The Springs Living is the first company to earn a Fitwel global health certification under the newly created senior housing scorecard. The Springs at Greer Gardens in Eugene, Oregon, was awarded Fitwel certification after meeting stringent health and wellness requirements regarding its design and operations. Fitwel, the healthy building certification system operated by the Center for Active Design (CfAD), provides a blueprint of evidence-based guidelines for supporting better health and wellness outcomes at senior living communities. The senior housing scorecard was developed with input from several leading senior living operators, including The Springs Living.
“The health and well-being of everyone who lives and works in our communities is our top priority, so I am very excited to be the first Fitwel certification using the senior housing scorecard,” said Fee Stubblefield, founder and CEO of The Springs Living. “This has taken a lot of coordination and collaboration by our teams to create this great living environment. We take pride in being an innovator and responding to what our workforce and this generation of older adults value.”
Fitwel certifies the health and well-being credentials of multi-use residential, single tenant, commercial, industrial, retail, and senior housing buildings and their surroundings. Certification is based on criteria that includes operational policies for indoor air quality, cleaning practices, design strategies, access to green spaces, and amenities such as fitness centers and walking trails.
“The need to provide a healthy living space for seniors has been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need to provide owners with a strategic starting point to promote health through the built environment,” said Joanna Frank, president and CEO, Center for Active Design. “We were thrilled to work closely with our long-time partner Harrison Street to develop a clear set of guidelines for senior housing, and we appreciate The Springs Living’s dedication to becoming the first Fitwel certified project using the senior housing scorecard.”
Fitwel’s senior housing scorecard evaluates more than 70 evidence-based design and operational strategies to enhance buildings by addressing a broad range of health behaviors and risks. These strategies are broken down into 12 sections encompassing seven impact categories that an organization must meet: impacting community health; reduced morbidity and absenteeism; supporting social equity for vulnerable populations; instilling feelings of well-being; enhancing access to healthy foods; promoting occupant safety; and increasing physical activity.
The Springs at Greer Gardens earned 106 points (out of a possible 144), qualifying it for a rating of two out of three stars for 2022. The community is eligible to apply for a new rating after three years. The Springs Living has several other communities that will be seeking Fitwel certification in the near future, including The Springs at Happy Valley, a 210-unit community in Happy Valley, Oregon that is scheduled to open in autumn 2022.
“The Springs Living’s involvement in the development of the senior housing scorecard with Harrison Street and The Center for Active Design exemplifies their dedication to being an innovative industry leader,” stated Jill Brosig, chief impact officer for Harrison Street. “This certification further enhances their commitment to supporting positive long-term health outcomes of their residents and employees. We are proud to celebrate this achievement with The Springs Living.”
Fitwel is the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all. Generated by expert analysis of 5,600+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Fitwel was originally created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. The CDC remains the research and evaluation partner for Fitwel. The Center for Active Design (CfAD), a global not-for-profit organization, maintains the Fitwel standard and conducts objective third-party assessments that lead to certified projects. CfAD’s new business unit, Adai (pronounced “a-DAY”), is charged with expanding Fitwel to the global market, administering the program while providing best-in-class customer service and technical support.
Based in McMinnville, Ore., The Springs Living owns and operates 18 senior living communities in Oregon and Montana, offering independent living, assisted living, and memory care services. Two additional communities are under development in Happy Valley, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. In 2021, The Springs Living was recognized on Fortune’s Top Ten list of Best Workplaces in Aging Services.
Harrison Street is one of the leading investment management firms exclusively focused on alternative real assets. Since inception in 2005, the firm has created a series of differentiated investment solutions focused on demographic-driven, needs-based assets. The firm has invested across senior housing, student housing, healthcare delivery, life sciences and storage real estate as well as social and utility infrastructure. Headquartered in Chicago with offices in San Francisco, London and Toronto, the firm has more than 210 employees and approximately $44 billion in assets under management. Clients of the firm include a global institutional investor base domiciled in North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Harrison Street was awarded Best Places to Work by Pensions & Investments for seven consecutive years (2014-2020) and was named 2020 Global Alternatives Investor of the Year by PERE.
Tracy Darchini, Communications Director, The Springs Living