5 Architectural Building Changes to Expect After COVID-19

COVID-19 has reshaped the way that we approach many (if not most) aspects of our personal and professional lives. Looking to the future, we will all likely be altering some of our previous behaviors, leading to new expectations for personal and public health. These changes will include architecture, as we are all reconsidering the way we interact with our environment. On the surface, the materials that are the most easily sanitized will likely be preferred for public spaces, but there are a host of other changes that we predict we’ll see in the near future as well.

1. Modular Construction

If this has taught us anything, it’s that we need to have resources and skills ready to quickly construct important buildings such as hospitals in times of emergency. Modular construction is a less wasteful option compared to traditional building, as the parts of the building are made in a factory and are able to be assembled very quickly on site. Through modular construction, a hospital can be built in two months rather than two years! 

2. Movement Out of Large City Offices

Even the most bustling of cities are eerily empty. With many companies experiencing success with working from home or alternating in-person work, the demand for large, expensive offices with thousands of people could be a thing of the past.

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3. New Approaches to Sanitation of Public Spaces

Every aspect of public life will be reconsidered in terms of sanitation, from the public park benches to poles on the subway. Public resources are expected to be allocated to address these new concerns, as well as fuel investment for public parks and spaces that have increased traffic during COVID-19 as many sought refuge outside of their homes. Public or high-traffic buildings will have a closer eye on the structural makeup of features like ventilation. Building owners will be choosing carefully between types of dampers and other safety improvements. 

4. Independent Spaces in Public Places

Airline seats may be separated, restaurants may continue to seat at social distances, and even office spaces may be reconfigured with demountable partition walls to ensure that people are exposed to as few germs as possible. The design of public buildings such as town halls will also be reimagined to give each seat larger square footage. We expect that the majority of social spaces will now consider personal space a necessity rather than a luxury going forward. 

5. Focus on Work from Home Amenities

We’ve all converted some aspects of our homes to work from home, and many have decided to continue working remotely even after the pandemic ends. This will bring increased demand for more comfortable homes and better home offices. These design changes will include architectural grilles, natural light, decorative ceiling panels, balconies and terraces, and sound controls. It also indicates that office buildings will no longer need to be equipped for thousands of people every single day, as many have taken to remote work for good. 

 

The shifts in architectural building design in the wake of COVID-19 are probably for the best. Increased attention to personal space, sanitation, and possible benefits of continual remote work will result in plenty of design changes, leading us to a new future of building design.

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