The Real Estate Roundtable on Dec. 5 responded to a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Request for Information on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) management, which posed questions about a possible new building “label” program. (Roundtable comments and EPA’s Federal Register Notice)
- A public-private partnership federal recognition program that commends leadership in IAQ design and management could be a key component of a return to healthy workplaces, The Roundtable stated in its comments.
- The Roundtable urges policymakers and business leaders to push for the safe return of employees to their physical workspaces to benefit productivity and help reinvigorate small businesses in downtown neighborhoods—an essential contributor to urban communities and their tax bases. (Roundtable Weekly, Dec. 2)
- Should EPA move forward to propose any criteria for a potential IAQ label, The Roundtable commented that the agency must:
- Identify clear statutory authority and adequate federal resources to ensure its long-term viability;
- Conduct an initial pilot program for testing in actual buildings to reflect real-world experiences of commercial real estate practitioners (including private sector and federal building owners); and
- Demonstrate support for best practices and procedures that sequentially (I) control emissions and off-gassing from indoor sources, (II) improve ventilation rates, and (III) enhance air filtration and cleaning. (EPA’s IAQ best practices webpage)
The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) has a long, successful track record of collaboration with EPA and the Department of Energy in the development of numerous voluntary recognition programs, which are listed in the comments.
Healthy Return to Office
- The Roundtable participates in the Healthy Workplaces Coalition, which supports federal policies that support the health and well-being of employees, customers, and the public in workplaces and across the built environment. Other coalition members also submitted comments in response to the EPA’s Request for Information.
- The coalition is led by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). (Roundtable Weekly, May 27 and IWBI news release, May 25) The positive impact of IWBI’s WELL Certification on employees—including physical and mental health, well-being, and productivity—is analyzed in a recent issue of the Journal of Building and Environment. (IWBI news release and research study).
Return-to-the-office is a significant industry priority that will be discussed during The Roundtable’s all-member State of the Industry Meeting on January 24-25 in Washington, DC.
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