Major players in the real estate industry are responding to the post-pandemic trend of empty offices by joining a radical new scheme designed to raise social standards.

Certified Metrics (‘CM’), the brainchild of sustainability technology and services company Evora Global and healthy building certification platform Fitwel, is a new method to measure the social standards of buildings.

CM measures factors such as air quality, access to daylight, walking opportunities and how a building interacts with its surrounding environment.

Sarah Coughlan, head of social wellbeing at sustainability services company Evora Global, says she wants CM to be used in large buildings across the world and for social standards to be taken as seriously as financial information.

“Since the pandemic offices have simply been under capacity as WFH continues to be the norm. But if the real estate industry wants this to change then it’s going to have to get serious about social. The message is simple: get social or lose to WFH.”

The standard is now being piloted at hundreds of buildings in the UK, Europe and the US, including major names in real estate such as BGO, Hudson Pacific Properties, Lendlease Americas, QuadReal Property Group, Tishman Speyer and Vornado Realty Trust.

“We’ve been taken aback by how popular this idea is. The real estate industry sees this as a turning point and an opportunity to raise standards,” added Coughlan.

"The more things you do to promote health, the more likely you are to boost satisfaction and retain workers," says Joanna Frank, President and CEO of Fitwel.

"Fitwel is committed to reaching a consensus on the S as quickly as possible, using what was learned from the environmental movement and what we already know about the connection between the built environment and health outcomes through evidence-based health-promoting strategies."