See if your office building is seeking certification for virus preparedness like these first-in-their-city facilities

by Brianna Crandall — January 27, 2021 — Global real estate services provider BentallGreenOak (BGO) just announced that it has achieved building health certification system Fitwel’s Viral Response Approval for 17 office buildings across the United States, reportedly making it the largest commercial real estate portfolio in the country to have achieved this distinction to date.

These approvals include the first-ever Viral Response Approved office buildings in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Charlotte, Portland, Jersey City and Wellesley. These nine cities are among the first in the US to have commercial real estate buildings with third-party certification of their operations, policies and practices confirming their preparedness to mitigate the spread of infectious disease.

Fitwel is a rigorous, third-party healthy building certification system operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD) that is said to set the industry standard for evidence-based strategies that promote positive health outcomes for building occupants and communities.

Fitwel’s Viral Response (VR) module was developed in coordination with leading public health experts and real estate companies to effectively address the unique challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and other infectious respiratory diseases. The VR module allows building owners, companies and commercial tenants to demonstrate compliance with evidence-based, cost-effective strategies that mitigate viral transmission and build trust to create healthy and resilient environments for all occupants.

BentallGreenOak has reportedly been on the frontlines of driving property-level progress in confronting the challenges of Covid-19 through the firm’s involvement as an industry advisor and early adopter of these strategies.

Amy Price, president, BentallGreenOak, remarked:

As cities grapple with the enormous challenges of mitigating the spread of Covid-19, real estate asset managers must assume their role in supporting this effort through the implementation of leading practices that keep tenants and the general public safe, and our buildings operational. This social imperative is in clear alignment with our fiduciary responsibility as stewards of our clients’ capital to safeguard the resiliency and long-term success of their real estate investments.

Joanna Frank, president and CEO of CfAD, added:

We congratulate BGO for securing multiple Viral Response Approvals, reflecting the firm’s notable efforts to rapidly adopt evidence-based viral mitigation policies and implement them at scale across its US portfolio. This achievement demonstrates BGO’s significant commitment to the health and wellness of its occupants and reflects its role as a leader in the healthy building movement.

BGO retained the services of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to conduct a variety of independent tests across its certified portfolio, including indoor air quality (IAQ), water quality and janitorial efficacy, and building reoccupancy investigations. UL will continue their testing regime on an additional 13 buildings in BGO’s U.S.-based office portfolio.

List of BentallGreenOak’s Viral Response Approved Office Buildings in the US:

*475 Sansome Street San Francisco, CA
*625 Market Street San Francisco, CA
*1900 16th Street Denver, CO
Terrace Tower Greenwood Village, CO
Patriots Plaza I – 2061 Washington, DC
Patriots Plaza II – 2261 Washington, DC
Patriots Plaza III – 2262 Washington, DC
*200 West Madison Chicago, IL
*343 Congress (Seaport Selection Portfolio) Boston, MA
*Fort Point Creative Portfolio B Boston, MA
*Park 9 – Wellesley Hills Building II Wellesley Hills, MA
*Park 9 – Wellesley Hills Building IV Wellesley Hills, MA
*Morehead Place Charlotte, NC
*Newport Tower Jersey City, NJ
*101 Greenwich St New York, NY
757 Third Avenue New York, NY
*Brewery Block 2 Portland, OR

* Denotes first to receive Fitwel Viral Response Approval in their respective city

The assets under management shown above include real estate equity and mortgage investments managed by the BentallGreenOak group of companies and their affiliates.

BentallGreenOak is a global real estate investment management advisor and provider of real estate services. The firm serves the interests of more than 750 institutional clients, with expertise in the asset management of office, retail, industrial and multiresidential property across the globe. BentallGreenOak has offices in 24 cities across 12 countries and is a part of SLC Management, which is the institutional alternatives and traditional asset management business of Sun Life.

Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, the Fitwel building health certification system was originally created by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US General Services Administration (GSA). CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel. The Center for Active Design, a global not-for-profit organization, was selected to operate Fitwel and expand it to the global market.