Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) has become the first commercial real estate portfolio in the U.S. to achieve the Well Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management from the International Well Building Institute (IWBI).
The Well Health-Safety Rating measures five categories: cleaning and sanitization procedures, emergency preparedness programs, health service resources, air and water quality management and stakeholder engagement and communications. ESRT’s portfolio is comprised of 14 office properties and six stand-alone retail properties totaling approximately 10.1 million rentable square feet, including the Empire State Building.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary for companies everywhere to elevate the importance of how they contribute to the health and safety of people. Empire State Realty Trust has gone above and beyond, demonstrating admirable leadership in incorporating best practices to more safely reopen our buildings, augmenting New York City’s resilience in response to the virus,” said Rick Fedrizzi, IWBI chairman and CEO. “We are excited to celebrate this achievement with Empire State Realty Trust as they continue to create spaces that center on people, now and into the future.”
For more than 10 years, Empire State Realty Trust has evaluated and implemented measures improve indoor environmental quality in its portfolio. The $165 million redevelopment completed in December 2019 of the Empire State Building Observatory mitigates direct, indirect and aerosol transmission through MERV 13 filtration, increased fresh air ventilation and bipolar ionization air purification proven in an accredited laboratory to neutralize 99.92% of coronavirus. Similar measures have been made to upgrade health, safety and IEQ protocols throughout Empire State Realty Trust’s portfolio.
“ESRT has implemented an evidence and science-based approach to ensure the health and safety of all of our building occupants. We have focused on Indoor Environmental Quality for more than a decade and pioneered and showcased many sustainability practices through our renovations at the Empire State Building – practices we subsequently rolled out throughout our entire portfolio,” said Dana Robbins Schneider, senior of energy, sustainability and ESG at ESRT. “We believe in the power of building performance to improve employee productivity and wellness. Third party validation from the International Well Buildings Institute confirms that ESRT meets and exceeds the most stringent features of healthy buildings.”
Launched in June, the Well Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types and is focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder engagement strategies to help organizations prepare their spaces for re-entry in a post-COVID-19 environment. ESRT joined more than 100 organizations, encompassing over 500 facilities, that enrolled in the documentation-based program and that continue to work towards implementing its scientific guidance.