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ESD Headquarters Receives WELL Health-Safety Rating

By Tim Zelazny, RA, LEED AP, WELL AP, CPHC

Health and safety is a top priority amid pandemic.

We all have a role to play in the fight against COVID-19. We’re excited to announce that ESD’s Willis Tower headquarters has earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating, an evidence-based, third-party-verified rating that signifies the measures we’ve taken to support the health and safety of our employees.

Pursuing WELL Health-Safety Rating was a no-brainer. The rating supplements our previous LEED, Fitwel and Be Safe Chicago health and wellness certifications. It also verified via a third party our existing COVID-19 plans (i.e. return to work, business continuity, HVAC maintenance) with insights from the International WELL Building Institute Task Force on COVID-19, the CDC, WHO and ASHRAE.

Highlights of the WELL Health-Safety Rating on ESD employee’s health and safety include:

Cleaning and Sanitization
To reduce transmission through surface contact, ESD worked with Willis Tower to ensure that security check-in was touchless and janitorial staff was trained in high-touch surface cleaning and proper PPE use. Hand sanitizing stations were placed where touch-less measures were not an option.

Emergency Preparedness Programs
To minimize mental stress on our employees, ESD created a Business Continuity Plan to ensure that normal operating conditions would continue as the office seamlessly migrated to working from home.

Health Services Resources
ESD’s existing health benefits were reviewed, and we were awarded points for successfully communicating employee benefits, infectious disease testing, virtual mental health coaching and flu-shot access during work from home.

Air and Water Quality Management
The rating served as a tool for ESD to engage with the base building on confirming that MERV 13 filtration and increased ventilation was in place. As part of the rating’s annual recertification, ESD will continuously audit our office space to mitigate mold and moisture concerns at our tenant cooling equipment.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communication
Thermal screening stations were set up at each floor’s entry point to help screen for possible instances and communicate an added layer of reopening confidence.

We look forward to recertifying annually to ensure our office space remains healthy and safe for our employees post COVID-19.

To date, ESD has helped three base buildings and one tenant space achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating.

Want to learn more about WELL Health-Safety Rating? Reach out Tim.

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