PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE), a real estate investment trust (REIT) uniquely focused on world-class collaborative science and technology campuses in urban innovation clusters, today announced that it has become the first and only REIT to be named a "First-in-Class Fitwel Champion." To date, Alexandria, which is also the first company to receive Fitwel certifications for its buildings, has earned five Fitwel three-star ratings—the top rating achievable—demonstrating the highest levels of occupant health and wellness at four of its dynamic and thriving campuses in Cambridge, San Francisco, New York City and San Diego.
Fitwel is a low-cost, high-impact evidence-based building certification standard that was developed by experts in public health and design, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA), to foster positive impacts on building occupant health and productivity through improvements to workplace design and policies. Operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD), the ratings program evaluates all building and office environment features, such as proximity to public transit, access to fitness facilities, design of outdoor spaces, indoor air quality and healthy food options.
"Alexandria is proud to be recognized by Fitwel for our commitment to creating dynamic and collaborative environments that promote the health and efficiency of our tenants and enable them to develop innovative solutions that advance human health. Our leadership and regional teams are very supportive and enthusiastic about utilizing the tool in our campus development and operations to advance our goal of increasing employee health and wellness," said Vincent R. Ciruzzi, chief development officer of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. "We look forward to collaborating with the CfAD and its partners, the CDC and the GSA, and the broader real estate community to grow the awareness and the practice of designing and operating buildings in a manner that is not only scientifically proven to improve health and well-being and increase physical activity, but also reduces the economic burden of disease on society."
As an early adopter of the Fitwel rating system, Alexandria will utilize Fitwel's ratings assessments to implement recommended improvements across its Class A properties as part of its continued efforts to make tenant and employee wellness a top priority for tenants on its urban innovation campuses.
"Fitwel responds to the growing demand for healthier buildings and workplaces, serving as a competitive advantage to retain and attract tenants and employees," said Joanna Frank, executive director of CfAD. "Alexandria's selection as the first REIT to become a Fitwel Champion is a testament to the company's longstanding focus on, and innovative approaches to, developing sustainable campus environments with healthy workplaces for leading science and technology entities. We are already experiencing higher than expected interest in Fitwel, and we thank Alexandria for its early support of this important initiative."
Research by the CDC has shown that promoting health through programs, policies and environmental changes can support employee health and productivity and garner potential savings in healthcare costs.
"There is a wealth of evidence linking the built environment with personal and public health. People spend around 90% of their time indoors, and Fitwel turns the most compelling evidence into action. As building owners and operators, like Alexandria, implement improvements based on the findings they receive from Fitwel, buildings across the country will enable healthier occupant behaviors," said Liz York, chief sustainability officer of the CDC.
The best practices in the Fitwel framework were developed based on the CDC's review of more than 3,000 research studies, and the framework allows for change, over time, as the scientific evidence evolves. Fitwel's 63 practical measures are proven to have the most substantial effect on the health and wellness of building occupants and communities.
About Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE) is an urban office REIT uniquely focused on world-class collaborative science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, with a total market capitalization of $13.0 billion and an asset base in North America of 24.5 million square feet as of September 30, 2016. The asset base in North America includes 18.8 million RSF of operating properties and development and redevelopment projects (under construction or pre-construction) and 5.7 million square feet of future ground-up development projects. Alexandria pioneered this niche in 1994 and has since established a significant market presence in key locations, including Greater Boston, San Francisco, New York City, San Diego, Seattle, Maryland and Research Triangle Park. Alexandria has a longstanding and proven track record of developing Class A properties clustered in urban science and technology campuses that provide its innovative tenants with highly dynamic and collaborative environments that enhance their ability to successfully recruit and retain world-class talent and inspire productivity, efficiency, creativity and success. For additional information, please visit www.are.com.
About Center for Active Design
The Center for Active Design is the leading not-for-profit organization that uses design to foster healthy and engaged communities. We take a multi-disciplinary approach to translating research into practical design solutions. We guide the creation and implementation of initiatives that respond to unique community priorities and result in measurable outcomes. Based on emerging trends, community need and supporting evidence, CfAD's areas of focus currently include housing, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.centerforactivedesign.org.
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SOURCE Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.