December 10, 2019

Clark Construction Identifies Key Takeaways After Achieving Fitwel Certification Nationwide

For Clark Construction Group, solidifying our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our team members is vital to our overall mission of building sustainable communities. That’s why in November 2018, Clark became the first general contractor to achieve Fitwel Champion status by pledging to earn Fitwel certifications for six of our corporate offices and provide best-in-class workplaces for our people. One year later, we achieved this goal and certified our offices in Bethesda, MD, Chicago, IL, Irvine, CA, San Diego, CA, San Francisco, CA, and Seattle, WA.

Fitwel, an evidence-based healthy building certification, aims to support healthier workplace environments and improve occupant health and productivity. Fitwel was created as a joint initiative between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the General Services Administration (GSA) and is operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD).   

The path to Fitwel certification for Clark began by creating an implementation team to champion this initiative across our portfolio of corporate offices. Once each office named its respective Fitwel Ambassador to provide local expertise, the next step was to benchmark each office using the Fitwel scorecard and establish an overall strategy for success.

Throughout the process, we identified several factors that ultimately led to Fitwel certification for our offices across the nation. Some of those key takeaways include:

  • Creating New Policies to Support Healthier Workplace Environments. Clark created two new corporate policies to reinforce our commitment to team member health and wellbeing – an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) policy and a Green Purchasing policy. The IAQ policy provides strategies for Clark’s offices to continuously improve air quality during renovations and also by monitoring pollutants and improving air filtration. The Green Purchasing policy helps to guide the selection of office and cleaning products with reduced environmental and human health impacts. As the Clark team learned, a strong relationship with building management is vital to crafting these policies.
  • Strong Focus on Communal Spaces. Clark recognized the importance of communal spaces in fostering community, dialogue, social interaction, and in encouraging creative problem-solving and stress reduction. We committed to improving public spaces in our offices – whether by updating kitchens with better access to huddle spaces, or by renovating work stations and providing ergonomic furniture, such as standing desks and portable foot pedals to encourage stretching and exercise.
  • Incorporating and Improving Health-Focused Signage. With new and improved signage, Clark has shown that we are committed to the health and well-being of our team. For example, Clark implemented “no tobacco use” signage across its offices. While Clark has long been a smoke-free workplace, we have now incorporated a tobacco-free workplace policy to better address the dangers of tobacco use in its multiple forms. Additionally, Clark installed new handwashing signage in bathrooms to educate our workforce on how and why effective handwashing is essential for health.

Now that Clark has delivered on its Fitwel Champion status by certifying six of its offices, the next step is to continue to promote healthy workspaces internally and to our clients, with interest in how the outcomes of the certification will encourage higher productivity among workforces. Recognizing that Fitwel focuses on improving the optimum human experience at work from a mental, social, and physical health perspective, Clark is using innovative thinking to expand on the success of its Fitwel certification efforts.