Press Release: November 23, 2020
Many business sectors have been transformed by the coronavirus outbreak, and this includes real estate development. Many companies have instructed their collaborators to work from home, and this reduces the demand for office space. Of course, this had a negative impact on developers who focus on office buildings.
Lake Mary Corporate Center is the first office building of its type in Florida, implementing many design features to protect occupants from COVID infection. The project has an area of 300,000 square feet, and 5 parking spaces for every 1,000 sq. ft. of indoor space. The building’s location is also favourable, close to many residential buildings, and various dining and shopping options.
Conventional office buildings expose occupants to contagious diseases, for many reasons:
Lake Mary Corporate Center has many design features that create a safe place against COVID. These designs have a competitive advantage in the post-COVID world, compared with conventional office buildings. Of course, building design features that prevent infectious diseases should be combined with recommendations from health authorities: using personal protective equipment, frequent handwashing, and social distancing.
Even when contact is avoided fully, there are still risks. There is strong scientific evidence that COVID can spread through the air, especially when a building has deficient ventilation. ASHRAE has published many recommendations for building owners, which include an increased ventilation rate with outdoor air. Demand-controlled ventilation is normally recommended to save energy, but ASHRAE suggests disabling these systems while the threat of COVID lasts.
Lake Mary Corporate Center: Design Features Against COVID
Since COVID is capable of airborne transmission, office buildings should have effective HVAC design features that minimize this risk. Lake Mary Corporate Center has many measures that accomplish this purpose:
To complement the enhanced HVAC system, Lake Mary Corporate Center was designed for a reduced occupant density, compared with other office buildings. Workstations have been spread out, and each workspace has a capacity limit.
The design features to prevent infectious diseases are complemented with technologies such as RFID access controls and occupancy sensors. This improves safety, while enabling contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.
Materials Technology and Surface Contact Prevention
Lake Mary Corporate Center also uses innovative construction materials and wireless technology to prevent COVID infection through surfaces. The building uses germ-resistant materials, which have surfaces that prevent the growth of viruses, bacteria and mold. All these organisms have negative health effects, and they stay undetected in many buildings.
Wireless technologies can also be used to avoid contact with surfaces. Lake Mary Corporate Center uses touchless controls for doors, elevators, and bathroom fixtures. The building also uses devices with Bluetooth connectivity, which can be controlled remotely with smartphones.
Many building design features and technologies have been deployed in response to COVID, but they are effective against germs in general. As a result, they also have a positive impact on occupant health and indoor air quality. According to a Harvard article, improved ventilation can increase productivity by up to $6500 per employee per year. In other words, creating a healthy office environment is not only an ethical decision, but also a lucrative investment.