”

Joe Leahy, asset manager at Clarion Partners
“Historically, achieving green building certifications has been challenging. Through Fitwel, Clarion has incorporated cost-effective, health-focused improvements that will increase residents’ quality of life while adding value to our properties. We expect that these successful pilot projects will serve as case studies for future Clarion Fitwel projects.

Jerry Sweeney, president & CEO at Brandywine Realty Trust
“As a real estate company that prides itself on quality, integrity and innovation, it is extremely meaningful to hold the greatest number of Fitwel certifications within our office portfolio. In today’s workforce culture, the intersection of business and lifestyle has become increasingly intertwined, therefore we are committed to creating workplace environments that promote health and well-being, providing optimal opportunity for our tenants and their employees to thrive.”

Jamie Gray-Donald, senior vice-president, sustainability & EHS, enterprise innovation at QuadReal Property Group
“At QuadReal, we aim to create healthy, vibrant places that promote the wellbeing and productivity of our tenants, their employees and guests. Our partnership with Fitwel is an important one to us in meeting this commitment. With the foundation of the pilot project at three of our office buildings, we are dedicated to advancing the certification process more broadly. We thank our teams for how they embrace opportunities to deliver excellent customer experience and progressive industry standards.”

Jeffrey Abramson, partner at The Tower Companies
“Our goal was to design The Pearl with elements that promote an active lifestyle and enrich people’s lives and well-being. The Pearl is a home, a place where anyone can live a healthy, balanced, and full life with little effort. Fitwel has given us the tools to greatly enhance that experience for our residents and increase social interactions around shared goals for health.”

Mark Delisi, vice president of corporate responsibility at Avalon Bay Communities
“We are extremely pleased to have achieved our first Fitwel certification and the first multifamily certification in Washington, D.C. We know our residents care about living in a healthy environment, and providing this at AVA NoMa shows our purpose of creating a better way to live encompasses healthy living, too.”

Sean Menkes, director, office/retail at Menkes Developments Ltd.
“Fitwel was a natural step for us as responsible building owners and managers, and it’s especially meaningful to be recognized as a leader in the industry. This achievement aligns with the Company’s sustainability efforts, and builds on our past successes in the area of wellness in real estate, which we will continue to improve upon at our new office developments – 100 Queens Quay East and Waterfront Innovation Centre. Furthermore, Fitwel supports our Healthy Spaces Program, which launched in 2017 and has been well received by our tenants.”

Jenn Mahon, senior sustainability coordinator at Sustainable Investment Group
Certified 125 Broad Street
“At SIG, our clients have been more and more interested in this certification to show their commitment to the wellness movement we are seeing in the industry. Property management teams are understanding that tenant health and happiness are big drivers in employee retention and productivity; and see Fitwel as a great tool to respond to this.”

Alex Spilger, director of sustainability at Cushman & Wakefield
“125 Broad Street has demonstrated their strong commitment to sustainable operations and occupant well-being. They did a great job with incorporating the principles of health & wellbeing into the built environment. Highlights include ample daylight, fresh air, healthy food and excellent walkability. We are proud to have 125 Broad Street recognized as one of the highest-rated Fitwel Certifications in the US.”

Bob Fox, managing principal at FOX Architects
“We have always had a culture that is centered on valuing our people, and in designing our own space, we had a unique opportunity to authentically demonstrate our values. Fitwel was valuable in setting rigorous standards that support the health and wellbeing of our team in a purposeful and meaningful way. It enabled us to physically validate the value that we can bring to those who are considering new and healthier workplaces.”

Paul Zollinger-Read, chief medical officer at Bupa
“Our interior space underpins our aim of creating a truly healthy workplace and our commitment to take care of the environment. By having 100% sit-stand workstations; using materials that don’t give off toxic gases; natural light; green spaces both indoors and outdoors, and flexible working spaces, we are able to support peoples’ wellbeing at work. It’s no secret that a healthy work environment strongly links to employee health and wellbeing and done the right way can help to take care of the environment too.”

Steve Manlove, managing principal and vice president at HDR
“Protecting the health of our people and the planet is our priority at HDR. We know that indoor environmental quality greatly impacts the livelihood and longevity of every single person who uses this space, and taking steps to promote physical activity, access to healthy food options, and overall wellbeing is a responsibility we take very seriously. The philosophy behind Fitwel is how we service our clients and how we take care of ourselves – it’s how we approach everything we do.”



Fitwel and the Center for Active Design
Named one of Fast Company’s 2017 Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Good, Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system that optimizes buildings to support health. Generated by expert analysis of over 3,000 academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and wellbeing. Fitwel was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the Center for Active Design, a global not-for-profit organization selected as the licensed operator of Fitwel in 2016, with the mandate to expand Fitwel globally to the private sector.