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  • What is SEAM™?
    SEAM is the world’s first social impact standard for commercial real estate. SEAM stands for Social Equity Assessment Method. The SEAM Certification™ focuses on a series of key social sustainability objectives that follow internationally approved standards and align to recognize ESG and other social reporting frameworks. SEAM is setting the bar for social impact in commercial real estate through project certifications, professional accreditations, and memberships for interested individuals and firms.
  • Why is SEAM Certification™ important?
    Every real estate project has the potential to make a positive social impact. SEAM is on a mission to help companies leverage their real estate to make the world a better place. SEAM aligns a company’s social goals (such as ESG metrics, diversity & inclusion goals, or other Corporate Social Responsibility targets) to their Commercial Real Estate footprints.
  • Why should CRE professionals and organizations participate in SEAM™?
    SEAM certification™ offers the opportunity for organizations to differentiate themselves and their developments through their demonstrated actions of meeting rigorous standards for positive social impact. The SEAM certification™ standard is aligned to internationally recognized reporting frameworks and can plug directly into a company’s CSR or ESG strategy, helping them more effectively address the challenges of measuring social impact on their projects.
  • What kind of buildings can be certified under SEAM™?
    Any real estate project can be certified, whether it is a building, interior, park, infrastructure project, etc. It can also be a new build or an existing building or space. All real estate projects have a social impact because the built environment touches so many people.
  • What are the requirements for a SEAM certification and what documentation would be needed?
    There is a scorecard user guide with accompanying verification requirements that is quite extensive. We are calibrating our version 1 seam standard during pilot projects now and once we lock in version 1, we will post it on our website.
  • How long does it take to obtain the SEAM Certification™?
    It depends on the project. Social impact is not one size fits all so every project will have a different profile depending on project specifics. The seam certification process would likely follow the timeline of the project as there are activities in the beginning of a project, and activities that can’t be completed until near the end. So like LEED and WELL, the process is as long or short as the real estate project itself.
  • How much does the SEAM Certification™ cost?
    The application fee is proposed to be $2000 and the review fees are based on square footage of the project, just like LEED and WELL. We fall in between the two with discounts for multiple/portfolio projects. Once pilot phase is complete, we will post fees to the website.
  • Is the SEAM Certification™ recognized globally?
    The certification is launching this year so we aren't famous yet, but it is based on internationally recognized and approved standards and tied to reporting frameworks that are recognized globally.
  • Does a building that has been SEAM Certified™ have to be re-certified after a certain amount of time has gone by?
    For B+I Certification (buildings and interiors) they do not have to be recertified annually unless they are Gold and Platinum level. O+M Certifications (operations and maintenance) have to be recertified annually. If a building or space is certified under one version, and a new version comes out, they can re-certify under the new version.
  • What’s the impact of a SEAM Certification™ with regards to the building and the community?
    The goal of the certification is to mitigate negative impacts for all stakeholders of the project while enhancing positive impacts. The result of this impact on people results in the building asset itself being more valuable as well as more attractive to tenants, investors, and employees.
  • How will a project become SEAM Certified™?
    A project owner will first register intent to become certified and pay the registration fee. From there, the applicant must complete activities in the SEAM Standard™, using guidance from a SEAM Accredited Professional and/or the SEAM Certification Guidebook. Once activities are completed, the project Administrator (project owner, representative, or SEAM AP) will complete the SEAM Certification application with verification documents. An independent review division within SEAM will review all submitted applications and verification materials and determine certification status based on compliance with the SEAM Standard.
  • Who started SEAM™? And when?
    SEAM, Inc. was co-founded by commercial real estate professionals Rainey Shane and Alex Demestihas in 2018, who share a passion for human rights. With 15+ years of industry experience, primarily in adaptive reuse, Rainey currently serves as Social Sustainability Director for the Americas at JLL. With 15+ years of industry experience covering multi-family and large corporate headquarters, Alex currently serves as a Managing Director of Project and Development Services for the Southeast Central Region at JLL.
  • What is JLL's role in SEAM™?
    JLL, the commercial real estate firm, signed on as a Founding Sponsor in 2022 to support the launch of the nonprofit SEAM, Inc. started by Rainey Shane and Alex Demestihas.
  • What are the founders roles with the nonprofit and JLL?
    Rainey and Alex are fortunate to have JLL’s support for this effort. JLL recognized the gap in the market for metrics around social impact and have become a founding sponsor of the nonprofit organization, SEAM, Inc. They both remain part of the JLL team. As founders and board members of SEAM, they will continue to set direction for the organization. The goal is to build out the SEAM team over the coming months, at which point, certification and day-to-day management of programs will be handled by a dedicated SEAM staff.
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