As building owners, operators, and developers adapt to a hybrid work model, creating a welcoming office space is more important than ever. In an article for Propmodo’s Perspectives series, ESD now Stantec Senior Acoustics Project Manager Scott Hamilton shares his views on the evolution of the open office and why acoustics play such a critical role to the health, comfort, and productivity of returning workers. (Learn more about open office design.)
With little time to get their properties prepared for tenants coming back to work, building managers need solutions quickly. They learned best practices to implement during the ESD and DW Hammer webinar “COVID-19: HVAC Systems, IAQ and Back to Work Best Practices with COVID-19 Focus” hosted by BOMA Chicago on May 20.
ESD Executive Chairman Raj Gupta, ESD Energy+Eco Studio Leader Saagar Patel and DW Hammer Director of Strategic Accounts Robert Wetherald shared their insights on capabilities and limitations of HVAC to combat the spread of COVID-19, cost-effective measures to implement before tenants come back to work and a comparison of air-cleaning alternatives, among other topics.
Here are five key takeaways from the webinar:
- It is imperative for building managers to take steps to improve ventilation and indoor air quality, given there can be airborne transmission of COVID-19.
- Filtration is the first line of active air cleaning, and MERV 13 should be considered where it makes sense. Consider bringing in an engineer to determine proper feasibility.
- There are varying types of air cleaning devices that have specific applications and need to properly vetted with the aid of a Professional Engineer to ensure they are effective
- Despite its importance, the indoor-air improvement should not sacrifice the thermal comfort of tenants, as this can compromise their health.
- Documentation and communication will are critical to provide transparency into activities that you do that show that you’re working to make everything safe for your tenants.
With a mission of Improving Society Through the Built Environment, ESD has developed a Rapid Building Wellness Assessment checklist to foster a dialogue about actions building owners, operators and tenants can take to welcome the workforce back and prepare for the future.
Please reach out to Saagar Patel for a complimentary copy of the checklist and to explore an assessment for your unique building or workplace.