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New Factors in Building Design, Engineering and Construction since Covid-19

It is no surprise building designs are being evaluated closely since the pandemic.  The office sector of the commercial real estate industry has been greatly affected by the shutter in place regulations and guidance from CDC to have employees of non-essential companies work remotely. While many companies are finding it feasible in some industries this will likely not be the end of the office. The office is where careers are built, companies prosper and corporate cultures are developed and enhanced. The design aspect however, is likely to change.  There has been a drastic shift from the communal-joint open workspace trend to increasing space with dividers as well as implementing advanced touchless technology to promote a spread-resistant environment or building. According to the article, “The Spread-Resistant Building and What it Will Take,” by Ted Osborne there are several factors being explored for new building designs including:

  • Increasing space between people to allow for social distancing
  • Increasing outdoor airflow
  • Air filtration
  • Running air systems more often or longer
  • Indoor air cleaners
  • Installing CASPR devices – Used in hospitals, Continuous Air and Surface Pathogen Reduction systems spray trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide into indoor air, killing 99.9% of pathogens in the air and on surfaces.
  • More easily cleaned surfaces – Using less fabric in the design.
  • Reducing touch points
  • Using short-wave ultraviolet (UV) light

Check out the article on NAIOP blog,

Ted claims, “Short-term, simple fixes in office air quality, lighting and touch points could help prevent another wave. Longer-term, we believe that the goal of spread-resistance should move closer to the front of the line in our initial design and construction consideration set.”

The existing building designs will need to be upgraded and therefore a great time to kill two birds with one stone and perform seismic retrofits for commercial real estate that is not structurally sound.  It is essential to ensure buildings are structurally secure and performing commercial seismic retrofits in order to protect your assets and lives.

Posted Under: building design