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Coronavirus-Focused Health Features Highlight Design Updates of Chicago Building

By Greg Zimmerman Facilities Management
Fulton East Chicago

The coronavirus pandemic will forever alter how we design and operate buildings. That much is obvious. How those changes are implemented and to what degree of success and impact are the questions that are still very much up in the air.. One thing is sure, however: Health and wellness strategies will take on an increasingly vital role in every aspect of design, facility management, operations, and maintenance of buildings.

The June cover story in Building Operating Management looks at how this trend will play out — from no-brainer strategies like more frequent cleaning and sanitizing to strategies that will impact how organizations operate their core businesses, like more-frequent work-from-home policies and desk-hotelling and free address.

One new building in Chicago — Fulton East, a 12-story, 90,000-square-foot retail and office building in Chicago’s booming Fulton Market District — is already taking these lessons to heart. Construction on the building began last summer, and already had many examples of strategies focused on occupant health and wellness, including floor-to-ceiling glass, outdoor balconies on each floor, and a “park” on the roof. 

In the last two months, though, designers have added specific features to the building to address coronavirus concerns, including a first-ever installation on new construction of a hand-free elevator system that uses foot-activated call buttons, according to RE Journals.  The building also is amping up a commitment to enhanced indoor air quality by adding a sophisticated “non-thermal, plasma technology” to reduce cross-contamination and “provide employees with cleaner air and work surfaces.” 

The building, which is leasing up for a summer opening, also includes several other measures implemented as a result of the pandemic, including lobby temperature checks, touch-free security and access control systems, and many more. 

This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com. 



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