Companies worldwide are still trying to adapt to the ‘new normal,’ post-pandemic environment. There’s an increased emphasis on adopting health and safety procedures at each level of organizational operations.
Commercial construction firms are no exception to this; international disease prevention and control institutes call for adopting strict safety protocols in all commercial buildings at all times.
Some essential infection-control practices include hand washing stations, physical barriers, socially distant seating areas, no-contact sales counters, and additional protective measures.
Project designers need to have a second look at their material selections and space plans to accommodate disease prevention practices.
Designing and constructing commercial spaces that help keep everyone safe has always been a top priority for experienced general contractors. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, there’s a need for taking more protective actions further to improve infection-control in all commercial construction project designs.
The following are some essential things you must consider when designing a new commercial construction project:
Choose Appropriate Materials And Surfaces
Non-porous surfaces such as stainless steel and composites have been widely used to maintain sanitary conditions and prevent possible infection spread. However, the coronavirus pandemic has significantly challenged that notion. Such surfaces can sustain potential infectious droplets longer than porous surfaces.
Instead, design-build teams can utilize porous substances, including leather, wood, cloth upholstery, and antimicrobial surfaces, when designing spaces. Using these types of material surfaces can help reduce the pathogens’ lifespan.
Having said that, no matter what material surface you choose, users will still need to implement meticulous sanitation practices in their daily lives to prevent infection spread.
Design Spaces For Increased Social-Distancing
We have learned from COVID-19 that there’s an increased need to say no to crowded elevators, narrow hallways, and shared office spaces if we want to protect our workforce. Ideally, many business owners would like to provide each worker with their dedicated office or a larger workstation in office settings.
Some project designers of new or renovated commercial buildings are trying to expand spaces to accommodate increased social-distancing. Others focus on adding smaller communal areas such as conference rooms, break rooms, cafes, and lounges to reduce large group gatherings.
For visitors’ wellbeing, project owners need to design and construct lounges and waiting areas to minimize congestion. It should also allow enough room for comfortable seating, and a reception desk should allow for proper distancing. When designing buildings to meet these new requirements, working with an experienced project team can maximize the available space and ensure enhanced safety.
Focus On Enhanced Ventilation
To maintain the required ventilation standards, construction companies can incorporate safety protocols used in hospitals in their commercial construction project design plans. These may include ensuring strict measures to ensure air exchange rates, positive and negative pressure rooms, and additional ventilation criteria.
Consider No-Contact Entry Ways
Building designers can focus on creating separate entryways and exits to reduce overlap or foot traffic. You can also use signage to make sure workers, clients, guests, and other visitors enter and exit the building properly to minimize contact.
There’s an increased focus on eliminating pin pads, or touch door handles for entry to mitigate infection spread in many businesses. To accomplish this you can use automatic motion sensors, scanners, and foot pull to doors for a contact-free entry to and exit from a particular facility.
BelVan Construction provides businesses with complete construction services including construction management, design-build, and more across Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Visit our website to learn more about our general contracting services or contact us for customized care.