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Greening Offices Post COVID Brain Dump

GBE > EncyclopaediaCode > Brain Dump > G#39335


Greening Your Office or Greening your Business

  • in the context of UK Architectural, Interior Design Practice Post-COVID

Legislative Context:

  • Health & Safety at Work Act
  • Employee Right Act Section 44
  • The Good Work Plan (UK Gov)
    • Published 2018 launched 6th April 2020?
  • Your Standards > Your Expectations > Your Policy > Your Procedure > Your Staff
  • Fix the roof whilst the sun shines
  • Don’t wait until you have a problem
    • Movement to unionise Architecture
      • to reduce mental stress and exploitation, etc.
    • ACAN campaign
      • to stop overtime exploitation
    • Education too
    • Architecture Social

COVID latest advice 07/05/21

  • CDC (USA) did not accept aerosol transmission until October 2020
  • Fluid dynamic modelling evidence shown: aerosols reach adjacent retail aisles
  • WHO updated website without public announcement May 2021
    • –From: Transmission by respiratory droplets – which are expelled from the mouth and fall to the ground – between people in close proximity
    • –To: Transmission by respiratory droplets and aerosols that can float in air – in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings, aerosols can remain suspended or travel along air currents, further than 1 m and 2 m
  • Potentially much safer outdoors
  • Make sure indoor spaces are well ventilated with air filtration as necessary
    • No recirculating air, only heat recovery
  • Open windows if practical (spring is here, followed by summer, and traffic)
  • Avoid shouting, singing and high energy/impact sport in close proximity
  • 2 m separation is probably not enough over longer periods indoors
  • Wear masks all the time (ignoring distance rule) and pay more attention to face-fit
  • Super-spreading events occur predominantly indoors
    • –(confirmed by a database of cases)
    • –Ireland recently reported 0.1% of cases traced to outdoor transmission
  • Erecting hard barriers between people indoors may be ineffective


  • Good health and wellbeing
    • Remind staff of H&W measures in place
    • Healthy building materials, Good Indoor Air Quality, Good ventilation, no recycling, get to know your ventialtion
    • Overheating kitchens on trains, and in stations?
    • Good healthy interior finishes and furniture specification
    • Good Lighting quality, task specific lighting, lighting nutrition,
    • Limit sunlight glare, limit sunlight overheating, maintain good daylight and provide views
    • Monitor clarity, glare-free, reflection-free, colour saturation, contrasts, (security issues with overlooking still)
    • Stress free work, Biophilia in interiors

Working Life Balance

  • Conran’s expects 17:30 office closes
  • Allow staff to have a rich and fulfilling well rounded life and remain a productive member of staff
  • Stress free working week?
  • Expect staff to follow 37.5 hour week and no more
  • Optional and welcome overtime and offer time off in lieu
  • Better time management by project leaders
  • RIBA being challenged to make this mandatory and reported

Insurance encouraged health and wellbeing

  • Encourage recreation engagement
  • Encouraging walking, running or cycling to work
  • Avoiding use of lifts, use the stairs
  • Smoking cease-ation programme
  • Reduction in alcoholism
  • Loss of Drug and Alcoholism monitoring

Health & Wellbeing design standards

  • WELL
  • Fitwell
  • Ska Fit-out and refit Environmental Assessment Method
  • BREEAM Environmental Assessment Method

–Building Fabric: Green Guide to Specification

Preparing Business Post-COVID

  • Lockdown Rules Easing
  • Duty of care to staff
  • Reasonably Practicable
  • Protect workers & others from:
    • Health & Safety Legal obligation
    • Wellbeing Policy carries over too

Taking care of business:

  • Sitting comfortably
    • ULD, Upper Limb Disorders,
    • RSI Repetitive Strain Injury
      • Variety is the spice of life
      • Chairs: Back, neck, arms, feet
      • Mouse and keyboards: hands, arms, shoulders, back
    • Ergonomic adjustable chairs:
      • set up specific to users geometry
      • ‘own your chair’
    • Agile working is not practical/healthy
    • Rail: Ticket & Information Counter staff may need bespoke chairs

Taking Care of Business:

  • Electrical safety:
    • Pat testing
    • Rail: maintenance staff electrocution risk
  • IT Support
    • Helpdesk > remote fixing
    • GDPR
      • Information Security
    • Data Shredding, 2 way cutting

Working from Home

  • COVID-Secure
  • Working in other peoples homes
  • Your duties extend to the Employees Home work space
  • Risk assessment essential
  • Use a template
  • Ask them to do it themselves
  • Do it and review it

