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Healthy

Commercial construction and design professionals are beginning to ponder how building will be different in a post-pandemic world. Healthy buildings, already a burgeoning trend before the quarantine era, are likely to become a higher priority for clients and owners. In Building Operating Management, BHDP Architecture’s Amy Malmstrom analyzes the considerations designers and facilites pros should take into account when the country returns to work.

HVAC practices, for instance, are likely to be top of mind, Malmstrom writes. “Indoor air quality can have major effects on people’s productivity, alertness, and absenteeism,” she says. “The Environmental Protection Agency links indoor air pollution to a number of serious diseases, including asthma. A regular cleaning and replacement strategy for all systems and filters, along with evaluation of the outdoor air intake, will help to maintain optimal air quality.”

ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force is already developing guidance on mitigating health risks when buildings are reopened after the pandemic. Lighting, greening, and access to outdoor spaces are other enhancements that can promote happiness and productivity. For facilities professionals making plans to reopen their own buildings, as well as architects and engineers working on future projects, it’s an ideal time to learn more about building systems and amenities that keep building occupants safe and comfortable.

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