BentallGreenOak (BGO) has received Fitwel Viral Response Certification for 50 of its office and retail assets in Canada, including 2021 ENERGY STAR Commercial Building of the Year award recipient Edmonton’s Commerce South Office Park Building B.
The certification represents the largest portfolio of commercial real estate properties in Canada to achieve the industry-leading certification, the company says. It confirms the company’s efforts to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19 and protect occupant health and wellness.
“Across Canada, BentallGreenOak’s investment management and real estate management teams have mobilized to deliver the highest standard of best practices and policies to our properties and the tenants who rely on us to enable a safe and healthy return to the workplace,” said Keith Major, managing partner and head of Canadian real estate management for BentallGreenOak, in a release.
“We are investing in upgrades and adapting to the best science-driven guidance available to us to earn the trust of our tenants and become an active, engaged and empathetic partner in their return to our BGO-managed properties.”
The widespread adoption of the standard follows BGO’s initial Viral Response Module (VRM) certifications for properties in Montreal, Winnipeg, Mississauga and Gatineau.
About the Fitwel Viral Response Certification
The Center for Active Design (CfAD) created its VRM in coordination with leading public health experts, as well as real estate companies, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious respiratory diseases.
The module enables building owners, companies and commercial tenants to do their part in mitigating the transmission of viral illnesses and create healthy environments for all occupants.
10 of BGO’s Fitwel-certified properties
These are just 10 of the 50 BGO properties that have received the Fitwel Viral Response Certification across Canada:
– Commerce South Office Park Building B, 8657 51 Avenue, Alberta, office;
– Hopewell Corporate Centre, 2618 Hopewell Place NE, Alberta, office;
– Bentall 5, 550 Burrard Street, British Columbia, office;
– Hillside Centre, 1644 Hillside Avenue, British Columbia, retail;
– 130 Bloor Street West, 130 Bloor Street West, Ontario, office;
– 1730 St. Laurent Blvd, 1730 St. Laurent Blvd, Ontario, office;
– 105 Hotel de Ville, 105 Hotel de Ville Road, Quebec, office;
– L’Avenue, 1275 Canadiens-de-Montreal, Quebec, office;
– Richardson Centre, 1 Lombard Avenue, Manitoba, office;
– True North Square – Tower 1, 242 Hargrave Street, Manitoba, office.
BGO’s Commerce South Office Park – Bldg. B
As reported by Sustainable Biz Canada, BGO’s Commerce South Office Park Building B in Edmonton had also already implemented several energy-efficient initiatives, earning it ENERGY STAR’s 2021 Commercial Building of the Year award, which recognizes the top energy performers in Canada.
“With this property, Commerce South Office B, they had a score of 100 out of 100 points,” said Ailey Roberts, senior manager of sustainable investing for BGO in a release. “Absolutely one of the top buildings in Canada to receive that score, which means it’s amongst the highest-energy-performing buildings in Canada.”
One of the larger tenants in the 91,891-square-foot, three-storey building is a dental care clinic. Patients have been especially concerned about the safety of dental offices during the pandemic – which makes the VRM designation even more significant.
“BGO’s continued progress in achieving VRM certification throughout its portfolio demonstrates an unwavering commitment to tenant health and well-being,” said Joanna Frank, president and CEO of the Center for Active Design, in a release.
BGO’s health and safety initiatives and new certifications will help workers transition back into the workplace post-pandemic.
“We applaud BGO for understanding the important role property owners have in safeguarding occupant health and cultivating tenant trust. BGO is a leader in the healthy building movement and, as a Fitwel Champion, contributes to our shared commitment to building health for all.”
BentallGreenOak is a leading global real estate management advisor and provider of real estate services, whose roots extend back more than 100 years.
The company, which is present in 12 countries and 24 cities, has $69 billion US in assets under management and more than 60 million square feet of assets under administration — including office, industrial, multi-residential, retail and hospitality properties.
About the Center for Active Design, Fitwel
CfAD is a non-profit organization using design to foster healthy communities through publications, research, certification, technical assistance and digital tools. The centre’s mission is to transform design and development to support health and quality of life.
CfAD conducts objective, third-party assessments to determine certifications. The centre has a new business unit known as Adai, which is responsible for expanding Fitwel into the global market.
The federal government selected CfAD to be the licensed operator of Fitwel, the world’s leading certification system optimizing buildings to support health. Fitwel was developed as a joint initiative led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the General Services Administration.
Fitwel receives ongoing input and expertise from both national and international health and design leaders and 5,600-plus academic research studies.