Working away from home/office

  • COVID Contracts
  • Mobile working
    • Hot desking:
      • No longer safe without proactive disinfection
  • Lone Working:
    • Safety: Especially Surveys
    • Track and Trace: more challenging
    • Mental Stress of remote isolated working
    • Remote supervision or guidance
  • Occupational Travelling
    • Driving: Insurance on their vehicles
    • Public Transport risks: Confined spaces, close proximity
    • Manual handling
      • Cases and trunks: Survey equipment
      • Delivering and returning ICT equipment

Returning to Work

  • COVID-Secure
  • Ventilation & Air con systems to be understood
    • O&MM manuals?
    • As Built systems data
    • CAFM test its competency
    • Cleaning filters: Proactive in diaries
    • Performance gap
      • Appropriate filters
      • Cleaning filters: Proactive in diaries
      • Loss of performance
      • Increased Noise
    • Reduce Recirculating of air
    • Removal of aerosols from air
    • Prevention of aerosols falling to surfaces
    • Closing off moth-balling incompatible space?

Returning to the Office

  • Self-Isolating if symptoms arise
    • Fundamentally important
  • Vaccine passport
    • ‘No-jab No-job’
  • Social Distancing 2 m
    • Spacing furniture or chairs
    • Screening in close proximity (droplet protection)
    • Rail: Canteen Trucks
  • Wearing masks
  • Hand-sanitising stations
    • inward and outward
    • Inside or near kitchen & WC
  • Hand washing pre during and post COVID Pandemic
    • Men in particular
    • Almost disappearance of Flu

Work from home #WFHSpaces

  • @Elina Grigoriou
  • Author of Wellbeing In Interiors Philosophy, Design & Value in Practice
  • Head of Ska (fit out and refit or retail, office and higher education: environmental assessment method)
  • Running workshops on #WFHSpaces


  • Write your appropriate and competent policy then follow it
    • Recognise its impossible to completely eliminate the risk
    • Let everybody know that
  • Introduce High Level Deep Cleaning regimes
  • Ban Hot-Desking
  • Ban Agile-Working
    • Chair/Table Ergonomics in particular
    • now COVID
    • Stagger working or visiting hours
    • Staff care due to early arrival and late departure hours
    • Track and trace system in place
  • No shared equipment
    • Ban Pen or pencil sharing on reception desk
    • iPad reception signing in
      • challenge to keep it clean
  • Circuitous routes/One ways/Use Different entrances
    • social distancing
    • Avoid impromptu meeting in corridors and stairs

Consideration of physical proximity

  • Density: staff/m2
    • Office Space
    • Meeting rooms
    • Kitchen dining spaces
    • WC Facilities
    • Social distancing in corridors
      • Impromptu meeting spots
  • Geometry:
    • Anti-Proxemics
    • Face to face barriers desks and reception
    • Barriers between staff
    • Circulation/Seating separation
    • Maintaining acoustic contact, audio ability
    • Seat spacing
    • Kitchen queuing


  • Introduce High Level Deep Cleaning regimes
    • Briefing cleaning staff, cleaning into contracts,
      • dedicated covid cleaners
    • Increased frequency, daily or after each use
  • Contact points:
    • Entrance door: Intercom, access control, keys, controls
    • Lift call buttons, surrounds, floor buttons, surrounds
    • Handrails: stairs, landings, lift cabs, handrails, mirrors
    • Reception: furniture, visitor book, pencils/pens, or iPad, visitor badges,
    • Invite sanitising:
      • staff and visitors, arriving and leaving, around break eating and drinking areas
    • Office: Desk surfaces, height controls
    • Light switches, Power switch, 13 amp plugs
    • Keyboards, mouse, track-pad, touch screens, monitor, headphones, speakers
    • Charger points: Chargers, transformers
    • Kitchen: Equipment controls, taps, cupboards, cups, mugs, glasses, cutlery, packaging
    • WCs: door ironmongery, foot operators, taps, flushes, proximity taps and flushes
    • Meeting rooms: chairs, tables, surfaces, equipment,
    • Virtual meetings: skype/zoom/teams calls, headphones, speakers, mouse, touch screens
    • Virtual brainstorm platforms v physical brainstorm post-it note and pens

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
31st March 2021 – 20th May 2021


GBC CPD GYO PostCovid S1 Cover PNGGBE CPD GYO PostCovid 9H1

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
31st March 2021 – 20th May 2021

See Also:

GBE Brain Dump


  • GBE Brain Dump (Template) G#20308


GBE Issues

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
31st March 2021 – 20th May 2021

Greening Offices Post COVID Brain Dump G#39335 End.

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