The Tower Companies: The Pearl

The Pearl in Silver Spring, Maryland, becomes the first residential building to earn Fitwel Certification.

Project Summary:

The Pearl is a 317,000 square foot, multi-family high-rise building with 284 units that promotes sustainability, health, and wellness for over 400 residents. This building offers a unique living experience where residents feel connected to the natural world, despite the urban setting. In order to maximize daylight, the building massing was strategically adjusted to be responsive to the natural height of the street, allowing for maximum solar exposure within the courtyard and unobstructed views to the nearby Rock Creek Park. Highlighted below are strategies at The Pearl that support resident health: • Open and green space for residents, including a courtyard with restorative gardens, a playground, and fitness equipment • On-site Urban Farm supplying fresh produce through a resident basket-sharing program. The program is currently oversubscribed, supporting over 30 families • Floating 2-story fitness center that includes a yoga and cycling studio, cardio center, and crossfit zone • Views of the outdoors throughout amenity spaces and in the corridors on each floor • Full kitchen available to all residents 24/7 that features regularly scheduled healthy cooking demonstrations from professional chefs, often using produce from the Urban Farm

Applying Fitwel to Promote an Active and Healthy Lifestyle:

Fitwel provided The Tower Companies’ sustainability team with tools to enhance health and wellness for its residents, specifically assisting with the development of signage designed to motivate residents and guests to adopt a healthier lifestyle. For example, several signs promoting stair use, both at elevator call areas and the main glass stairwell in the lobby were newly installed. These prompts encourage residents to opt for the stairs, by conveying both the health and environmental benefits of making the active choice. The Tower Companies also developed more inclusive smoke-free signage, transitioning The Pearl into a tobacco, vapor, and smokefree community both indoors and in all outdoor spaces. This built on the original policy, which simply banned smoking indoors and within 25 feet of all building entrances. Fitwel also advised The Pearl on how to design and adopt an Indoor Air Quality policy. The project team used an existing policy from another multifamily development and updated it with more stringent pollutant and moisture control language. This policy will now be applied across other properties owned and managed by The Tower Companies to prepare them for Fitwel Certification in the future.

Why The Tower Companies Chose to Become a Fitwel Champion:

For generations, The Tower Companies has strived to create a positive and meaningful impact on people, community, and business. The Tower Companies became a Fitwel Champion in early 2018, supporting their committment to not only build and operate healthy commercial and residential properties, but to also inspire the real estate industry to prioritize health in the design and development process. Since achieving a Fitwel 2 Star Rating for The Pearl, The Tower Companies has started applying Fitwel to its commercial office properties in Maryland.

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    Fitwel plaque outside The Pearl. Photo Credit: John Harrington. Courtesy of The Tower Companies
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    Lobby Stairwell. Photo Credit: Morgan Howarth. Courtesy of The Tower Companies