Menkes Announces ‘Healthy Spaces’ Program for Office Tenants
September 12, 2017
TORONTO (September 12, 2017) – Menkes Developments Ltd. (Menkes), a fully integrated real estate company based in Toronto, today launched its Healthy Spaces program across the company’s portfolio of commercial buildings in the GTA. The company’s three-year wellbeing program will focus on engaging commercial office occupants and offering them healthier lifestyle alternatives and opportunities.
Long recognized for its commitment to developing high quality, people-oriented, sustainable buildings, Menkes’ decision to actively encourage wellness among its occupants follows the company’s recent commitment to be a Fitwel Champion. Announced earlier this year, Menkes was the first Canadian real estate company to participate in Fitwel, a new evidence-based building certification system that optimizes occupant health and productivity through targeted improvements to workplace design and operational policies.
“While we have always strived to be an industry leader in green-friendly, sustainable real estate development and operations, we believe the next step is to focus on the quality of the work environment and its impact on the health of our tenants,” says Peter Menkes, President of the Commercial/Industrial Division of Menkes. “The developing trend of wellness in real estate is where we saw sustainability ten years ago with the emergence of LEED, and now we see programs like Fitwel supporting us in responsible building management.”
“The rollout of our Healthy Spaces initiatives furthers our commitment to occupant health and wellbeing and will hopefully give our building occupants the opportunities and encouragement to start making small but meaningful lifestyle changes to live healthier” says Jon Douglas, Menkes’ Director of Sustainability. “For us, it’s making sure our buildings aren’t impeding on someone living a healthy lifestyle,” he says. “So the program we’re developing is creating opportunities for healthy choices. Health is still an individual’s choice, but we want to make sure occupants have the right information so that they can choose that healthy lifestyle.”
“Employees spend an increasing amount of time indoors and the buildings they work in have an effect on their health. We believe that our new program, and specific initiatives to actively promote health and wellness throughout our buildings, will help people’s wellbeing” says Jon Douglas. Menkes’ Healthy Spaces program has four main areas of focus; Eating Well, Being Active, Maintaining Health, and Engaging Minds. “Each area of focus will include specific initiatives aimed at creating opportunities for employees in our buildings to reach improved nutrition, physical activity, preventative health and mental health.”
Eating Well: Eating Well focuses on creating opportunities for building occupants to make informed decisions about nutrition and healthy eating at work and at home. Example initiatives include healthy food maps, tenant catering guides, and live cooking demonstrations.
Being Active: Being Active focuses on creating opportunities for building occupants to increase physical activity levels during the workday through programming and building amenities. Example initiatives include walking maps with step counts, calories and travel times, stairwell artwork to encourage use of stairs, and a cycling to work program called PEDAL where Menkes is looking to make their properties cycle friendly.
Maintaining Health: Maintaining Health focuses on preventative measures to support building occupants in maintaining optimal health through education and awareness. Example initiatives include hand-washing promotion, indoor air quality guide, and onsite flu shot clinics.
Engaging Mind: Engaging Mind focuses on providing opportunities for building occupants to engage in initiatives that positively impact their mental health and wellbeing. Example initiatives include stress management seminars, mental health awareness campaigns, and morning meditation classes.
The three-year Healthy Spaces initiative will be launched across the company’s portfolio of office buildings, which includes such signature commercial developments as 25 York Street and new One York Street.
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Menkes Developments Ltd. is an award-winning, fully integrated real estate company involved in the construction, ownership and management of office, industrial, retail and residential properties. Founded in 1954, the company is one of the largest private developers in Canada, with a primary focus in the Greater Toronto Area. Menkes is known for its innovative, multi-disciplinary approach and particularly for its expertise in large-scale, mixed-use development. Past projects include the Empress Walk entertainment, shopping and residential complex in North York City Centre, the Four Seasons Hotel & Residences in Bloor-Yorkville and two landmark projects in Toronto’s South Core district, 25 York (TELUS House) office tower and the two million square foot Harbour Plaza Residences / One York commercial retail complex. The company’s latest project is a proposed waterfront community on an 11.5 acre site in downtown Toronto, which will be anchored by a new two-acre park. For more information about Menkes, please visit menkes.com and follow us on twitter @MenkesLife.