The Smart City Podcast is featuring ESD Practice Leader for High Performance Buildings Andrew Lehrer as it explores the catalysts sparking sustainability in the real estate industry and how electricity plays a key role in the process. (Listen to the Building Electrification podcast.)
What sustainability rating do I choose to help me reopen with confidence?
In the last two months, there has been a lot of movement since our last blog post in response to COVID-19 and returning to work. As of June 29, two COVID-19 focused ratings have become publicly known:
- WELL Health-Safety Rating (available for registration on June 29)
- Fitwel Viral Response Module (available for registration starting mid-September)
Both COVID-19-focused ratings are separate from their more comprehensive certification (WELL, Fitwel). They were created to provide a third-party review on the COVID-19 plans and policies you already have in place, as well as to provide science-based recommendations above and beyond the CDC’s guidelines.
ESD is working on three WELL Health-Safety Rating projects (two existing buildings, one existing office space). The following are our top 5 experience highlights:
- The rating has no tiers (Silver, Gold, Platinum) and can be considered a steppingstone to full certification.
- There are no requirements, aside from a minimum of 15 points, and it is open to all project types (existing buildings, tenant interiors).
- Both ratings have a high number of early adopters (300+) and affordable review fees (~$4,000).
- Slight modifications to existing policies (re-entry, business continuity, cleaning) are likely required.
- Annual recertification is required, with a focus on documented training (such as cleaning), communication and maintenance (such as filters) to help ensure your policies are enacted.
We are excited that an easy-to-follow guideline (in the form of a rating system) has been created to help our clients engage with multiple entities (such as base building, office manager, engineer, stakeholders, human resources, cleaning staff) to review specific science-based recommendations that are applicable to any project type or age of building.