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Green Building Guidelines and COVID-19, Part 2

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:

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:

  1. The rating has no tiers (Silver, Gold, Platinum) and can be considered a steppingstone to full certification.
  2. There are no requirements, aside from a minimum of 15 points, and it is open to all project types (existing buildings, tenant interiors).
  3. Both ratings have a high number of early adopters (300+) and affordable review fees (~$4,000).
  4. Slight modifications to existing policies (re-entry, business continuity, cleaning) are likely required.
  5. 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.

Any questions regarding these two hot-of-the-press rating systems, or any assistance with executing and coordinating a rating pursuit, can be directed to Tim Zelazny, ESD’s Senior Healthy Buildings Specialist.

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