We're proud to have been awarded the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management, which recognises buildings and organisations that are prioritising health and safety in a post-COVID-19 world.

Overbury earned the global distinction having evidenced the high standard of operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans in place at its Zenith Building office in Manchester city centre.

Launched in June 2020, the WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based and third-party verified scheme that addresses the pandemic and emergency preparedness of spaces and organisations, giving businesses guidance on when and how to restore their operations.

The scheme is operated by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the organisation that oversees the world’s premier framework for advancing health in buildings and spaces of all kinds.

The Rating is based on 21 core features that have been informed by the WELL Building Standard, as well as guidance from the WHO and IWBI’s Task Force on COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Infections. It's a group of nearly 600 public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers, building scientists and real estate professionals.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating can be undertaken independently or as a stepping stone to certification through the WELL Building Standard. It is intended to complement but not replace health-based governmental guidance and requirements.

Dr. Joe Croft, head of environmental and sustainability at Overbury, said: “Achieving the new WELL Health-Safety Rating is testament to the strength of our existing organisational practices and the agility of our office and facilities managers in implementing timely improvements. Like most businesses, our employees and clients are particularly conscious of the safety of spaces at this time. As early adopters of the wellness agenda and the WELL philosophy, we felt that the new scheme could provide a more robust and scientific approach to preparing our workplace for re-entry in a post-COVID-19 environment.

“We found that although we already met many of the requirements, the rating gave us a clear structure of what ‘good’ looks like, with an easy to use tool and clear criteria, so that the time spent pursuing the scheme was largely about improving how we do things. Although informed by the pandemic, the rating has broader applicability for supporting the long-term health and safety needs of people in a given space. We’d certainly encourage other organisations to pursue achievement of the WELL Health-Safety Rating and would welcome the opportunity to share details of how we approached it.”

“Congratulations to Overbury for taking the necessary steps to prioritise the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders. From cleaning and sanitization to emergency preparedness and air and water quality management, Overbury is supporting actions that can protect health and safety during and after crises like the one we’re experiencing now,” said Rick Fedrizzi, IWBI chairman and CEO. “As the first organisation in the UK – and throughout Europe – to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating, Overbury has established itself as a leader in the region in supporting a healthy, resilient recovery while inspiring others to reopen with confidence.”