The Well Living Lab, a Delos and Mayo Clinic collaboration dedicated to researching the indoor environment’s impact on human health, today announced that Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate leader, will join the Well Living Lab Alliance, a global consortium of organizations that support the advancement of knowledge about how the Indoor Environmental Quality improves human health and well-being where people live, work, and play, to advance the study of Indoor Environmental Quality. The study will include lab and in-building research and recommend best practices in office buildings in the U.S. and internationally.
Rich in sensor technology and highly configurable, the Well Living Lab, adjacent to the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester, Minnesota, is designed to simulate multiple indoor environmental settings and will generate insights and evaluate technologies to reduce the risk of respiratory virus transmission in work environments. Empire State Realty Trust will contribute their extensive expertise in building operations and management, along with insights on tenant engagement and perception in a post-COVID-19 environment.
“We are excited to welcome Empire State Realty Trust as a member of the Well Living Lab Alliance,” said Dr. Véronique Roger, Research Director of the Well Living Lab, and Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Mayo Clinic. “Their contributions and ongoing insights into health-safety practices for offices will be invaluable for our research on COVID-19 & Beyond: Well Living Lab Safe Indoor Environment Program.”
Empire State Realty Trust also will enroll its entire portfolio in the WELL Health-Safety Rating program, offered by the International WELL Building Institute, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delos. The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all facility types, focused on operational policies, maintenance protocols, emergency plans and stakeholder education to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and broader health and safety-related issues into the future.
“As we begin the process of reopening our buildings in the wake of COVID-19, it is critical that we take an evidence-based approach to ensure the health and safety of occupants when we return,” said Paul Scialla, Delos Founder and CEO. “With a leading organization such as Empire State Realty Trust, we are excited about the opportunity to extend the Well Living Lab’s pioneering research at the intersection of health, building and behavioral sciences and address today’s most pressing public health concern.”
Empire State Realty Trust has been a proven leader in sustainability and has studied and implemented measures to improve Indoor Environmental Quality for more than a decade. As part of the reopening of the Empire State Building Observatory, which underwent a $165 million redevelopment completed in December 2019, measures were designed and installed to mitigate direct, indirect and aerosol transmission through mask and distancing policies, sanitizer access, MERV13 filtration, increased ventilation, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols. Similar measures have been made to upgrade health protocols of Empire State Realty Trust’s entire portfolio. Additionally, at the Empire State Building, carbon emissions from operations were reduced by approximately 40 percent over the past 10 years with plans underway to cut an additional 40 percent in the next decade. The building serves as an example to the global real estate community of how retrofits and design upgrades can make an enormous impact towards improving the health of the environment.
“We have focused on Indoor Environmental Quality for more than a decade and pioneered and showcased many sustainability practices when we renovated the Empire State Building, practices we subsequently rolled out to our entire portfolio. We believe in the power of building performance to improve employee productivity and enhance our competitive position amongst tenants. Along the way, our practices can help to protect the health of the planet. We are pleased to partner with the Well Living Lab initiative and contribute our learnings and leadership and examine new opportunities to remain at the forefront of Indoor Environmental Quality. COVID-19 has demonstrated clearly the critical role buildings play in human health,” said Empire State Realty Trust Chairman, President and CEO Anthony E. Malkin.
Dr. Stacey Rizza, Mayo Clinic Professor of Medicine, Infectious Disease, and President of the Mayo Clinic Staff in Rochester, Minnesota, is a key collaborator in the Well Living Lab’s COVID-19 & Beyond: Safe Indoor Environment Program, specifically where surface transmission is concerned. “As we research ways in which we can prepare and protect our indoor environments in the post-COVID era, Empire State Realty Trust will be a tremendous asset,” said Rizza. “They have already demonstrated their commitment to this effort by proactively upgrading health and safety protocols to reduce pathogen risk.”
“We have to rely on science and evidence-based strategies to deliver buildings and interiors that live up to what our customers need – energy efficient and human health-enhancing spaces that are both functional and beautiful,” said Dana Schneider, Senior Vice President and Director, Energy and Sustainability, for Empire State Realty Trust. “Our partnership with Delos and its multi-dimensional approach to deliver that scientific rigor will allow us to help the industry stay ahead of the curve and provide the proven guidance our customers and government officials can depend on.”
About the Well Living Lab
The Well Living Lab, a collaboration of Delos and Mayo Clinic, is dedicated to identifying how indoor environments impact human health and well-being. It conducts scientific research with human subjects in a simulated real-world environment and shares practical findings that can be applied to improving indoor spaces where people spent approximately 90 percent of their time. The lab has 5,500 square-feet of sensor rich, reconfigurable space in downtown Rochester, Minnesota. Learn more at welllivinglab.com
Delos is a wellness real estate and technology company with a mission to be the world’s leading catalyst for improving the health and well-being of people by improving the indoor environments where they live, work, sleep and play. Informed by more than seven years of research and rigorous analysis of environmental health impacts on people, Delos and its subsidiaries offer an array of evidence-based technology and solutions for the built environment. Delos is the founder of the International WELL Building Institute and the WELL Building Standard, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. The International WELL Building Institute administers and continues WELL’s development and drives market adoption. Registrations under the WELL Building Standard have surpassed 4,100 projects in 59 countries, encompassing more than 530 million square feet. Delos collaborated with the Mayo Clinic to create the Well Living Lab, a scientific research center that uses exclusively human-centered research to understand the interaction between health and well-being and indoor environments. The company’s advisory board is comprised of leading professionals across real estate, healthcare, government policy and sustainability, including the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Richard Carmona, UCLA’s Dr. Jonathan Fielding, renowned wellness luminary Deepak Chopra, and sustainability advocate Leonardo DiCaprio. For more information about Delos, please visit www.delos.com.
About Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.
Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building, the world’s most famous building. Headquartered in New York, New York, the Company’s office and retail portfolio covers 10.1 million rentable square feet, as of March 31, 2020, consisting of 9.4 million rentable square feet in 14 office properties, including nine in Manhattan, three in Fairfield County, Connecticut and two in Westchester County, New York; and approximately 700,000 rentable square feet in the retail portfolio.