The Fitwel certification system was created as a joint initiative led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA) in addition to experts in public health and design over a five year process completed in 2015. GSA led the pilot test of the certification on a randomly selected portion of its portfolio of buildings. These buildings included rural, suburban and urban locations, as well as a diverse mix of uses including, courthouses, laboratories, and office buildings. All of Fitwel’s components, including the strategies, scoring algorithm, and digital interface, were evaluated as part of this pilot test. Refinements were made to Fitwel, ensuring its feasibility, ease of use, and rigor.
A total of 89 buildings participated in the nationwide pilot test, representing urban, suburban, and rural locations.
Of the 89 buildings that participated in the pilot phase, 35 did not receive certification, 26 were 1-star rated, 22 were 2-star, and 6 received 3-stars.
The Center for Active Design (CfAD) is the licensed operator of Fitwel, leading future development and use within the private and public sectors. CfAD is also responsible for third party certification of projects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will remain Fitwel’s research and evaluation lead moving forward. The General Service Administration will continue to provide leadership on the development of Fitwel, and is currently using Fitwel to certify buildings from all 11 regions of its portfolio.
Fitwel offers a unique approach to other certification systems available in the market. We believe that our approach allows for the application of strategies that are broad-based, economical, and evidence-based.
There are no-prerequisites that could be cost-prohibitive or unsuitable for a specific building type.
Fitwel’s strategies are applicable and impactful in existing buildings. It can also be used as a roadmap for the design of new construction facilities.
Fitwel certification is completed through a user-friendly and efficient web-based tool, increasing the cost-effective nature of the system.