How COVID-19 Will Transform Architecture

How COVID-19 Will Transform Architecture

 

Architecture has always evolved to respond to developing human needs and create better environments that benefit human life. For example, London constructed underground sewer systems in response to cholera outbreaks in the 19th century. The city was then built to have wider streets and have more provision for open spaces. In Paris, cramped and unsanitary neighbourhoods were breeding grounds for disease and crime, which led to the Baron Haussmann renovation of the city. This vast public renovation program brought in more space, light, and fresh air, which essentially reduced the occurrence of disease and crime.

According to Rami el Samahy, adjunct professor at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning, we are going through a new era when our deeper understanding of diseases is once again informing how we design and build for the future. Human behaviour has changed – social  distancing is now a standard, more and more people are working from home, online shopping is now more prevalent, and people are more focused on their health. There is a wide re-evaluation of the functionality of space, and a call for increased emphasis on physical safety and mental health through well-designed buildings.

Currently, offices, schools, restaurants and even hospitals aren’t built for the post-COVID-19 world. People are now clamouring for spaces designed for health and safety over aesthetics and value. This includes incorporating smart ventilation into buildings and having greenery as a major feature in city buildings. How else is our understanding of COVID-19 and disease informing how we design and build?

Houses Built for Work

Our houses are not designed to be workspaces. Working from home in the past months have shown us that it can be difficult to perform work because our makeshift workspaces do not mirror our office environment. We don’t have wide tables, no cubicles, no ergonomic office chairs, and no soundproofed areas for productivity.

For work from home spaces to be effective, they must have the right amount of natural lighting and fresh air, especially when working long hours. However, working in balconies, patios and terraces can be quite distracting. In the future, architects expect that there will be more houses with dedicated office spaces. These will have to be professional spaces with the right furniture, and provision for better light quality and ventilation. This will echo the kind of environment you would expect from an office, but separated from any living spaces to better delineate people’s professional and personal lives at home.

How COVID-19 Will Transform Architecture

 

Reorganised Offices

As fewer people may be required to go to work physically, the office has to be remodelled to prevent the spread of disease between employees. Office layouts must change, and according to architect David Dewane from Barker/Nestor in Chicago, open floor plans as a trend has been on a decline since before the pandemic, and will no longer be the norm. To respect individuals’ right to privacy and safety, cubicles are now expected to make a comeback, or at least some form of barrier between people.

Teams will most likely be separated into rooms or sections. These smaller rooms will most likely have their own ventilation systems to contain the spread of any harmful airborne micro particles. Likewise, shared workspaces may go out of fashion as well, as these don’t offer as much safety and privacy for employees.

Incorporated Sanitation in High-Traffic Places

Airports, hotels, hospitals, malls, restaurants, schools, and theatres are typically where infections occur because of sheer volume of people, and poor sanitation and ventilation. Perhaps these places will require additional safety and health measures upon entrance. Foyers or designated areas may have temperature checks, fogging and hand sanitation features.

Most probably, architecture in public spaces will enforce a minimalist design where spaces are constructed with cleaner and simpler lines, and with fewer surfaces as possible to avoid accumulating dirt, bacteria, and passing on infectious diseases.

Automation will play a big part in post-pandemic architecture, according to Miami architect Kobi Karp, from Kobi Karp Architecture & Interior Design. The development and use of no-touch technology will be the norm. This means automatic doors and windows, hands-free light switches and faucets, and cell phone-enabled tech may be used anywhere that previously required person-to-person transactions. UV disinfection may also be a staple feature in all these high-traffic areas to minimise any contagion risks.

Sydney’s Methodist Ladies College Modern Education Space

 

Focus on Ventilation in Post-Pandemic Architecture

Apart from space and sanitation, high quality ventilation will be key in creating safer buildings. Safetyline Jalousie are advocating for the use of more louvre windows, and automated louvres to provide natural air flow in buildings. Safetyline Jalousie louvre windows are built for top performance even in extreme conditions and designed for sustainability.

Safetyline Jalousie’s latest innovation, SmartAir, offers a post-pandemic ventilation solution for architecture. The fully automated, tried and tested complete turnkey solution improves air quality by monitoring temperature, CO2 levels and humidity. The system naturally ventilates spaces by monitoring internal and external ambient temperatures, automatically locking out AC. SmartAir incorporates morning and night purging options to cool the buildings fabric during unoccupied periods reducing air conditioning energy costs. The system also utilises wind and rain sensors to automatically close the louvres without the need for user interaction. More importantly the SmartAir System meets the requirements for air filtration in enclosed air-conditioned spaces. This ultimately improves the health and wellbeing of building occupants and eliminates the spread of airborne diseases while reducing costs and power consumption.

Are you looking into future-proofing your building projects through high quality ventilation? Contact us to learn more about Safetyline Jalousie louvre windows and the SmartAir System. You may also read our blog about how indoor air quality impacts student academic performance.

 

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Ali Asmar

Business Manager - VIC & SA

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As the most recent addition to the Safetyline Jalousie family, Ali is still coming to terms with the fact that a typical telephone conversation will often be answered with “You’re calling from Safety what”? followed by having to sound out and spell the name “ja-lou-sie” (it happens to us all). Born in Lebanon, Ali has moved around a lot over the years, living in Cyprus, Sydney for most of his Schooling, as well as China and Hong Kong. He currently resides in Melbourne where he spends a lot of time in his garden or doing some sort of work around the house. (Not too dissimilar to many other Melburnians following the onset of Covid). With a very obvious cultured background, Ali is warm and talkative and he’ll get you talking too.

