Months since the boom of the Coronavirus, offices are now gradually, albeit hesitantly, reopening. Many establishments are making the effort towards a post-COVID new normal, rigorously adapting safety protocols and prioritizing employee wellbeing above all else.
As people transition out of remote work, one might wonder what kind of facilities to expect upon returning. How did the roles of facility managers shift in a time when drastic changes are implemented? And how will COVID affect the way we approach architecture moving forward?
New building layouts and its domino effect on other facilities
As people are redesigning commercial spaces to take on a more health-oriented approach, layouts that promote social distancing is at the forefront of every building restructuring and rearrangement. Expect to have office tables and dining spaces that are 6 feet apart from one another and buffer zones to help decrease high-concentration areas.
Capacity limits will most likely also be enforced by facility management, which will often mean longer waiting times so that social distancing can be implemented.
These new changes will also affect other features of a building. One example is whether or not fire safety plans are still effective despite the new layouts. Features and other spaces that used to be easily accessible may now be harder to get to due to changes in the floor plans and layouts.
Implementing smart building technology
The rise of remote work proves that technology is now more useful than ever. Expect buildings and establishments to invest in smart technology in the upcoming months to help contain the spread of Coronavirus.
In one of Deloitte’s reports, they identified numerous ways smart technology can help combat the risk of contamination. From tracking office occupants to see which places have the highest occupancy to the use of air quality sensors to trigger increased ventilation in a particular space, implementation of smart technology can help improve building facilities without exposing staff and facility managers.
In the hospitality industry, hands-free smart tech is also expected to rise. No longer will it be just an added bonus. Guests will now have more control over their surroundings with the use of their personal smartphones to decrease person-to-person contact and exposure.
Effort to increase outdoor circulation
As people take measures to prevent COVID from entering the building space, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage establishments to increase circulation of outdoor air. This can be done through regularly opening windows and doors and using natural ventilation as much as possible.
This is primarily because enclosed spaces are notoriously known for efficiently spreading diseases—the reason why urban and congested areas are more likely to experience a large number of cases. Natural ventilation will help introduce fresh air into the space and will maintain the quality of air overall.
Since buildings also typically recirculate air in the establishment, Dr. Joseph Allen, the director of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Healthy Buildings program, recommends enhancing the level of filtration systems that can help in minimizing cross-contamination.
In conclusion, expect changes to the establishments we frequent and the building facilities that we are used to. Health-oriented approaches and measures will continue to be the main concern in the post-COVID era as an effort to protect the wellbeing of an individual.
About Triple Crown Construction:
Triple Crown Construction is a Partner-Grade provider specializing in pre-construction, commercial construction and hospitality renovation. This allows you to focus on driving revenue while we focus on your construction projects.
Since 1991, TCC has provided expertise in delivering successful turnkey solutions to its clients across the nation. Efficient processes and cutting-edge technology has enabled TCC to maximize client value while minimizing project pitfalls. A core team of Estimators, Project Managers and Superintendents provide guidance and support to a network of TCC Certified subcontractors. Nestled in picturesque Frederick County, MD, TCC is an active member of the community, routinely participating in local events and charity programs.
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