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Modern Times – Commercial space beyond COVID-19

May 20, 2021

Stantec’s Patrick Chambers speaks with the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating

The traditional office space has had its world turned upside down. With snap lockdowns implemented by individual State Governments to control COVID-19 outbreaks, it’s changed the way staff have returned to the workplace and need for growing flexibility. Organisations are more open to supporting employees needs for work-life balance and the office will shift to become a vibrant space staff will choose to visit for inspiration, interaction and utilise facilities. But there are obstacles in returning employees back to high-rise buildings in the forms of managing of social distancing requirements alongside the use of lifts.

So, what can be done to help oversee these hurdles?

Stantec’s Patrick Chambers highlights the spread of COVID-19 via respiratory aerosols in buildings means organisations should be thinking about how HVAC systems can work to fight this at all times.

“It is likely that minimum design requirements for outside air and filtration efficiency in office buildings will be increased. We have already seen this in the recent update of certain healthcare/hospital facility design guideline documents. However, there are emerging strategies under the guise of artificial intelligence and the movement of smart building that may provide more innovative solutions for the design of commercial office HVAC systems.

Such technology could employ the use of sensors such as infrared, occupancy and noise monitors to attempt to understand the dynamic nature of how people use their office environment, and subsequently, adjust the HVAC system to combat this.”

 Read the full article in the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating.

  • Patrick Chambers

    A chartered mechanical engineer, Patrick focuses his work on high-performance buildings and large-scale infrastructure projects.

    Contact Patrick
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