The Center for Active Design (CfAD), a U.S.-based nonprofit that oversees the Fitwel certification program, has recognized us for our leadership in healthy building design thanks to our 53 Fitwel Ambassadors. Fitwel Ambassadors must pass an exam to demonstrate they understand the connection between design and health, and can apply Fitwel’s strategies to their projects to earn Fitwel Certification. Today, according to CfAD, we have more Fitwel Ambassadors than any other company.
“We’ve always done LEED Certified and other ‘green’ buildings, but those distinctions don’t necessarily cover the full spectrum of health performance criteria. That’s where Fitwel often fills in the gaps,” says Paula McEvoy, a Fitwel Ambassador and Associate Principal who’s been involved with the program since its launch in 2016.
Fitwel-certified environments might include signage that encourages people to take the stairs instead of the elevator or easier access to free drinking water instead of sugary carbonated beverages in vending machines, as well as improved equity.
“There’s a lot that gets implemented that makes for a more equitable and empathetic space, such as mother’s rooms and quiet rooms for focus,” says Jon Penndorf, a Fitwel Ambassador and sustainability leader in our Washington, D.C. studio.
We’ve also committed to achieving Fitwel Certification for our own workplaces. As of this writing, our Atlanta, Austin, Durham, London, Miami, Minneapolis, Monterrey, New York, and Toronto studios have earned the distinction. Our Washington D.C. studio, which moved to a new location and opened in late 2021, was designed according to Fitwel standards and is awaiting final certification.