NEW YORK, July 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Fitwel®, the healthy building certification system operated by The Center for Active Design (CfAD), today announced the launch of its Viral Response module, which provides annual, third-party building certification of policies and practices informed by the latest public health research on mitigating the spread of infectious diseases. Fitwel will provide recognition for implementation of the Viral Response module at a company level and/or within individual assets. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration.
The module – which is being developed with input from health experts and industry leaders – will set the industry standard for optimizing buildings in response to the broad health impacts of infectious diseases in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industry-leading companies who will prototype the module include:
QuadReal Property Group
Triovest Realty Advisors
Vornado Realty Trust
Additionally, a Fitwel Academic Advisory Group will add expert insights on the evolving research and impact of COVID-19 and ensure the Viral Response module reflects best practices for viral mitigation. The following experts are among those participating in the Academic Advisories.
Andrew Dannenberg, MD, MPH, Affiliate Professor, Departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and Urban Design and Planning, University of Washington
Bon Ku, MD, Director, Health Design Lab, Thomas Jefferson University
David A. Turcotte, ScD, Research Professor, Director, Principal Investigator, The New England Consortium, UMass Lowell
Ed Nardell, MD, Professor in the Departments of Environmental Health and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Edith Parker, Dean and Professor of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa
Elizabeth Garland, MD, MS, Professor, Environmental Medicine & Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Lidia Morawska, PhD, Director, International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health, Queensland University of Technology
Piers MacNaughton, ScD, Director of Health Strategy, View Inc. and Research Associate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Rachel Lynn Golden, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry), Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
Richard Vincent, MS, BS Arch, FIES, LEED AP, Administrative Manager, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Setha Low, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Geography and Psychology and Director of the Public Space Research Group, CUNY Graduate Center
Terry T-K Huang, PhD, MPH, MBA, Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Director, Center for Systems and Community Design, Co-Director, NYU-CUNY Prevention Research Center, Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, City University of New York
Given the overwhelming industry demand for the Viral Response module, interested users are encouraged to visit fitwel.org to request early access to content, download a fact sheet with pricing details, or register for an online tutorial session. In just the last two weeks, over 300 global users have expressed their interest in applying the module.
The Fitwel Viral Response 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.
"The COVID-19 crisis has made health an essential consideration for all involved in the built environment. The Fitwel Viral Response module offers a critical cost-effective approach that provides practical solutions to address the immediate crisis while supporting significant long-term benefits," said Joanna Frank, President and CEO of CfAD. "The companies advising on the development of this module are at the forefront of environmental, social, and governance programs, and they continue to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to social impact through investments in health."
The module operationalizes the guidelines outlined in Fitwel's recently published resource series Research to Action: Building Health for All® in the Face of COVID-19. This five-chapter series translates emerging public health studies on COVID-19 as well as a wealth of research and public health expertise on addressing past viral epidemics.
Building on this body of research, the module is designed to support physical, mental and social health, and promote greater levels of trust between building owners and their tenants as well as companies and their employees. It includes strategies related to cleaning and maintenance; indoor air and water quality; educational signage; emergency preparedness and pandemic planning; stakeholder engagement and collaboration; communication best practices; and health promotion planning. Its creation aligns with Fitwel's ongoing commitment to promote healthy environments for all through strategies informed by more than 5,600 peer-reviewed published studies.
About Fitwel and the Center for Active Design Fitwel is the world's leading certification system committed to building health for all™. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel. The Center for Active Design, a global not-for-profit organization, was selected as the licensed operator of Fitwel, charged with expanding Fitwel to the global market. To learn more about Fitwel, please visit: www.fitwel.org.