Integral Group’s Oakland Office Receives Third Fitwel Certification for Firm
Oakland, CA: We are proud to announce Integral Group’s Oakland office is third in the firm to become Fitwel Certified, a recognition of Integral Group’s commitment to green engineering and healthy work spaces. Fitwel has awarded the Oakland office a 2-Star Certification through the Center for Active Design for its efforts to optimize building occupant health and productivity through targeted improvements. Earlier this year, the London office became the first Fitwel Certified office in Europe and the Toronto office became the first Fitwel Certified office in Canada.
Fitwel is an evidence-based third-party rating system for buildings developed and tested by experts in public health and design over a five year process. Utilizing point-based scorecard, the organization judges buildings by addressing a broad range of health and wellness behaviors impacting workplace design and operational policies.
To achieve the certification requirements, the Oakland team relied on London and Toronto office certifications to accelerate their process, especially with capturing language and marketing material, and creating consistency throughout the firm. Oakland also leveraged transit and commuter data from Integral Group’s JUST Label as well as the office’s existing Indoor Air Quality and Integrated Pest Management plans from its LEED CI certification.
When asked what this certification will mean for Oakland staff, Sustainability Coordinator, Feby Boediarto said “Health and wellness is a part of a productive workspace design, and we are seriously implementing both design and programming for the wellbeing of our employees. The Fitwel certificate for the Oakland office is a baseline to understand what we need to implement for a healthy workspace. Additionally, this certification system unifies us with our other offices and helps us hold each other accountable to implement and improve healthy practices.”
Sr. Sustainability Consultant Megan White responded, “We have a framework and a language that can be shared across offices and helps us to identify areas of opportunity to continue to improve our workplaces in support of human health. Fitwel is a rating system that reminds us what defines sustainability, an intersection of people and planet. As we commit to wellness and health design and programming to our office, we can share best practices with our clients.”
“And it means for us to recognize where the challenges lie before we offer this as a consulting service to our clients,” added Sustainability Coordinator, Catherine James O’Hare, “Our experience with Fitwel presents a well-rounded view of occupant health in terms of advocacy and building design. It feels a lot more accessible for people outside of our industry. It is a step stool to get to some more sophisticated attributes.”
Next in line for certification are Integral Group’s Vancouver and Los Angeles offices. The teams in Oakland, London, and Toronto are already supporting the process remotely for those offices, while weaving in new data points and key performance indicators from the firm’s development of its Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility (CSER) policy. The Sustainability group is also positioning itself to handle the unique challenges other offices might face in their certification process.
Feby noted, “The Fitwel system is straight-forward and accessible to existing buildings. However, I am assisting Los Angeles with Fitwel and their office is located in a high-rise that is only a 1/10 of the floor space which is tricky because Fitwel caters more easily to whole buildings and entire floors. Regardless, I think Fitwel is an important step to achieve wellness design programming. It helps us figure out a concise way to disseminate information and encourage creating healthier spaces.”
About Fitwel: Fitwel is a cost-effective, high impact building certification system that optimizes building occupant health and productivity through targeted improvements to workplace design and operational policies. Fitwel has a vision for a healthier future where every building is enhanced to support the well-being of its occupants and surrounding communities. Fitwel’s development was led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the General Services Administration. The Center for Active Design is the operator of Fitwel, leading its widespread adoption and future development.