NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Bernama) — The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) today announced that the Philippines‘ iconic Menarco Tower is the first building in Southeast Asia to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management, a program that IWBI recently launched to guide and empower the actions of large and small businesses alike in taking the necessary steps to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders.
Menarco joined the more than 100 global early adopters in July to enroll in the documentation-based WELL Health-Safety Rating and implement its science-backed guidance. The rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder engagement strategies to help organizations get back to business.
“As we celebrate Menarco Tower’s achievement for becoming the first regional WELL Health-Safety Rated property, we are proud to see Menarco take another step in its WELL journey, demonstrating a continuous commitment to supporting people’s health, safety and well-being,” said IWBI President Rachel Gutter. “The latest achievement by Menarco gives the sense of reassurance to the project team, employees and stakeholders that the measures they took have been mapped to scientific evidence and verified through an internationally trusted third-party review process.”
The Menarco Tower was the first WELL Certified project in the Philippines. Gutter pointed out that there are thoughtfully designed pathways for WELL-registered and WELL Certified projects to pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating by effectively leveraging the synergies between the two programs. The WELL Health-Safety Rating was adapted from features in the WELL v2, the recently launched update to the WELL Building Standard (WELL), but focuses specifically on documentation-based features around facility maintenance and operations. While WELL projects can adopt longer term design strategies to reduce the risks of infectious disease spread, they can tap into this rating to focus on measures that can be implemented immediately to address acute threats, restoring confidence to support an organization’s business bottom line.
“Together with IWBI, Menarco continues to be a leader in the healthy building initiative in Southeast Asia,” said Carmen Jimenez-Ong, founder & CEO of Menarco Development Corporation. She said Menarco confidently strode forward during the Covid-19 pandemic despite rising cases in the Philippines. “We know that with our WELL Health-Safety Rating, we are locally executing international best practices, and it makes me happy to share that during this crucial season, Menarco Tower helps keep people safe and well.”
Menarco Tower achieved the rating by implementing features across five categories, including cleaning and sanitization procedures; emergency preparedness programs that include plans for both staff and visitors as well as plans for re-entry after an emergency event; health service resources such as providing access to sick leave and mental health recovery; air and water quality management; and stakeholder engagement and communications resources to promote health and wellness.
Created by IWBI, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is informed by guidance developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, recognized standard-making bodies, such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions. IWBI has leveraged insights from its Task Force on COVID-19, established at the outset of the pandemic to help business and building leaders integrate actionable insights and proven strategies in the fight against COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.
Owners, operators and tenants can pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating for projects independently, seamlessly using the rating as a stepping stone to achievement of WELL Certification, or integrate the rating as a milestone within their WELL Certification or WELL Portfolio journey.
To learn more about the WELL Health-Safety Rating, visit https://www.wellcertified.com/health-safety.