As many companies and individuals are preparing to submit projects for Fitwel Certification in the coming months, here are some tips for avoiding common mistakes and preparing high-quality submissions.
Information Consistency: Ensure accurate and consistent information across your project. This starts with the project details entered when creating the project and continues throughout the documentation process. Information such as the number of regular or building occupants, regularly occupied areas, entrances, or on-site outdoor areas should be consistent throughout the documentation. The Certification Team will ask for additional documentation if relevant information is shown in one strategy but excluded from another strategy.
Strategy Requirements and Compliance Documentation: Carefully read through the strategy requirements and be sure that all compliance documentation has been uploaded. The Certification Team will not be able to award credit during the Initial Review if any strategy components or required documentation is missing.
Mandatory Compliance Documentation:
- Official Statements must be dated and on company letterhead.
- Official Policies must be on company letterhead and include a start date of implementation.
- Photographs should include clear images that capture different angles and scales.
- Floor Plans and Sections should include the project name and floor numbers. A typical floor plan may be submitted but the project should communicate the floor numbers that it represents.
Annotate, Annotate, Annotate: Add notes. Include descriptions. Label documentation. Highlight or outline relevant parts for images, plans, or policies that include a lot of information. Translate the relevant sections into English for documentation in another language. Keep in mind that the Certification Team is only familiar with your project through what you show on the submitted documentation. Make sure it is clear and informative!
Relevant Documentation: Avoid submitting irrelevant information. If the project deems it necessary, write a brief description to explain how it is meeting the strategy requirements.
Compatible Files: The portal will not accept files that are more than 20 MB. Reduce file sizes or eliminate unnecessary information. Keep extensions to PDF, JPEG, doc, xlsx, or pptx. Do not send .msg files or links that require user login. When possible, package similar types of compliance documentation.
Communication from Fitwel and Across Your Team: The Fitwel portal and Certification Team will send email notifications only to users listed under the Company Lead and Portfolio Managers on the Project Information page. Those individuals should make sure to communicate among all members of the project team, including Project Collaborators, from the project kick off through certification. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page, working towards the same goal, and following the same timeline. Additionally, make sure all users have access to the necessary projects and portfolios.
Certification Deadlines: Keep submission deadlines in mind, knowing that submissions and payment must be received before the initial review can begin. If you are not paying for certification fees upfront, ensure necessary invoices are generated at least 30 days before your anticipated submission date. View the 2023 Project Submission Deadlines here.
Project Directory and Certification Collateral: Confirm your certified project is publicized on the Fitwel Project Directory (fitwel.org/project-directory/) by making sure you respond ‘Yes’ to the question “Display this project in the public Fitwel Directory?” under the Project Information page. Make sure that all project details are accurate and correctly spelled, since the portal will automatically use this information for the Project Directory and when generating the certification materials. More information on Fitwel Certification can be found at fitwel.org/certification and by downloading the available resources at fitwel.org/resources/#v2-1.