The Center for Active Design (CfAD), preeminent global organization working at the intersection of health and the built environment and the sole licensed operator of Fitwel®, the healthy building certification system, and QuadReal Property Group (QuadReal), a global real estate investment, operating and development company, today announced the release of “A Better Box,” a new report outlining a series of evidence-based guidelines for supporting better health and wellness outcomes at industrial sites.
In conjunction with the report, CfAD also unveiled their Commercial and Industrial Site scorecard to provide Fitwel certifications to industrial buildings.
The North American warehouse sector’s annual growth in warehouse and storage workforce is projected at 2.7% through 2026, with a valuation of more than $87 billion. And within this enormous and growing industrial sector, in 2020 alone, the turnover rate grew to 60%. With research showing 87% of employees consider health and wellness when choosing an employer, there is a significant disparity between what is expected in terms of quality of experience and what is being provided.
“The need to optimize industrial workspaces has always been there — but the incentive and demand has not,” said Joanna Frank, President and CEO, Center for Active Design. “With industrial property vacancies at an all-time low, paired with subsequent challenges around the labor market and employee retention, growing supply chain demands, and the expansion of e-commerce, the tactics recommended in this report offer an approachable starting point, giving owners, facility managers, and tenants a range of practical, validated ideas to consider.”
Surveying the latest scientific literature, interviewing industry leaders, incorporating sector-specific best practices, and drawing upon results from real estate projects that have successfully achieved Fitwel certification, “A Better Box” outlines three overarching recommendations — maximize location and site accessibility, design functional and supportive interiors, and create spaces that promote productivity and preparedness — along with a holistic set of strategies necessary to meet each of these guidelines, as well as an explanation for the long-term returns that can be anticipated with adoption.
By following approachable recommendations – including everything from prioritizing access to nature, access to essential facilities, safe use of spaces, emergency preparedness, transparency in communication, and more, owners, facility managers, and tenants will be able to better retain top talent, reduce injury and absenteeism, lower stress levels, mitigate the risk of contagious disease transmission, decrease risk of chronic illness, increase overall job satisfaction, and ultimately improve individual and organizational productivity.
“Companies adopting the smart, doable recommendations contained in this report will not only differentiate themselves, but they will also join a vanguard helping to drive transformation of the built environment,” says Joanna Frank.
“Health and wellness has always been a top priority for QuadReal. Through our ongoing partnership with CfAD and Fitwel, we are committed to creating working environments that enhance the lives of the people and communities we serve. Our teams are pleased to have collaborated on this report, which will significantly promote and support healthier environments for industrial building occupants everywhere,” said Jamie Gray-Donald, Senior Vice President, Sustainability & EHS, QuadReal.
The report is available for download (form required) from CfAD at this link.
CfAD was launched in 2012 under New York City’s Bloomberg administration, and its latest report demonstrates its dedication to translating the global public health findings into practical and implementable design and development solutions for the industrial sector. Fitwel scorecards include over 55 evidence-based design and operational strategies that enhance buildings by addressing a broad range of health behaviors and risks. Each strategy is associated with unique point allocations, based on the strength of associated evidence and the demonstrated impact on occupant health.