Empire State Realty Trust Achieves WELL Health-Safety Rating
The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) today announced that Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), the greater New York metro area office and retail real estate leader , is the first commercial real estate portfolio in the U.S. to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. 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 iconic Empire State Building.
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 participation will help restore confidence and trust among its employees, tenants, staff, and visitors. ESRT’s leadership comes from the top, its Chairman, CEO, and President, Anthony E. Malkin is also the Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee and a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Board for the implementation of Local Law 97 in New York City. Dana Robbins Schneider, SVP of Energy, Sustainability and ESG has worked with Mr. Malkin for more than 12 years, and until she joined ESRT was Managing Director of JLL’s Americas Energy and Sustainability Projects group.
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. Empire State Realty Trust joined more than 100 organizations, encompassing over 500 facilities, that responded swiftly to enroll in the documentation-based program and that continue to work towards implementing its scientific guidance.
“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 a decade, 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 entire portfolio.
Adapted from features in the WELL Building Standard (WELL) that focus on facilities maintenance and operations, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is designed to guide and empower the actions of large and small businesses alike in taking the necessary steps to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders. It also serves as an annual process that supports efforts to promote the long-term health and safety of people.
See related article: FCPS Earns WELL Health-Safety Rating™
“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, SVP 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.”
Created by IWBI, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by guidance developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, recognized standard-making bodies, such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions. IWBI has leveraged insights from its Task Force on COVID-19, established at the outset of the pandemic to help business and building leaders integrate actionable insights and proven strategies in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.
Source: International WELL Building Institute