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Center for Active Design

The Center for Active Design (CfAD) is a global not-for-profit organization working at the intersection of health and the built environment. Launched in 2012 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration in New York City, CfAD is transforming real estate investment and development practice to support health and ensure equitable access to vibrant public and private spaces that support optimal quality of life.

In 2016, CfAD launched Fitwel, the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all®. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ research studies, Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration, and the CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel.

Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Launched for public use in March 2017, Fitwel has already made significant impacts on health. Fitwel now has a presence in more than 50 countries worldwide and 49 US states. In just four years, Fitwel has impacted well over a million people and more than half a billion square feet of real estate through 2,000+ projects. Fitwel includes scorecards for application within Workplace, Retail, and Multifamily Residential properties, as well as large scale residential and commercial sites.

Fitwel’s rapid uptake has been achieved through a number of featured initiatives described below.

The Fitwel Champion program is comprised of companies committed to applying Fitwel at scale. Fitwel streamlines the certification process for efficient and cost-effective application throughout a portfolio, in order to integrate health-promoting design and operations strategies across multiple projects and a range of typologies.

The Fitwel Ambassador program is empowering a global community of professionals to elevate the conversation about wellness in real estate. Ambassadors are well-versed in the evidence-based connection between design and health, can integrate Fitwel within projects, and are able to effectively navigate the Fitwel Portal to attain Fitwel Certification.

A New Investor Consensus: The Rising Demand for Healthy Buildings. Real estate investors expect demand for healthy buildings to grow in the next three years, a compelling signal and just one of many findings captured in A New Investor Consensus: The Rising Demand for Healthy Buildings—the largest health and wellness study of global real estate investment managers ever conducted.

Coordinated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD), BentallGreenOak (BGO) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the study reflects the insights of a group of institutions and reveals how COVID-19 has elevated the importance of health in investment decision making and outlines three recommendations for how the sector can better incorporate health initiatives into ESG strategies.


Zachary Flora, Director of Market Growth



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