Adding a mudroom area is a great way to mitigate all of the germs we come into contact with while out in public. Shoes, coats and other outerwear (hats, scarves, umbrellas, etc) are left in this room and don’t make an entrance to the house. If you have enough space, you can simply partition off a part of your entry area. This will also have the advantage to serve as wind catcher, separating the inside and outside air, which helps reducing your energy costs for heating and cooling as well. Or alternatively set up an enclosed transition area on your porch/front veranda. These spaces do not have to be large – they can be adapted to the size of the house.
Stop germs from entering the house. The best way of doing this is to have a designated place to wash your hands near the front door. It looks like the up to now outdated 70’s floor plan with a guest toilet near the entry might have a major revival.
Incorporate touch-less appliances, in particular, for areas that are frequented by visitors. For example, doors with facial recognition and voice-controlled technology can reduce your use of buttons and manual controls. Fitting a sensory tap in your guest toilet is very sensible, whereas in your bedroom en suite, it might be considered a waste. Then there are voice command controls for all of your house devices. These will no longer be seen merely as conveniences or luxuries, but as necessary features in the near future.
If you have areas that are accessible to the public, such as a show room or office, look into air purification and filtering the air. According to test results, the virus is evident for around 3 hours in the air. A standard air purifier can’t remove any viruses. Even the most powerful HEPA air purifiers can only capture particles as small as 0.1 microns or larger. Viruses are roughly 100 times smaller than bacteria, and typically range from 0.004 to 0.1 microns in size. This means even the most powerful air filters would struggle to purge a virus from the air. Viruses can only be filtered by a commercial PECO filter system, so if you consider air filtering, do it right the first time, than opting for a cheap and ineffective solution.
Choose hygienic materials in your build. In a very recent study by the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University, scientists have looked at how long this corona virus, officially known as SARS-CoV-2, stays active on various materials. The virus seems to survive longest on smooth surfaces like plastics (72 hours) and stainless steel (48 hours) and a shorter time on paper, cardboard or clothing (24 hours.) The biggest surprise was the performance of copper; the virus was gone within four hours. So I dare say copper door handles are definitely the way to go (and look rather stylish and on trend) !
Opt for easy to clean surfaces, such as terrazzo, ceramic tiles, vinyl tiles (LVT) and resin or epoxy component floorings. Some companies have developed products with antibacterial properties, such as microban tiles, which of course are super ‘on-trend’ now. Although those materials may act as antibacterial, none of the materials were proven to work against COVID-19 in tests.
We consider the health and safety design aspects for your home and commercial build with utmost importance, especially during these unprecedented times. Contact us if you would like to discuss changes to your home or commercial space, no matter how big or small. Stay safe and healthy!