WELL Health & Safety rating verifies workplace safety during COVID-19

ByZach Ben-Amots WLS logo
Thursday, February 4, 2021
New health rating verifies workplace safety during COVID-19
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Sterling Bay's property at 333 N. Green St. is one of the first commercial buildings in Chicago to receive the WELL Health & Safety Rating.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago developer Sterling Bay believe that, once office workers all return to the workplace, they have a model for safety and health in office buildings. The company has received a WELL Health & Safety Rating for their property portfolio, a new certification that was developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrew Peterson, the chief engineer for Sterling Bay's 333 N. Green St. property, said that his office building is set apart by its air and water filtration system. The air filtration takes up over two stories in the building and filters air at the same level as patient rooms in hospitals.

"We have 192 pre-filters, and 192 MERV 14 final filters that gives us the highest filtration possible in our building," Peterson said.

Property manager Kristen Axford identified three key areas for health and safety in the workplace moving forward: increased indoor air quality, heightened sanitation procedures, and touchless work experiences.

"We want to make sure that our tenants feel safe coming back to the office," Axford said. "We feel confident about what we've done here and across the commercial buildings in Chicago."

So that each tenant can monitor air quality in their office spaces, the building app provides real time updates on three air quality metrics: particulate matter, CO2, and TVOC, or total volatile organic compounds. Those three metrics combine too provide an overall indoor air quality measure.

Sterling Bay engineers think that all buildings may start measuring those air quality metrics as the country transitions back into the workplace after the pandemic.