Important conversations are taking place across all industries on how interiors can be redesigned to better protect our health, safety, and welfare. For K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, uncertainty remains as plans for reopening are being determined. COVID-19 is teaching us that designing for well-being is a major goal.
Higher Cleaning Standards:
- Products like bleach and other disinfectants, which meet the EPA criteria for use against the coronavirus, will inspire more confidence in keeping students of all ages safe.
- Antimicrobial finishes that can weaken or kill pathogens are in demand for high-touch surfaces.
- Although evidence suggests that it’s harder to catch the virus from a soft surface such as fabric, routine cleaning and disinfecting is recommended.
- Designing for cleaning and disinfecting by specifying smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces will help lower the risk of infection.
- Cleaning protocols, especially for common touch surfaces, will need to be enhanced and more visible to help students and staff feel more at ease.
- Upholstery textiles for communal spaces, such as libraries, dining halls, and study centers, must be inviting and able to withstand heavy abuse.
- Space planning with social distancing in mind may require sound-absorbing moveable barriers, allowing for more flexible spaces.
- Communal settings such as libraries and study centers will benefit from furniture that can be easily rearranged.