COVID19: Changing the Built Environment

Jul 1, 2020DMA Engineering, Steven Forrester - Principal

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused DMA to re-evaluate our work and what it means to engineer buildings for a world that might not be the same as we left when we return to our commercial spaces. And... how to balance that with a planet that keeps getting warmer. We want to do the right thing for our occupants, our spaces, and our planet.

Our perspective — embrace electric heating and cooling to help mitigate the opportunity for spread when indoors. We would like to partner with architects who are reenvisioning what comes next, understand the impact that electric heating/cooling can bring, and the importance of building proactive solutions designed to mitigate climate change.

David Dewane of Chicago firm Barker/Nestor hopes workplace leaders will take the best of what they’ve learned from virtual working to help create office spaces that allow for a balance of isolated concentration and productive, meaningful collaboration. That includes automation to mitigate contagion, better indoor air quality, and more self-contained spaces.  

Moving into this new normal we will need to create safe places to congregate.  Space planning, touchless controls, occupant comfort, and proper ventilation will be basic requirements.  Increasing ventilation requirements will increase energy consumption, only done correctly and efficiently will lead to full implementation.  Building Automation Systems designed and commissioned correctly are part of the new normal.  Radiant heating/cooling along with electric heating are the future and based upon our past work DMA is positioned to be a leader in this 

Let’s do the right thing — together.