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FBM’s Erin Schultz becomes Atlantic Canada’s first Fitwel Ambassador

Erin Schultz, a design specialist within FBM’s interior design studio, recently completed the Fitwel Certification Program and received the required credentials to become Atlantic Canada’s first Fitwel Ambassador.

Developed by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA) with input from experts in public health and design and over 3,000 scientific studies, Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system that optimizes buildings to support health.

Fitwel Ambassadors are described as, “professionally recognized individuals who are leading the healthy building movement through the application of Fitwel. The Fitwel Ambassador program arms its participants with the tools necessary to certify buildings using Fitwel.  Ambassadors are well-versed in the evidence-based connection between building design, operations, and health, and have a clear understanding of how to integrate Fitwel strategies within buildings for multifamily residential and workplaces. Ambassadors can navigate the Fitwel Portal to help clients register, track progress, and attain Fitwel certification.”

“At FBM we believe that our designs, whether for work or home, should be driven by the people who use the space,” said Schultz. “Creating environments where physical and mental health and well-being is prioritized benefits not only the individuals within the space, but the broader community.”  

The Fitwell program officially launched in February 2017 with a commitment to, “support a healthier future where every building is enhanced to support the well-being of its occupants and surrounding communities.” The Program is operated by the Centre for Active Design (CfAD) which oversees its adoption worldwide and manages certification.

Fitwel’s reference guide outlines, “63 evidence-based design and operational strategies that enhance building environments by addressing a broad range of health behaviours and risks”. The Program identifies seven Fitwel Health Impact Categories:

  1. Increases Physical Activity
  2. Promotes Occupant Safety
  3. Reduces Morbidity and Absenteeism
  4. Supports Social Equity for Vulnerable Populations
  5. Instills Feelings of Well-Being
  6. Impacts Community Health
  7. Provides Health Food Options

“Fitwell’s program identified and acted on an opportunity to address rising health and wellness concerns by employing proactive and preventative measures within designs for work or residential spaces,” said George Cotaras, President and Partner of FBM. “More and more, our clients are prioritizing spaces that promote physical, mental and social health. The knowledge and specific expertise that Erin brings with this certification will benefit our entire team at FBM.”

The Fitwell program is designed to evolve with emerging evidence-based research, as well as being flexible to incorporate feedback from users. Regularly updates will be made to keep the Program up-to-date.