The pandemic continues to impact the architecture industry in many different ways. One trend that we’re seeing is that a growing number of people, especially millennials, are migrating away from cities in favor of suburban living to better insulate themselves from climate risks and COVID. Architecture consulting services and planners are being challenged to design antivirus-built environments to stop pathogens from spreading now and in the future. Design concepts are shifting to include more green spaces to promote the healing effects of light, air, and nature. Here are some strategies being used in the shift toward greener suburbs in response to COVID.
Progressive Zoning and Transportation Policies
Although some housing and transport options are limited by the policies that cities already have in place, suburban residents are still moving toward more eco-friendly choices. For instance, instead of opting for single-family homes that are typically oversized, or high-rise apartments, people are choosing to live in duplexes or townhomes that share walls and conserve energy. Many neighborhoods are also emphasizing greener transportation methods such as biking, walking, etc. City planners and policymakers are seeing the benefits of progressive zoning to allow more bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian-friendly developments to advocate suburban living with city benefits.
Architecture and Construction Strategies
Architecture and design will be at the forefront of resetting and reshaping our antivirus-built environment. More focus will be on enhancing sustainability and increasing the healthy spaces of buildings using new tools and options that are even more holistic and flexible. Post-pandemic architecture will need a combination of traditional design and planning along with some advanced methods including:
- Energy efficiency – Ensuring that more buildings are energy efficient, along with the potential for water and food production via expanded green spaces for gardens, enhanced water purification, etc. will become essential.
- Horizontal expansion – Projects are shifting away from dense, high-rise structures toward low-rise buildings with fewer elevators, doors, etc.
- Hygienic building materials – Interior designers will be encouraged to use antibacterial materials in homes to provide a line of defense against the spread of germs.
- Improving air quality – If more people are forced into self-isolation, then living spaces need more natural light and better ventilation. Buildings can transform into healthier structures by adding skylights, large windows, terraces, balconies, and courtyards to improve air quality.
Architecture has evolved to overcome similar challenges like COVID in the past. Even though more advanced antivirus and sustainable building strategies are still being developed, these are some of the trends currently being used.
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