Canadian real estate private equity firm among early Canadian adopters of global health and safety rating developed in response to COVID-19
Greybrook Realty Partners Inc. announced today their achievement of the International WELL Building Institute’s (IWBI) WELL Health-Safety Rating, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to the health and well-being of its employees and the operation of a safer and healthier office environment for all visitors.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating, developed by IWBI in consultation with nearly 600 public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists, and real estate professionals. The rating provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators. It leverages insights drawn from the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19, in addition to guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, as well as core principles established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard (WELL), the premier framework for advancing health in buildings and spaces of all kinds.
“The health and safety of our employees and all visitors to our offices is our top priority and Greybrook is proud to be among the first to adopt this global standard in Canada,” said Sasha Cucuz, Partner Greybrook Capital. “While we had implemented a number of health and safety protocols prior to and during the pandemic, we felt it was important to have our measures reviewed and validated by a qualified third-party. Pursuing this rating involved a more rigorous review and demonstration of our health, safety, employee wellness, and cleaning protocols among others, and we benefitted from many of IWBI’s best practices. The achievement of the rating and importantly, the WELL Health-Safety seal, which is prominently displayed in our lobby and all three floors of our head office, allow us to easily communicate to anyone entering our facilities that they can feel confident knowing we have met rigorous health and safety criteria.”
Many leading organizations in Canada have enrolled to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, with a number of high-profile Canadian organizations also recently achieving the rating, including the Scotiabank Arena, the first Canadian sports and entertainment arena to achieve the rating, and Brookfield Properties, covering nearly 114 retail assets and nearly 100 office properties totaling more than 200 million square feet in 10 major markets in the U.S. and Canada.
Greybrook is one of the largest equity investors in residential real estate development in Canada with over 43 million square feet of projected density in Canada and the U.S., and 21 multi-family apartment buildings in Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Houston, Texas. “We are in the process of exploring ways to incorporate the WELL Building Standard across our portfolio of existing apartment buildings, and in our new housing communities in Canada and the U.S.,” said Cucuz.
“We applaud Greybrook for being an early adopter of the WELL Health-Safety rating in the Canadian real estate development industry and for their efforts to support awareness and adoption of the rating and the WELL Building Standard within the industry and across their residential development portfolio,” said Rachel Hodgdon, IWBI president and CEO. Canada is playing a leading role in the movement to advance health and well-being through better buildings. Of the more than 1.8 billion square feet of space in over 80 countries benefiting from a commitment to achieving the WELL Health-Safety Rating or WELL Certification, over 100 million square feet is based in Canada.