Yes, Covid-19 has no doubt left a mark in the architectural world, and will influence future building designs. Interestingly, highly infectious diseases have a long history of influencing changes in architecture. For example, the fear of tuberculosis contamination in the 1930s shaped modern architecture. Since more people are working at home, buildings, such as the Official One Delisle, have been reimagined to cater to the new normal.
A change from open floor plans for homes
During the pandemic, many people discovered that the open kitchen, dining and living room plans are not ideal when working from home, especially when children are attending online classes. This is one of the factors homeowners will no doubt be looking out for when searching for a new home because they don’t want to risk having everyone in the same room attending different online meetings and classes. So, instead of having these rooms flowing together, architects may consider walls to separate them.
Bedrooms may also need to be spaced apart since they may also be used as workspaces. More space may be required for desks. After being locked indoors for months, many homeowners have come to appreciate the importance of having an outdoor space that gives the family privacy, and at the same time offers refuge when the family is tired of being indoors. This space may become critical in the present and future architectural designs.
Reinventing office space
A few years back, offices transitioned from cubicles to open floor plans where more employees could work together in the same space. At the time, this was considered maximum use of available space, and many businesses believed the cooperation between workers improved productivity. Unfortunately, this arrangement suddenly came into question with the emergence of Covid-19.
One of the reasons many workers started working from home was because the open office plans encouraged the spread of Covid-19. Architects will now have to find ways to ensure workers are working at least six feet apart. Flexibility and adaptability are likely to be core concepts in design where rooms can be fitted with semi-permanent walls to make the environment safer.
Increased use of pre-approved building designs
During the pandemic, lockdown measures were put in place because hospitals were filling up at an unsustainable rate. The demand for healthcare facilities forced architects to become creative and build facilities within the shortest time possible. In Wuhan, a hospital was constructed in 10 days! The average time it takes for a hospital building to be complete is usually six to ten years.
So, instead of building designs undergoing the rigorous process of design, budgeting, redesign and a long construction process, architects are likely to consider the use of pre-approved designs and prefabricated pieces for some projects.
Touchless technology and the use of antiviral materials
The details in building designs are also going to be quite different as touchless technology will be incorporated to remove possibilities of viral transmission. In places where contact is unavoidable, antimicrobial materials, like copper, will be utilized. Ultraviolet disinfection technology may also be included in design plans.
The new normal is a term that is used frequently to illustrate how much life will change after the Covid-19 pandemic. Architectural plans will have to incorporate these changes to make it safer for people, especially in public spaces.
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