Brookfield Properties - UL VHB Case Study
UL Verified Healthy Building Verification Mark helps Brookfield Properties welcome back tenants safely, confidently after pandemic
Brookfield Properties operates more than nine-million-square-feet of real estate in Los Angeles alone, including iconic buildings like the Figueroa at Wilshire, EY Plaza and the Wells Fargo Center. The real estate owner/operator has a history of pursuing sustainability and wellness certifications and, for more than a decade, has prioritized good indoor air quality (IAQ), relying on global safety science leader UL Solutions for air testing, monitoring and on-site inspections.
Committed to providing spaces that support tenant health, Brookfield Properties was one of the initial participants in UL Solutions’ Verified Healthy Building for Indoor Air program.
UL Verified Healthy Building for Indoor Air Mark punctuates history of investment in IAQ
One of the most respected names in safety, security and sustainability in buildings, UL Solutions established the Verified Healthy Building program in 2020. Designed to demonstrate the truthfulness of claims about indoor environments that support health, the program offers tiered Verification, enabling building owners to choose from a range of important performance criteria. The program evaluates building spaces against vigorous methodologies for IAQ and confirms that plans are in place for continual advancement of IAQ in the future.
“We are proud to be a first adopter in Los Angeles County of the UL Verified Healthy Building Mark by completing the verification process for each of our nine properties located in Downtown LA and Marina del Rey,” said Robert Cushman, senior vice president of operations at Brookfield Properties. “The health and safety of our customers has always been a top priority for Brookfield Properties. UL’s Verified Healthy Building program provides third-party verification that we have achieved the highest standard in IAQ.”
For more than 10 years, Brookfield Properties has worked with UL Solutions to conduct IAQ assessments in their buildings, making participation in the Verified Healthy Buildings for Indoor Air program the logical next step in demonstrating their commitment to tenants. To achieve UL Verified Healthy Building Verification, Brookfield Properties participated in a desktop audit in addition to undergoing on-site visits, visual inspections and performance testing. To maintain verification, property evaluation will occur twice a year to demonstrate that the building continues to achieve excellent IAQ.
Verification program helps streamline return to work
Brookfield Properties’ focus on indoor air quality delivers insight and confidence as tenants return to work after extended closures resulting from the stay-at-home order. During a period of heightened awareness of IAQ and its role in preventing disease transmission, Brookfield Properties has a wealth of historical data already in place and access to UL Solutions’ IAQ experts.
With baseline data and decades of insight into the factors that contribute to IAQ, Brookfield Properties has identified important measures to manage IAQ. For example, when developing the back to business, Brookfield Properties’ guidebook for returning to offices, the company referenced data from HVAC inspections and air testing conducted as a part of their IAQ assessments. The company also employed specific measures to ensure increased janitorial activity did not compromise IAQ.
In deploying social media, internal newsletters and regular tenant communications to share its return-to-work strategy, Brookfield Properties highlighted the significance of achieving the UL Verified Healthy Building Verification with its stakeholders.
“Maintaining healthy IAQ and reducing risk of COVID-19 transmission is a team effort that requires the participation of the entire ecosystem of stakeholders, from building owners and operators to tenants, janitorial staff and third-party providers. It’s incumbent on everyone to engage in conversations and share ownership of the effective implementation of safety precautions like mask-wearing, social distancing and regular cleaning,” noted Sean McCrady, director of Assets and Sustainability in UL Solutions’ Real Estate and Properties group.
Regardless of their current status related to IAQ management, building owners and operators can take steps to proactively manage IAQ as part of their preparation for tenants to reoccupy their premises. “If there is a silver lining to the situation, it’s that the pandemic has heightened the awareness of the importance of IAQ. The health and wellness of our communities should always be top of mind, beyond the pandemic,” said Robert Cushman, senior vice president of operations at Brookfield Properties.
As tenants return to buildings after the pandemic, the UL Verified Healthy Buildings for Indoor Air Mark sends a clear signal to tenants and other stakeholders that Brookfield Properties prioritizes indoor environments that support human health and wellness.