HDR Arlington Design Studio
NEWS

HDR Becomes Fitwel Champion, Certifies First Office with 3 Star Rating

HDR has adopted Fitwel, a global building certification system that promotes health, and has certified its first office in Arlington, Virginia. The office, which is also LEED-platinum certified, is a two-level environment designed to promote collaboration, transparency and interconnected space. It received a 3 Star Rating, the highest possible in the Fitwel system. As a Fitwel Champion, HDR has committed to obtaining Fitwel certifications for a minimum of six of its offices. HDR will pursue Fitwel certifications for its new Boston and Seattle offices and new global headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, with other locations yet to be determined.

Fitwel is a new evidence-based design standard that enables positive impacts on employee and resident health through improvements to design and operations within buildings. It was developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration, and is operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD).

“It’s important for HDR to walk the talk when it comes to designing sustainable spaces that promote health,” said Sustainability Director Michaella Wittmann. “The health and wellness of our employees are of utmost importance. This rating system is just as important to us as the Envision rating system for sustainable infrastructure and the LEED certification for sustainable buildings that we adopt for our client projects.”

Wittmann added that HDR is engaging in a formal study to measure how the firm’s office spaces influence employees’ health and wellness. The study’s principal investigator is Jeri Brittin, a public health scientist who serves as HDR’s director of research.  

“HDR’s commitment to optimizing spaces in the support of employee health speaks to their industry leadership. We are delighted that designers at HDR are using Fitwel as a tool to understand how to impact health within their company and the broader community,” said Reena Agarwal, chief operating officer at CfAD. “By becoming a Fitwel Champion, HDR joins an outstanding group of companies leading the charge on transforming the building industry to prioritize human health.”

About Fitwel & the Center for Active Design

Fitwel is the premier high-impact certification system supporting individual and community health through improvements to building design and operations. Fitwel was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) together with the General Services Administration (GSA). The Center for Active Design (CfAD), an international non-profit that uses design to foster healthy and engaged communities, is the independent operator and third-party certifier of Fitwel. CfAD was awarded the exclusive operating license in 2016 with the mandate to expand Fitwel globally to the private sector. Follow CfAD & Fitwel: @active_design + @fitwel.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.