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SEAM Certification

Our mission is simple: help organizations make a positive impact on the world. When your real estate project earns a SEAM Certification, it demonstrates a tangible commitment to social sustainability, which creates a better project overall. Together, we can make the world a better place for everyone.

what is SEAM Certification?

SEAM stands for social equity assessment method. It is a third-party standard for real estate projects that certifies an organization's actions toward social sustainability as measured against internationally accepted criteria. It is a vehicle for organizations to leverage commercial real estate and use it to make authentic, measurable gains in social responsibility beyond health and wellness to encompass matters like justice and equity.  

how it works

  • similar scorecard format to LEED and WELL

  • metrics tied to international standards for social sustainability

  • a SEAM Accredited Professional (AP) leads the process for silver and above

  • projects earn one of four certification levels: bronze, silver, gold, or platinum

registration

project is registered in SEAM's database as a certification candiate

application

project is scored on criteria in 4 categories across the project lifecycle

review

project undergoes application review by third-party verification partner 

certification

project is granted SEAM certification after an affirmative review decision

SEAM Standard

Foundation of the SEAM Standard

The SEAM Standard v1 is the culmination of six years of extensive research and development. It has been rigorously reviewed by experts across the fields of social science and multiple sectors within the commercial real estate industry. The objective is to develop a comprehensive standard charting the criteria for assessing equity and social sustainability within the commercial real estate sector. The SEAM Standard leverages existing internationally accepted standards, guidelines, and best practices set by governmental and professional organizations for equity and social sustainability as sources for Activity requirements. "Appendix B: Normative reference descriptions" in the SEAM Standard Guide contains the complete list of referenced sources. SEAM is an effective framework that converts these principles into actionable steps and measures their impact. When significant topics are not sufficiently covered by existing research, the SEAM Standard draws upon expert advice to establish performance requirements and will cite the resource used. The SEAM Standard is predominantly performance-based, establishing quantifiable targets based on societal thresholds. Where societal thresholds are not established, SEAM relies on related research to establish the “do no harm” threshold that must be achieved. In all cases, requirements are established based on evidence supporting their beneficial implementation effects.

SEAM Standard update

The SEAM Standard version 1, along with its accompanying Guidance, is now available for download at the following link. We are actively developing additional resources to complement this standard, including truncated versions for streamlined use. These forthcoming documents are designed to enhance accessibility and practicality for diverse applications, ensuring users have the tools they need to effectively implement the SEAM Standard across various contexts. Stay tuned for these updates, and thank you for your commitment to advancing social equity within the built environment.

SEAM Standard with Guidance v1

The first-ever social certification for real estate.

​SEAM is a roadmap for developing socially sustainable real estate projects that measurably increase prosperity. The social equity assessment method is based on four pillars of social sustainability: social responsibility, social impact, social justice, and social accountability. The social pillars are rated by 8 concepts comprising 21 objectives that affect good outcomes for individuals, communities, and the world. We create a more connected, inclusive, and equitable planet for every project certified.

a comprehensive approach to social sustainability

covering 21 objectives across 8 social sustainability concepts 

SEAM Certification is flexible for all project types, with options for customizing how social sustainability goals are approached and realized

b + i

buildings + interiors

new construction and renovations of buildings or interiors

o + m

operations + maintenance

operations + maintenance of existing buildings or interiors

cd

community development

new land developments or redevelopments including community or placemaking projects

SEAM Rating systems

Not all SEAM Activities are universally applicable to every project, as their relevance depends on the type of project and the Owner's role. Project types can be construction projects or operating/existing assets. The Owner role is separated into the role of a Developer and the role of an Occupier. Rating systems are combinations of project type and Owner role. They aim to ensure that Owners have a Rating system that includes only the relevant Activities for the application of the SEAM Standard to their project. SEAM v1 is organized into 5 Rating Systems, which are: Buildings + Interiors (B+I): Developer Includes construction projects where a building or interior is undergoing ground-up starting from raw, undeveloped land, tear-down of an existing structure, starting from a previously developed site ground, or major renovations of an existing building as the Developer, where the Owner assumes Developer responsibilities including project ownership, vision establishment, financing procurement, construction supervision, landlord duties, and tenant leasing management. Buildings + Interiors (B+I): Occupier For construction projects of an existing building or space where the Owner is either a Tenant or Property Owner that has no Landlord duties or control over Tenant leasing. Operations + Maintenance (O+M): Developer For projects that involve the ongoing operations and maintenance of a building or space that's already constructed, where the Owner is the entity that owns the building or space and oversees its long-term operations, maintenance, and acts as Landlord. Operations + Maintenance (O+M): Occupier For projects that involve the ongoing operations and maintenance of a building or space that's already constructed, where the Owner is either a Tenant or property owner with no Landlord duties or control over Tenant leasing. Community Development (CD) – this Rating System is TBD

SEAM Summary Scorecards

We are accepting applications for pilot projects.

Apply now.

We are piloting projects across each certification type to continue calibrating the SEAM global scorecard. Use the form at right to apply for pilot project consideration.

Thank You to Our Founding Sponsors + Donors

Founding sponsors + donors are an exclusive group of organizations that believe in our bold vision and financially support our ability to carry out the vision of leveraging real estate to create a positive social impact in the world. 

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