RiverRock Real Estate Group (RREG), a client-centric property and asset management firm, announced today that it is one of the first commercial real estate firms in the nation to certify its policies and procedures using the Fitwel® Viral Response (VRM) certification. This milestone signifies RiverRock’s commitment to proactively addressing occupant health within its commercial properties as a critical step to bringing employees back to the workplace.
Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all®. Originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. General Services Administration, Fitwel is a rigorous, third-party healthy building certification system operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD) that sets the industry standard for evidence-based strategies to promote positive health outcomes for building occupants and communities. Fitwel’s VRM certification was developed in coordination with leading public health experts and real estate companies to establish evidence-based strategies that mitigate viral transmission, build trust and create healthy environments for building occupants.
“With this certification, not only will we communicate publicly that RREG-managed buildings are safe and open for business, but we will take a leadership role in guiding our clients through the process of certifying their building portfolios,” said David Pogue, Chief Strategy Officer, RREG. “More importantly, this certification demonstrates our corporate commitment to health for both employees and tenants and because it helps communicate asset quality and safety, we are confident it will be a deciding factor for tenants in their leasing and re-tenanting decisions.”
The VRM certification is designed to allow companies to mitigate the spread of contagious diseases, whether for a single building or an entire portfolio of assets, for both commercial and residential. While the VRM certification was initiated during COVID-19, its strategies can minimize the spread of other infectious respiratory diseases, including influenza and legionnaires’ disease.
“We believe in the value of trust. Over the years, RREG has established a deep culture of client care and decades of delivering personalized building management services. It’s why we needed to be at the forefront of this innovative approach to bringing buildings back even better,” said Steve Core, President, RREG. The certification will be available for implementation at all qualified properties across RREG’s more than 40 million square foot portfolio.
Joanna Frank, President and CEO of CfAD, added, “RREG is a true leader in the healthy building movement, being one of the first property and asset management firms to achieve Fitwel Viral Response certification on the West Coast. By implementing Viral Response best practices throughout their portfolio of managed properties, RREG has enhanced its spaces to prioritize the health and well-being of its occupants and employees and created an environment that individuals will feel comfortable returning to.”
RREG engaged Paladino and Company to support the Fitwel Viral Response implementation and certification effort. The firm has extensive experience employing health and sustainability initiatives, including third-party certifications, and has been a leader in Fitwel Viral Response certification management. “We are inching closer to a post-lockdown world, and real estate owners and operators want their spaces to be safe and healthy,” said Katie Rothenberg, Managing Director of Paladino and Company. “RREG is showing industry leadership by codifying its strategies to improve the wellness of its business systems and to strengthen tenant trust.”