A new report from Savills Ireland shows that the long-term deign and specification of office buildings are being reviewed by landlords and their tenants due to COVID-19.
Sanitation, lift capacity, social distancing and air conditioning are just some of the factors being considered, should the COVID-19 pandemic become prolonged.
According to the report, social distancing and cleaning protocols will be a concern in all workplaces, but particularly those in multi-let buildings where the sharing of common areas (including receptions, lobbies, lifts, and toilets) is unavoidable.
There is likely to be an increased focus on easy-clean fit-outs with design features, surface materials and technologies that facilitate sanitation.
Pre-Covid the average office employee in Dublin was allotted 10.3 sq m of space. The report shows that some new buildings were being designed for occupancy ratios as high as 5 sq m per person. However, implementing social distancing may require occupiers to review their operational density ratios.
While these may be transitional arrangements and changes will initially be confined to research and design stage, Savills say it is likely that some elements of social distancing are here to stay, meaning that occupiers may have to re-work their office layouts.
Commenting on the report, Director of Offices at Savills Ireland, Andrew Cunningham said, "The long-term impact of COVID-19 remains to be seen and current sensitivities could pass once a medical solution becomes available. For now, landlords and tenants will be researching the long-term implications, while also focusing on a number of short-term factors around the design and management of their buildings."