The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, have announced a joint strategic initiative to accelerate the uptake of best practices that strengthen the role of buildings in the fight against COVID-19 and other infections.
Specifically, the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program will become a recognized path of partial compliance for cleaning and sanitization criteria within IWBI’s holistic WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management. A GBAC STAR accreditation will count towards five of the 15 points necessary to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating overall. Furthermore, ISSA members and GBAC Star accredited projects are eligible for a 25 percent discount when enrolling to pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is a leading evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all facility types and is holistically focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder education. Buildings like the Empire State Building and Taipei 101 Tower, a substantial number of professional stadiums, including Yankee Stadium, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, and Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, all of Fairfax County, VA public schools, and portfolios of major global companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Uber, Aimbridge Hospitality, Loews Hotels and USAA, are using the WELL Health-Safety Rating to help visitors, employees and customers alike feel more confident in getting back to business.
GBAC STAR accredits facilities that follow a rigorous set of proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and infection prevention practices to combat biohazards and prevent the spread of infectious disease. More than 3,500 facilities in 81 countries have committed to GBAC STAR accreditation since the program launched in May. Notable facilities that have achieved GBAC STAR to date include Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the Dubai Mall, and McCormick Place in Chicago. Additionally, GBAC STAR has garnered worldwide adoption from Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, The Leading Hotels of the World and American Airlines.
Future collaborative efforts may include joint education on the critical role of buildings in advancing human health and well-being, partnering on key advocacy efforts, exchange of expertise between the IWBI community and ISSA and GBAC’s biorisk and cleaning professionals, along with the expansion of professional trainings and certificate programs.