Another First, Fitwel!

South Yard is First in Arkansas to Attain Healthy Building Certification


Fitwel LogoFitwel is the world’s leading certification system committed to building health for all. South Yard, our mixed-use development in South Fayetteville, is the first Fitwel certified property in Arkansas and one of fewer than 4% of Fitwel projects to attain three stars – the highest level of certification. 

“We are proud to recognize Specialized Real Estate Group as a leader in the healthy building movement for achieving a 3 star Fitwel Rating – the highest rating available within the Fitwel Standard – at its South Yard project,” said Joanna Frank, President and CEO of the Center for Active Design, operator of Fitwel. “This distinction validates their commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being of building occupants by implementing Fitwel’s scientific design and operational strategies. With these steps, South Yard is leading by example in the state of Arkansas and in the commercial real estate industry.”

Generated by expert analysis of over 5,600 academic research studies, the Fitwel standard contains more than 55 design and operational strategies that support individual and community health. Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Fitwel was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. General Services Administration. 

Noy, a Lao woman, helps her young son Ollie to put on a bicycle helmet. She is grinning and he is laughing.
Noy Phoumivong helps her son Ollie Beyer to protect his noggin with a helmet before venturing out on the trail. Fitwel encourages paved bike lanes to improve safety and ease of travel for cyclists, encouraging occupants and visitors to bike for transportation and recreation, contributing to increased physical activity.

From Good to Great

Many Fitwel strategies were already part of our DNA at Specialized. Indoor air quality practices, community gardens, smoke free policies, trail connections, and infill development have been standard practice in SREG projects for many years.

Here are three areas in which Fitwel encouraged us to go even further to create a healthier environment.

Provide enhanced transit stops

Enhanced transit stops like the bus shelter planned for MLK Boulevard increase comfort and safety while using public transit, encouraging active transportation and enhancing mental health.


Provide a designated display to post community events and information

Public information displays, like the digital displays to be included in the South Yard Lofts lobby and the common space near restaurants, can increase awareness of community events and support social engagement, contributing to enhanced social health and feelings of well-being.


Train local volunteers in emergency preparedness procedures

Training local volunteers in emergency preparedness can reduce the negative impact of an emergency situation and increase safety for occupants, helping to limit casualties and enhance social equity. We’ve included training for our staff in our policy manual, and will offer it to residents and commercial tenants, too.

Arkansas’ first Fitwel certified apartments – Now Leasing!

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