Skanska USA Furthers Longstanding Commitment to Sustainability Becoming National Fitwel Champion

Press release 9/23/2019 7:00 AM EST

Leading global development and construction firm will scale the high-impact building certification focused on human health and wellness across its portfolio of U.S. developments

New York - Skanska USA, a leading global development and construction firm, is proud to announce today that it has joined the Fitwel Champion Network. Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system for optimizing building design and operations to support human health and well-being, and Fitwel Champions are committed to implementing the certification across their real estate portfolios. Currently, only two dozen companies in the nation have implemented this certification that was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration, with the Center for Active Design.

All of Skanska’s developments – office, multi-family, and mixed-use – aim to achieve a minimum of LEED® Gold certification, with many achieving LEED Platinum. In addition to achieving the highest possible LEED certification, the company’s supplementary application of Fitwel at scale represents its dedication to developing and constructing buildings to their highest potential to create optimal environments for tenants and residents.

“Sustainability is woven into Skanska’s DNA and becoming a Fitwel Champion is the next step in that journey. As we develop high-quality, energy-efficient buildings, it is vital that we provide environments that empower the people living and working within them to be productive and healthy,” said Robert Ward, President & CEO of Skanska USA Commercial Development. “We are pleased to join the community of other real estate leaders in the Fitwel Champion Network, and look forward to collaborating with all involved in our developments to pursue opportunities that enhance health and wellness.”

Skanska’s designation furthers its longstanding commitment to sustainability – that is integrated into each stage of its development process – from land acquisition to operations. The company’s triple bottom line approach to sustainability encompasses a focus on environmental factors, like carbon, water, air and waste; community and social impacts; and tenant health and wellness.

The specific Fitwel criteria incorporated into Skanska’s building design and operations vary and are tailored to the unique features of each building and the surrounding community. They include, but are not limited to:

  • selecting sites that are optimally located for walkability and access to public transit, and promoting and enhancing those connections through design and operations;
  • incorporating stairs into building design and constructing in a way that is more visible and inviting, encouraging use;
  • access to diverse indoor and outdoor fitness opportunities including onsite fitness or proximate walk, run, or bike trails – and providing top-notch bike storage and shower facilities;
  • enhancing access to healthy food at retailers in buildings and at neighborhood restaurants and markets;
  • and, creating workspaces with abundant daylight, views of nature, fresh outdoor air and access to active workstations.

“As developers and builders, we are responsible for ensuring that the hundreds of people that work, live and visit the buildings we create are provided with environments in which they can be successful,” said Sarah King, Skanska USA Commercial Development’s national director of sustainability. “There are immediate, tangible and visible impacts on occupants when a more structured, holistic approach to human health and wellness is considered so Fitwel should be more than prioritized.”  

Skanska is currently pursuing Fitwel certification at six developments with plans to add additional projects to the list. Current developments pursuing the certification include: 2112 PENN, a 230,000 square foot office building with nearly 10,000 square feet of retail in Washington, DC; the Bank of America Tower, a 754,000 square foot office building with more than 35,000 square feet of engaging public space at Understory – an inviting, open-air community hub that reinvents the Houston, TX tunnel system; a 12,000 square foot buildout of Skanska’s office interior in Los Angeles, CA; Two Drydock, a 13-story, 230,000-square-foot, Class-A office building in Boston, MA; Scotts Run, a 28 story, 483,000 square foot multifamily development in McLean, VA; and 2200 Block, a 30 story, 323 unit multifamily development in Seattle, WA.