Architects are predicting significant change coming to the building and design industry, thanks to COVID-19. According to Forbes, the combination of an economic and health crisis will create the need to rethink virtually every concept of the building process including how to create healthier, beautiful, green, and creative spaces.
New Materials to Fight Microbes
One of the ways buildings will change is with the inclusion of more antibacterial fabrics and finishes. Some materials, like copper already have strong antibacterial properties to them. Imagine the dirty, hard-to-keep-clean doors on public restrooms. Self-cleaning bathrooms may be more rapidly developed as well.
Incorporating Better Ventilation Systems
Healthcare locations already incorporate some of the best ventilation solutions within their building design. Most experts believe this will become more mainstream across all buildings. This will help to remove contaminated air from any given area.
Incorporating More Nooks for Spaces
Gone are the days when there will be the use of large, open spaces for the use of waiting areas. Though the immediate situation is to spread people waiting out, in new designs, the goal will create new opportunities. Building nooks, which provide seating for one or two people, offer that protection necessary. Instead of requiring customers, patients, or clients to be seated nearby to hear a name called, the inclusion of RFID technology could help track people and alert them.
Creating Partitions and Space with Structural Insulated Panels
Structural insulated panels, including Isowall insulated panels, provide an opportunity create partitions to help separate spaces. What’s unique about this option is that it is energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing, providing opportunities for large, open spaces to have a productive, economical space that incorporates proper social distancing.
Open Spaces to Spread Out In
Another route could be to create more open and spread out spaces. This would encourage people to spread out instead of being in a cramped room. Using structural insulated panels, it is possible to create spaces for various uses like this including areas for eating, socializing, working, and engaging with others. Open concepts instead of enclosed rooms may encourage more protection from sharing bacteria and microbes.
Pod and Modular Spaces
Another opportunity for those in higher risk areas may be a move towards pods or modular spaces. These can be torn down in between uses and disinfected quickly. They would be an ideal solution for those who need to have a contained area for an exam or other needs. The individual can be isolated for a period of time keeping any risks out or in.
There are many ways technology can be incorporated into spaces to improve social distancing and reduce the need to “touch” surfaces. For example, the use of automatic doors and voice-activated elevators can easily help skip those handles and buttons. The use of hands-free light switches and automated check in processes can offer the same level of protection.
There’s no doubt COVID-19 is going to change the way buildings are designed. With a heavier reliance on automation and higher quality building materials will make it possible to increase protection from the ground up.