Fitwel is a system developed by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA) that evaluates the aspects of the environment of the buildings that affect health to improve the well-being of people. This certification is more flexible and accessible than other standards such as WELL or LEED, since it provides guidelines on how to design and manage spaces that positively impact the productivity of the occupants with a much simpler scoring system.
What is the Fitwell certification based on?
This certification system addresses built environments of all kinds, from offices to schools, health and beauty clinics, and residential facilities. Fitwel rates the performance of an environment in 12 categories and offers 63 operational and design strategies for improving spaces.
- Access to the building
- Outdoor spaces
- Entrances and ground floor
- Indoor environments
- Shared spaces
- Water supply
- Cafeterias and retail of prepared foods
- Vending machines and coffee shops
For the most part, Fitwel’s scorecard goals are fairly simple, but together they deliver significant and proven impact, spanning a range of criteria, from sustainable purchasing policies to on-site landscape design, opportunities to keep fit, healthy food and beverage standards or the availability of market products from organic farming, among others.
Achieving Fitwel through indoor air quality strategies
For Fitwel v2.1, all project types except commercial sites can earn points toward certification by monitoring and improving indoor air quality. These are established in the “Interior Environments” dashboard. Among the proposed strategies, three main actions are included:
Creating an indoor air quality policy (6.3)
Air quality testing or monitoring (6.4)
Reports of the results of the air quality tests to the habitual occupants of the building (6.5).
Indoor air quality policy (6.3)
This requirement implies the creation of standards and guidelines to maintain optimal indoor air quality. To comply with it, the indoor air quality policy must apply to all spaces, including future construction and renovations, and must be included in all rental agreements or building management manuals. Implementing an indoor air quality policy online with Fitwel can help identify areas where air quality can be improved and also allows for benchmarking for future comparisons. The designed indoor air quality policy must be at least as rigorous as Fitwel’s indoor air quality policy.
Air quality monitoring (6.4)
Fitwel also includes air quality measurement tests in the “Indoor Environments” category, something that can help establish benchmarks and detect improvements in indoor air quality policy (6.3).
Air quality monitoring tests should be completed after any major construction or renovation is completed. Once occupancy begins, continuous monitoring tests are carried out in all spaces on a regular basis. The measurement results must meet five of the following six criteria:
- 5 particles: < 25 μg/m3
- Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC): < 500 μg/m3
- Carbon dioxide (CO2): < 1100 ppm or > 700 over ambient
- Carbon monoxide (CO): < 9 ppm
- Formaldehyde: < 27 ppb
- Relative humidity: between 30-60%
Results reports (6.5)
Additionally, Fitwel also recommends that the data collected by the sensors in air quality performance tests be made available to users. The purpose is to increase transparency about indoor environmental quality, raise awareness of its importance and improve policies in this area for the management of spaces.
To comply with this requirement, the data from the continuous monitoring tests must be available to the occupants through a digital platform, a manual or annual communication reports.
How can Nanoenvi IAQ help you achieve Fitwel?
Nanoenvi IAQ is an ideal IoT device to be used in the three actions that are included in the “Indoor Environments” proposal strategies:
- Nanoenvi IAQ can be mentioned in the indoor air quality policy as the tool by which indoor pollutants are monitored to solve air quality problems.
- Nanoenvi IAQ continuously monitors air quality for PM2.5, total VOCs, CO, CO2 and relative humidity.
- Nanoenvi IAQ has a digital platform that manages and analyzes the air quality data collected by the sensors at a glance with access to trends and advanced analysis. This dashboard can be accessible to all users by installing a screen at any point in the building.
If you are interested in Nanoenvi IAQ as an indoor air quality device to optimize efforts in the Fitwel certification process, contact us here.