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What are some site selection criteria in the Post-COVID19 world?

Several clients in search of new office space have the same concern. As an Owner’s Representative, PSG will provide SOLUTIONS to ensure their employees feel safe and healthy as they return to the workplace, and make flexible, well-planned choices when choosing a new site – consistent with short-term and long-term goals.   

     The Workplace

•It may be prudent to look for first-floor space in a multiple story building or occupy space in a single-story building.  Single-story buildings eliminate the need for elevators and mitigate social distancing limitations upon access to the premises.
 
•Lease -vs- Buy Decisions.    Leasing may be a better option in the short term by providing the flexibility needed to account for the dynamic nature of remote workforce percentages.
 
•Location.  Close proximity to mass transit may no longer be as necessary.  Dedicated parking capacity may become a higher priority.
 
•Shared amenities inside the building and proximity of public amenities outside of the building will continue to be factors but on a ‘grab-n-go’ scenario.
 
•Parking will be key in the short-term as many firms’ employees might avoid mass transit initially.
 
•Space utilization and planning will be key components as many clients are considering a less dense workplace.  Also, keep in mind to strategically design the space for future density in the Post-COVID19 world once a vaccine is developed.  We may never get back to the densities of yesteryear but planning for flexibility is key.
•Flexibility of access.  Make sure you can utilize the space after hours without penalty.  Many clients will reintroduce their workforce in shifts, whereupon after hours occupancy may become common.
 
Infrastructure

•It is likely the Post-COVID19 environment will demand greater fresh air flow, greater filtering of that airflow, and enhanced ultraviolet-germicidal-irradiation systems.

•Review and assess the existing HVAC systems for its capabilities to provide compliance with Fresh Air distribution requirements and enhanced Fresh Airflow.  Many existing older buildings may not have the airflow distribution ductwork or HVAC plant to accommodate this requirement.

•Investigate feasibility, installation, and costs of ultraviolet-germicidal-irradiation systems.

•Review plumbing issues for dedicated bathrooms and installation of hands-free access and hygiene stations.

Facilities Management

•The potential premises must accommodate the increased responsibility for the Tenant to sanitize and disinfect all surfaces in the workplace on a regular basis. This may require the Tenant to take on all janitorial services and adjust the contractual arrangement with Building Ownership.

•This new obligation for the premises might include putting in place monthly protocols to treat surfaces with a protective barrier to prevent the spread of viruses for up to 30 days with associated warranties and certification.

•Additionally, the premises might establish daily protocol for office trash and refuse disposal.

•All the above are issues to be negotiated and handled contractually in the acquisition document.

For more information on how PSG can help you prepare a safe and healthy workplace, call David Zorger at 703-932-3673 or email dzorger@projsolgroup.com

You can find previous Post-COVID19 articles under PSG's News Tab.