Fitwel Viral Response Module (VRM) is a program that was designed in 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is similar to LEED but is specific to health and wellness. It brings health to the forefront of design and helps designers make informed decisions on the built environment. For example, Fitwel-certified buildings focus on lighting, access to food and water, wellness facilities, clean air, and germ-resistant materials. Beyond that, healthcare designers prioritize efficient energy usage with better HVAC, natural lighting, and energy modeling.
Enhanced Indoor Evironments
In 2020, as COVID-19 swept across the world, we all spent more time indoors. Addressing occupant health within buildings became more urgent than ever. In response, the Fitwel Viral Response Module (VRM) was born. It set the global standard for safeguarding occupant health and wellness. Designers can rely on premier evidence-based data to make informed design decisions that will mitigate viral transmission in buildings.
Working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a team of global academic leaders, the Fitwel team applied rigorous, peer-reviewed research to establish the VRM’s minimum requirements. The multi-faceted approach enhances indoor environments, encourages behavioral change, and builds occupant trust. As a result, the VRM certification sets the highest standards for protecting health and safety. (Source)
5 Ways to Optimize Buildings for COVID-19 Prevention
The immediate preventative steps that work across the board to reduce the risk of infection are:
- Increase Ventilation
- Handwashing Signage
- Cleaning Protocols
- Optimal Humidity
- Filter Indoor Air
It goes without saying that healthy buildings play a central role in creating a healthy world. In
addition to everyday precautions taken by individuals, healthcare designers have a vital role to play in creating safe environments.
Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped develop modern design for healthcare organizations locally, regionally and internationally. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff
“Annual Recognition of Industry Leaders.” Fitwel.org, www.fitwel.org/best-in-building-health/.