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What Will Offices Look Like Post-Pandemic?

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) will convene a panel of experts to discuss how a focus on wellness is returning to the workplace environment.

Mehdi Jalayerian will be sharing his expertise on major high-rise and supertall buildings as a panelist at the 2021 Tall+Urban Innovation Conference on May 20. In the program, “The Future, Post-Pandemic Office Space,” Jalayerian will be joined by Steve Watts of Alinea Consulting, Katrina Kostic Samen of KKS Strategy, and Michael Wiseman of British Land Company, PLC to discuss the importance of prioritizing health and safety for returning workers.

The session will explore how office space will still be needed, even as some workers continue various levels of telecommuting adopted in 2020. Panelists will discuss how design of these workspaces will likely need to be more intentional and adaptable than ever before, and how public health measures will be incorporated in new construction and retroactively applied to existing facilities.

According to Jalayerian, these are some post-pandemic office trends to expect:

  • Tenants will be more finely attuned to their indoor environment requiring higher performing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that prioritize indoor air quality (IAQ)
  • Building owners and managers will use HVAC and IAQ system flexibility as a differentiator when attracting and retaining tenants
  • Future office buildings will use more distributed/decentralized HVAC systems to increase filtration effectiveness and limit air exchange between floors
  • Future office buildings will use more efficient systems, such as underfloor air distribution (UFAD) with improved zone air distribution
  • Transparency about indoor environmental conditions will become increasingly valuable as owners, operators, and occupants look to smart technologies to provide:
    • real-time analytics and insights about environmental conditions
    • demand-driven building systems operation
    • balance between healthy building concepts and lower energy consumption

COVID-19 has likely forever changed the landscape for building and urban planning. The CTBUH says the need for high ventilation standards and flexibility of use for different spaces will be essential to the preservation of public health now and in the future.

As Senior Managing Director, Mehdi Jalayerian regularly shares his knowledge about major high-rise and supertall buildings, convention and hotel facilities, and educational/government project to promote ESD’s mission to improve society through the built environment.

Reach out to Mehdi if you would like further assistance in better understanding how to optimize HVAC system configurations and air distribution methods in high-rise offices.

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