BranchPattern is thrilled that our Omaha office has attained Fitwel® certification, marking a notable first for the state of Nebraska. At BranchPattern, improving life is at the core of everything we think, create and do, and this accomplishment underscores our steadfast dedication to enhancing the health, well-being and overall quality of life of people within built environments.
The Fitwel® Advantage
Fitwel® stands out for its streamlined certification process and cost-effectiveness, making it an accessible choice for companies of all sizes. Developed through rigorous research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. General Services Administration, Fitwel® is a testament to the synergy of health and building sciences. The certification aligns with BranchPattern’s mission, as Fitwel® focuses on a healthier future where buildings and communities amplify the health and well-being of all.
As a newly minted Fitwel® Provider, BranchPattern is one of just seven companies that is uniquely positioned to assist other organizations in achieving their Fitwel® certifications. We have consulted with numerous clients to meet the Fitwel® standard including VF Corporation, parent company to a variety of brands which include Vans® and The North Face®. Additionally, BranchPattern helped develop a Fitwel® standard for commercial and industrial sites which focuses on supporting individual and community health through the creation of business parks.
“Green building certifications provide proven standards that guide us in enhancing buildings and spaces. Even with budget constraints, we leveraged the Fitwel Standard to identify areas for improvement and promote occupant well-being.”
NATE MANIKTALA, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Fitwel® certifications are assigned ratings of 1-star, 2-star or 3-star, determined by the total points earned by each project. There are no requirements or prerequisites, making the rating system extremely approachable. Each credit has different points based on how many impact categories the credit affects. For example, a project in the Indoor Environment category can earn 0.56 points for establishing a Green Purchasing Policy or 3.08 points for implementing a tobacco and smoke-free policy for all indoor areas. The variation in point value is attributed to the health impacts on each occupant and the number of impact categories the credit touches.
The Seven Impact Categories are:
- Increase in Physical Activity
- Promote Occupant Safety
- Reduce Morbidity and Absenteeism
- Promote Social Equity
- Instill Feelings of Well Being
- Impact Surrounding Community Health
- Enhance Access to Healthy Foods
Omaha Office Certification
When we set out to certify our Omaha office, we knew we were already in an excellent position to earn a Fitwel® certification. However, we wanted to understand our starting point and the areas for improvement. After benchmarking the office against the Fitwel® scorecard, we were thrilled to see that our current office attributes and organizational policies placed us within reach of our 1-star rating goal. We identified a few additional modifications, allowing us to secure the necessary points for certification.
The following credits are examples of building attributes or organizational policies that were already in place in our Omaha office:
After assessing the scorecard, what points were available, and where we could have the largest impact on building occupants, we made the following changes and purchases:
“Being in a thoughtfully designed office has greatly boosted my mood and productivity. Biophilic features like natural light, greenery, and inviting spaces, along with occupant controls and diverse work areas, create an ideal environment for focused work and collaboration.”
TERESA KOOIMA, PROJECT MANAGER
Achieving Fitwel® certification for our Omaha office is a significant milestone, not only for the well-being of our employees, but also for the health and wellness standards of the State of Nebraska. The process was straightforward, making it accessible for all organizations that prioritize the health and wellness of their occupants, be they employees, residents, or students.
Companies in Omaha and throughout Nebraska can create healthier work environments through Fitwel® certification. By complementing other sustainability measures like LEED certifications, they can take a holistic approach to promoting wellness and sustainability.
If you’re looking to start a conversation within your organization about the benefits of Fitwel® and how it can lead to a healthier and more productive workplace, we’re here to help. BranchPattern provides certification services and is ready to guide you through the process. For more information or to get started, please connect with us at ImprovingLife@BranchPattern.com.