Look for the increased construction of glass partitions, balconies, and wider lobby steps in both new and upgraded living and work spaces in response to Covid-19, say building designers.
Designers are also putting their heads to the task of making work spaces seem larger owing to the fact that so many people are today working from their homes.
Other changes, reports the Wall Street Journal, include “re-engineering ventilation systems, adding elevator banks, or reconfiguring common areas.”
Design changes for rental complexes are also increasingly including lounges with glass dividers, multiple lobbies, and even gym rooms divided by walls.
The demand for new designs in a Covid-19 world has additionally prompted the American Institute of Architects to issue a series of recommendations regarding how both living and working spaces should be reconfigured.
“Prior to the pandemic we were encouraging clients to incorporate health and wellness features that research has shown to improve productivity,” said Jason deChambeau, a design principal with the Washington-based firm of Perkins and Will.
Noting that such features include systems that clean the air, as well as circadian lighting, deChambeau said that what were once hard-sell items for clients are now very much in demand.
Because of a greater interest in healthy building features, deChambeau, in an interview with the Commercial Observer newspaper, said his firm is also seeing more interest in such innovative concepts as holographic interfaces on elevator buttons, lights on faucets indicating whether or not the water is filtered, and built-in sanitizing stations.
Large complex designs may very well see less of an emphasis on defined outdoor common spaces and more on connections to walking and biking paths.
A Houston landscape architect recently observed to the publication Building Design + Construction that since the onset of the pandemic such common spaces have largely been abandoned by residents, while nearby trails are “brimming with users.”
Such changes, over the long haul, are expected to benefit more than just apartment and condo residents.
A North Carolina developer told the Wall Street Journal that he is thinking about listing a condo incorporating such changes at up to $750,000, instead of the $500,000 he was previously going to ask for units without those features.
By Garry Boulard
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