DC Building Earns WELL Building Core and Shell Certification

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The 202,000-square-foot trophy office building at 1901 L Street in Washington, D.C,. owned by a joint venture between The Meridian Group and Rockefeller Group will become the first-ever office building in the region to earn the WELL Building Core and Shell certification

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To achieve certification, the property met a variety of preconditions tied to quality standards for air, water, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind.

For instance, to ensure the highest level of air quality and dedicated ventilation, the ownership installed a DOAS (Dedicated Outside Air System), which provides a complete supply of air from outside of the building rather than recycled indoor air.  

“The certification is a validation of the elevated healthy environment that 1901 L provides for the people occupying the building as a result of investments we made on indoor air quality, water purity, natural light and other wellness-focused design elements,” Wil Machen, Meridian’s senior vice president, told Commercial Observer. “It is a meaningful milestone for Meridian as a company as we roll out many of the same wellness concepts to the rest of our D.C.-area portfolio in an effort to provide indoor environments that are market leading from a health and wellness standpoint.”

The building, which opened this spring, has cleared the performance verification evaluation and achieved WELL pre-certification on its path to the final certification expected in the next few weeks.

Among the building’s notable tenants are Winston & Strawn, Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider and the Rockefeller Group.

In part because achieving WELL certification for a full building requires significant investments in systems and operational improvements, it won’t make sense for every building or owner. But Meridian says it believes the focus on health and wellness will continue well after the current pandemic, making buildings that can achieve this certification more sought after and more valuable.   

“The focus on health and wellness in office buildings, particularly indoor air quality, is more prominent now than ever before,” Machen said. “Guidance regarding COVID has been that outdoor spaces are far safer than indoor spaces.Providing a 100 percent outside air source to the interior spaces, rather than recycled inside air, allows for a healthier environment with less pollutants and airborne pathogens. The benefits of cleaner air go well beyond reducing the risk of COVID transmission and should result in healthier workers and fewer sick days.”  

CBRE is leading the leasing efforts for the building.