YMCA in San Francisco Is the First Fitness Facility in the World to be Awarded Prestigious WELL Building Certification

YMCA of San Francisco, Stonestown Family YMCA, International WELL Building Institute, Delos, ELS Architecture, Urban Design, MHC Engineers

Stonestown Family YMCA Celebrates WELL Certified Silver Certification at Award Ceremony on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:30 am.

San Francisco (June 10, 2019) – YMCA of San Francisco announced today that the Stonestown Family YMCA has been awarded WELL Certification at the Silver level by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The prestigious distinction was awarded through IWBI’s WELL Building Standard (WELL), which is the premier building standard focusing on enhancing people’s health and wellness through the buildings where they live, work and play. To achieve the certification, the Stonestown Family YMCA made multiple upgrades to the design, infrastructure, features and policies of the facility as part of a $4.1M capital improvements project. Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of IWBI, will be at the Stonestown Family YMCA to recognize them for this distinction on Tuesday, June 18 at 10:30 am.

“The Y has always provided safe spaces for our community to be healthy. It makes sense that we should consider how our buildings contribute to healthy living. We are proud to be the first fitness facility in the world to have achieved such a high standard in service to our members,” stated Chuck Collins, President and CEO of YMCA of San Francisco.

The YMCA worked with Delos, ELS Architecture and Urban Design, and MHC Engineers to ensure that elements of the seven categories of building performance were optimized in the building design, infrastructure, features and policies of the branch. Going far beyond typical building standards, the Y demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting human health, well-being and comfort through the built environment.

Created through seven years of rigorous research and development working with leading physicians, scientists, and industry professionals, the WELL Building Standard is a performance-based certification system that marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based scientific research. The Y earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance—Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Fitness, Comfort and Mind—and achieved a Silver level rating.

Project features that helped the Stonestown Family YMCA achieve its WELL Certified Silver rating include:

  • Air—New air filtration, pollution-source reduction, proper ventilation, low chemical material selection and cleaning standards with frequent wipedown schedules to minimize the spread of germs ensure high air quality.
  • Water—New water bottle filling stations with water tested for inorganic contaminants, organic contaminants and agricultural contaminants, as well as public water additives that can be harmful in large quantities to help members and staff stay hydrated, which will help improve overall health.
  • Nourishment—Policies for healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables and foods without harmful trans fats or high levels of sugar per serving, as well as providing nutritional information to help identify potential artificial ingredients help members and staff stay energized and focused.
  • Light—Maximized natural light, staff workstations designed to reduce glare and artificial light that supports natural patterns of the human circadian rhythm, an internal clock that synchronizes daily physiological functions, optimize the body’s natural routines by promoting daytime alertness and enhancing sleep at the end of the day.
  • Fitness—Optimized fitness program schedules to support active daily routines for members and staff.
  • Comfort—Design that prioritizes physical comfort through ergonomics, temperature, minimized noise and smell to optimize productivity and satisfaction with the environment for members and staff.
  • Mind—Access to programs designed to improve mental state and increase mindfulness, and new environmental design elements including colors and wall art that help reduce stress and support cognitive and emotional health for members and staff.

“With community at the heart of its mission, the YMCA helps make the opportunity to improve your life accessible to everyone,” said Rick Fedrizzi, Chairman and CEO, International WELL Building Institute. “By achieving WELL Certification, the Stonestown Family YMCA takes its commitment to its community one step further by providing a space that directly enhances their health and well-being.”

WELL is grounded in a body of evidence-based research that explores the connection between the buildings where we spend approximately 90 percent of our time, and the health and wellness impact on us as occupants of these buildings. To be awarded WELL Certification by IWBI, the Y underwent rigorous testing and a final evaluation carried out by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which is the third-party certification body for WELL, to ensure it met all WELL Certified Silver performance requirements.

The Award Ceremony will take place at Stonestown Family YMCA, 333 Eucalyptus Drive, San Francisco on Tuesday, June 18 at 10:30 am. The event will include remarks from Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of the International WELL Building Institute, Chuck Collins, President & CEO YMCA of San Francisco, and Josh Leonard, Senior Executive Director of the Stonestown Family YMCA. The event will conclude with the presentation of the WELL Certified Silver plaque and a tour of the facility that highlights various aspects of the project. YMCA leadership will be available for questions after the event.

About the YMCA of San Francisco

The YMCA of San Francisco makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower people and communities to learn, grow and become healthy. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves the Bay Area’s health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. At the YMCA of San Francisco, strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to improve their lives and their community. For more information about the Y of SF, please visit ymcasf.org 

About ELS Architecture and Urban Design

ELS Architecture and Urban Design was founded in Berkeley, California in 1967. ELS works with the YMCA of San Francisco, YMCA of the East Bay, and YMCA of Silicon Valley on ongoing retrofits, new facilities, and updates to their health and wellness facilities. These projects provide flexible, inclusive and engaging environments that support the YMCA’s program goals. The firm’s work also includes recreation and wellness facilities; education; theaters and performing arts venues; mixed-use and urban design projects and historic building renovations. ELS is listed among the 2018 Architectural Record Top 300 Architecture Firms. For more information, please visit elsarch.com 

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