The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives. For many building owners and occupants, the crisis has made them think twice about the design of their spaces. While most clinics and offices will take short-term steps to sanitize their spaces and maintain social distancing, it is likely aspects of these temporary fixes will be incorporated into the permanent design of animal hospitals, medical clinics, and office space for years to come.
Changes to Animal Hospital Design as a Result of COVID-19
Like other essential businesses, animal hospitals modified their operations to protect the health and safety of their staff and their clients. Many veterinarians have embraced telemedicine technologies and now require curbside drop-off and pick-up of animals. Waiting rooms are empty, and office staff are working from home to reduce exposure to COVID-19.
It is likely the pandemic will affect the operation and design of animal hospitals for years to come. Animal hospital design will likely include private areas for vets to provide care over telephone or video conference. Waiting rooms will likely shrink or disappear altogether. Air quality will remain a top priority, with animal hospitals investing in HVAC systems with medical-grade air filtration. Antimicrobial surfaces and hand washing stations will become commonplace, too.
Changes to Medical Facility Design due to the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every element of the health care system, from hardworking medical professionals and support staff to ICU capacity. Many facilities reconfigured entire wings to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
The pandemic will likely have lasting effects on the design of new medical facilities. As with veterinary clinics, telemedicine will become a permanent feature at many medical clinics. Building design will need to provide private rooms for doctors to consult with their patients while protecting patient privacy. Facilities will require more flexible space to treat patients with mild or severe symptoms without risking the spread of infection. More medical facilities will likely feature fixtures to allow people to open doors, switch on lights, control window shades, and turn on taps without touching them.
How Class A Office Space Will Change due to COVID-19
As we’ve discussed on this blog before, open floor plans were already on the way out in office design. The pandemic will likely be the nail in the coffin. Indoor air quality has also been a rising concern in class A office building design. With the health and safety concerns COVID-19 now presents to office occupants, the Scott Build team expects owners and tenants to adapt their spaces to ensure they are comfortable and safe.
The pandemic has proved to many employers that their teams are able to work remotely. Working from home will likely continue to be required or strongly encouraged in the near future and quite possibly become a permanent feature at many offices. As a result, offices will require less square footage.
The layout of the office will also need to be flexible to accommodate social distancing as well as different work activities. Flexible space will allow workers to isolate themselves in private rooms for deep thinking, gather in small groups, and teleconference with remote coworkers.
As indoor air quality becomes a priority, it may become common for office designs to incorporate hospital-grade HVAC systems that are capable of filtering contaminants out of the air. The ability to sanitize surfaces within an office space will be important, too. We expect hard flooring to replace carpet and designs to incorporate antimicrobial materials, especially in common areas. Touch-free technologies for entryways, lighting, and AV systems will become ubiquitous, too.
The pandemic will have a long-term impact on the design and function of clinics and offices for years to come. Hopefully, these changes will make these spaces safer and more efficient. For help retrofitting your space to ensure the health and safety of your team and your customers, contact Scott Build today.