YMCA First Fitness Facility To Be WELL Certified

The Stonestown Family YMCA in San Francisco is the first fitness facility in the world to be awarded WELL Certification.

YMCA of San Francisco has announced that the Stonestown Family YMCA in the city has been awarded WELL Certification at the Silver level by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The distinction was awarded through IWBI’s WELL Building Standard (WELL), a building standard focusing on enhancing people’s health and wellness through the buildings where they live, work and play.

WELL certification
The Stonestown Family YMCA in San Francisco is the first fitness facility in the world to be awarded WELL Certification.

To achieve the certification, the Stonestown Family YMCA made multiple upgrades to the design, infrastructure, features, and policies of the facility as part of a $4.1 million capital improvements project.

Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of IWBI, will be at the Stonestown Family YMCA to recognize them for this distinction on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. The event, which includes a facility tour, will include remarks from Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of the International WELL Building Institute, Chuck Collins, President & CEO YMCA of San Francisco, and Josh Leonard, Senior Executive Director of the Stonestown Family YMCA.

“The Y has always provided safe spaces for our community to be healthy. It makes sense that we should consider how our buildings contribute to healthy living. We are proud to be the first fitness facility in the world to have achieved such a high standard in service to our members,” stated Chuck Collins, President and CEO of YMCA of San Francisco.

WELL certification
Lobby at recently renovated Stonestown Family YMCA

The Y Goes For WELL

The YMCA worked with Delos, ELS Architecture and Urban Design, and MHC Engineers to ensure that elements of the seven categories of building performance were optimized in the building design, infrastructure, features and policies of the branch. Going far beyond typical building standards, the Y demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting human health, well-being, and comfort through the built environment.

WELL certification
Pool at recently renovated Stonestown Family YMCA

Created through seven years of rigorous research and development working with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based scientific research. The Y earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance — Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Fitness, Comfort and Mind — and achieved a Silver level rating.

Project features that helped the Stonestown Family YMCA achieve its WELL Certified Silver rating include:

  1. Air: New air filtration, pollution-source reduction, proper ventilation, low chemical material selection and cleaning standards with frequent wipe down schedules to minimize the spread of germs ensure high air quality.
  2. Water: New water bottle filling stations with water tested for inorganic contaminants, organic contaminants, and agricultural contaminants, as well as public water additives that can be harmful in large quantities to help members and staff stay hydrated, which will help improve overall health.
  3. Nourishment: Policies for healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables and foods without harmful trans fats or high levels of sugar per serving, as well as providing nutritional information to help identify potential artificial ingredients help members and staff stay energized and focused.
  4. Light: Maximized natural light, staff workstations designed to reduce glare and artificial light that supports natural patterns of the human circadian rhythm, an internal clock that synchronizes daily physiological functions, optimize the body’s natural routines by promoting daytime alertness and enhancing sleep at the end of the day.
  5. Fitness: Optimized fitness program schedules to support active daily routines for members and staff.
  6. Comfort: Design that prioritizes physical comfort through ergonomics, temperature, minimized noise and smell to optimize productivity and satisfaction with the environment for members and staff.
  7. Mind: Access to programs designed to improve mental state and increase mindfulness, and new environmental design elements including colors and wall art that help reduce stress and support cognitive and emotional health for members and staff.
WELL certification
A children’s room at recently renovated Stonestown Family YMCA

WELL is grounded in a body of evidence-based research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend approximately 90% of our time, and the health and wellness impact on us as occupants of these buildings. To be awarded WELL Certification by IWBI, the Y underwent rigorous testing and a final evaluation carried out by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which is the third-party certification body for WELL, to ensure it met all WELL Certified Silver performance requirements.