Jersey City has become the first city in New Jersey, and just the second in the country, to earn the International WELL Building Institute’s (IWBI) WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management across a portfolio of six municipal buildings. Facilities that earned the rating include the city’s most visited buildings such as City Hall, Building of Public Works, Office of Emergency Management and Municipal Courts. Last year, Miami became the first city in the nation to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating across a large part of its municipal building portfolio.
The achievement is evidence of Jersey City’s commitment to promoting a safer and healthier environment for its employees, residents, and visitors.
“Quite simply, this represents a critical health investment in our people, our city, and our future,” said Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “We all spend about 90% of our lives inside buildings, so it’s important we take action to ensure our municipal buildings are helping safeguard our health and supporting our well-being. Earning this WELL rating is the latest important step towards our broader efforts in making Jersey City the healthiest and safest city possible, and our work today will positively impact our residents for decades to come.”
In order for Jersey City to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, IWBI, through third-party experts, has verified that the policies and protocols for all of the buildings met the rating’s requirements for supporting the long-term health and safety needs of all those inside. This includes holistic aspects of health from improved airflow, hygienic hand washing practices, reduction in hand contact of high-touch surfaces, effective cleaning protocols, robust emergency preparedness and response, advanced stakeholders’ engagement, and more.
“We all spend about 90%
of our lives inside buildings,
so it’s important we take
action to ensure our
municipal buildings are
helping safeguard our
health and supporting
— Mayor Steven M. Fulop
“We extend our congratulations to Jersey City, the first city in the state and second in the nation to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating across a portfolio of municipal buildings,” said Jason Hartke, Executive Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at IWBI. “Our public buildings have a special obligation to be out in front when it comes to health leadership and deploying evidence-based interventions that support our physical and mental health. Thanks to Mayor Fulop, Jersey City is doing just that. By leading by example, we know Jersey City will inspire other cities and states across the country, and grow the movement for people-first places.”
In 2020, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) passed a healthy building policy resolution focused on prioritizing indoor health and taking action to deploy a “people-first” approach to city buildings, encouraging cities to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic by advancing integrated healthy building solutions, such as the WELL Health-Safety Rating. The following year, another USCM resolution passed focused on ramping up healthy building efforts to help strengthen and fortify cities in the face of COVID-19 or future public health threats.
“This is city leadership at its finest. We congratulate Jersey City for its pioneering leadership by using WELL to deliver on the promise of healthier buildings,” said Paul Scialla, Founder of IWBI. “I know other cities are watching closely. They’ll want to emulate what Mayor Fulop is doing — supporting the health and safety of workers and residents in Jersey City, while also helping fortify the city in the face of potential future health threats.”
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types, advancing human health and well-being through science-backed policies and procedures. Today, WELL offerings, including the WELL Health-Safety Rating, are being used across 4.6 billion square feet of space, by 25% of the Fortune 500 and in 125 counties.