Romile John

National Business Manager

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One of the Safetyine Jalousie originals, Rom (often mistaken for John) holds a great passion for the product. He says its “its innovative, a market leader and ever-evolving, very much like the company itself”. When you meet Rom, it is apparent that he is well-educated and well-travelled. Coming from a family of medical professionals, they moved around extensively and often. Last count was 125 countries. So nearly all of them! It’s really no surprise that Rom has mastered packing a weeks-worth of clothes and necessities into a carry-on bag. And when we say clothes we actually mean meticulously prepared outfits and accessories. When Rom enters a room, you’re sure to know it!

Adam Racomelara

National Manager – Partnerships & Strategy

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Adam is our strategist and big ideas generator whose somewhat reserved nature could have some mistake him as a bit of an introvert. But that’s only until this quiet thinker is given a whiteboard and a marker – and then there’s no stopping the dialogue! 7 Years in at Safetyline Jalousie, Adam is continually expanding on his knowledge of the construction industry and is incredibly driven in his pursuit to help create better buildings via the use of better products. When Adam’s not on his quest to improve Australia’s built environment he’s spending most weekends escorting one of his 4 young kids to birthday parties, sometimes multiple parties. He has some stealth survival tips for other parents currently in the same predicament.

Michael Cocks

Factory Manager

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Michael has become recognised at Safetyline Jalousie for his continually changing hairstyles (facial hair included). Buzz cut, undercut, dreadlocks, even a mullet. We’ve see it all. His current man bun could even be gone before we finish this sentence. Always up for a laugh, friends and colleagues love a chat with Michael, and his easy-going and approachable nature has earned him the respect of all staff. In fact, he even has a cohort of followers on the factory floor sporting his same hairstyles. Outside of work Michael has recently turned his attention to mountain bike riding. His very first ride ended with a pretty serious accident resulting in a deep puncture wound to his leg– it’s been a sore topic for his leg and his ego.

Jonathan Gueudinot

National Logistics & Production Manager

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Our South American Native, Jonathan is more simply and better known as “Chilli” (no need to try and guess his country of origin). After 16 years of military service, Chilli joined the Safetyline Jalousie team for what he describes as “a change of pace”. Although his average work day might look very different these days, there’s no doubt that Chilli’s previous experience has contributed in shaping a culture of commitment, community and comradery within the production team – the very important engine room of our company. Driven by a sense of accomplishment, in addition to running Safetyline Jalousie’s production line with military precision, Chilli has recently been studying hard to complete his Master’s Degree in Business and Logistics.

Mandy Saliba

Marketing Manager

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Mandy has been with Safetyline jalousie since day one so would technically be considered a geriatric in “Jalousie years”. Whilst her role has changed and evolved over her time with the business, one thing that hasn’t is the happy and fun, team culture that she says “continues to make each day at work a joy”. As a mum of two little ones, Mandy thrives on new challenges and a little bit of chaos. Although, as a self-proclaimed clean freak, she ensures that all forms of chaos are kept in a very neat and tidy manner. We’ve also observed that Mandy appears to have an inherent fear of colour and will almost only ever be seen in black or white (or sometimes grey if she is being really out there).

Lisa Spinks

Office Administration Manager

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As a busy mother of 4, Lisa is highly skilled in organising, delegating, and troubleshooting – the proficiencies which she also demonstrates in her daily management of the Safetyline Jalousie office. Lisa tells us that she lives by the saying “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger”. (No doubt she’s had to use this little piece or personal encouragement from time to time to deal with our infinite requests)! Always on the go, Lisa has a very active lifestyle and starts every day with a walk to the beach with her husband and two dogs. Of an evening she still has the energy to spare for star jumps and squats in her makeshift gym/ (our office) before heading home to her other full-time job as “mum”.

 

 

 

Nathan Rust

Founder & National Operations Director

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The younger brother of the co-founding sibling duo, “Nath” is the go-to for just about every technical, install, and manufacturing enquiry that comes via the business. Very early on, Nath’s product knowledge and problem-solving ability saw him organically take on the role of Operations, overseeing the design and management of Safetyline Jalousie’s behind-the-scenes work. When he’s off duty (and not answering a million questions), Nath enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 young kids. You’ll find him cheering on his son at weekend sports, enjoying the water somewhere along the Northern beaches and this lover of food is generally always planning his next big meal. Preferably a Lebanese banquet if anyone can suggest a restaurant he doesn’t frequent already.

Leigh Rust

Founder & Director

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Leigh aka “Wolfpack” is one-half of the driving force behind Safetyline Jalousie and comes with two decades of experience within the Australian manufacturing and construction industry. The multi-award-winning entrepreneur and father of three youngsters is a passionate advocate for supporting Australian-made goods and improving the built environment for future generations to come. Always up for a challenge, Leigh never sits still and is constantly pushing himself to test his physical and mental endurance. He’s given just about everything a go. From amateur MMA fights, triathlons, or personal development endeavours, Leigh stands by the motto, ‘I never lose, either I win or I learn’.

Sign up to receive access to our complete Design Manual & more

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Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3

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Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3