COVID-19 is bringing
While buildings themselves cannot solve the COVID-19 pandemic, it cannot be denied that they will play a crucial role in minimising viral transmission. A recent study suggested that enhancing indoor air quality (IAQ) could be as effective in reducing aerosol transmission of viruses as vaccinating 50-60% of the population.
As offices have started to reopen, people are emerge back into their places of work, landlords are challenged with optimising the operational performance of buildings to the greatest extent possible, in conjunction with the enactment of behavioural change, to minimise risk and give their tenants peace of mind.
As we know, the SARS-CoV-2 virus mainly spreads via respiratory droplets, released when a person coughs, sneezes or speaks. Such droplets cannot remain suspended in the air because of their weight, meaning that they quickly fall to the ground or a nearby surface. The duration for which a virus can survive on a surface depends on a multitude of factors, such as the surface type and the surrounding environment, including air temperature and humidity.
Ultimately, building owners and operators will need to leverage a range of tools and strategies to give their tenants confidence in returning to the workplace safely. However, it is clear that an effective approach should be asset-specific and should encompass an increased focus on the monitoring and management of air quality, particularly regarding broader environmental factors that may have previously been considered peripheral.