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Medical-Grade Air Filtration, Touchless Everything: How Brookfield Properties Is Preparing For The Return To The Office

Brookfield Properties' vision for a healthy workspace.

With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine underway, 2021 brings a new hope of returning tenants to the office. The vaccine alone won’t be enough to ensure employees feel safe, however, which is why property groups need to double down on their efforts to keep buildings sanitized and promote tenant wellness. 

“Our property and sustainability teams are constantly working to make sure our buildings promote wellness, convenience and safety,” said Greg Meyer, executive vice president and head of the D.C. region at Brookfield Properties. “We’ve invested in numerous measures to keep our tenants safe now and in the future.”

Throughout the pandemic, Brookfield Properties has been working to retrofit buildings with the latest technology to ensure the health and safety of tenants for when they transition back, and for the long term. These technologies include medical-grade air filtration, touchless entry systems, self-cleaning surfaces and more. 

“We’ve examined our entire portfolio from top to bottom to ensure we meet the highest standards,” Meyer said. “We have also tapped third-party experts to independently vet and verify the effectiveness of new practices so tenants can confidently return.”

To safely transition tenants back to its buildings across the D.C. region, Brookfield installed MERV 15 hospital-grade air filters and indoor air quality sensors to monitor the air in real time. To minimize interactions with shared surfaces, the company installed touchless entry points at lobby turnstiles and self-cleaning elevator buttons. Additionally, Brookfield has posted COVID-19 signage and hand sanitizer stations throughout its buildings while also mandating social distancing and mask-wearing protocols.  

“The threat of COVID-19 has caused many people to avoid public spaces,” Meyer said. “Implementing strict health and safety protocols is a necessary step in building trust, as is gaining third-party validations that verify these investments are effective.”

Meyer added that Brookfield Properties is a Fitwel Viral Response early adopter and is pursuing certification across its regional D.C. portfolio, and has been designated a Fitwel Champion. This means its buildings are adhering to a strict set of guidelines that are necessary to mitigate the spread of infectious respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.

Currently, Brookfield Properties’ 655 New York Ave., 650 Massachusetts Ave., 1250 Connecticut Ave. and Victor Building in Northwest D.C., as well as Potomac Tower in Rosslyn, have achieved Fitwel Certification. Additionally, 650 Massachusetts, 655 New York and the Victor Building have been WELL Health & Safety rated.

Tenant wellness is about more than just keeping spaces safe and sanitized. It’s also about creating a warm, welcoming community through events and amenities that promote a healthy work-life balance.

Before the pandemic, Brookfield Properties’ Activated program, its full-service tenant engagement platform, gave tenants in all of its buildings access to amenities at locations across the company’s D.C.-area portfolio, including fitness facilities, landscaped rooftops, lounges and collaborative spaces. The program also curated exclusive events at buildings for tenants, including yoga classes, happy hours and museum tours. 

The pandemic forced buildings to halt these programs, but Brookfield Properties had a solution. 

The company transitioned Activated online to deliver virtual programming and COVID-19 safety protocols to the people who work in Brookfield buildings. Throughout the pandemic, Activated has coordinated a variety of virtual events for tenants including happy hours, fitness challenges and cooking classes. The Activated engagement team is now preparing for continued virtual engagement and select in-person opportunities when it is safe to do so.

“Despite the many challenges that 2020 brought our community, Brookfield Properties is committed to providing an excellent office and amenity experience as people transition back to the office, whenever they are ready,” Meyer said. “We’ve upgraded our buildings leveraging the highest standards. Our own Brookfield Properties team has transitioned back to the office. We’re excited to see each other and our neighboring tenants, and look forward to welcoming others back in the months to come.”

This article was produced in collaboration between Brookfield Properties and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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