Biohazards Anonymous: Virus-Proofing Office Properties

July 9, 2020

Virus-Proofing Office Properties

The coronavirus pandemic has reinforced age-old wisdom such as the importance of hand-washing and introduced new habits such as wearing masks in public places. For office environments, the health and safety of personnel, customers, and visitors is creating additional virus-proofing requirements that may have long-lasting implications for business operations—and even for buying, selling, and leasing office properties.

With still much unknown about the transmission of coronavirus through the air and by contact, the baseline recommendations from the CDC for offices will seem familiar: cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, conducting daily health checks, encouraging face masks, and implementing social distancing. Read More. Beyond the basics, numerous other virus-proofing initiatives are being taken to stem the biohazard tide in office properties:

  • Architects are busy reimagining spaces, as we transition from traditional, fully occupied office environments to a blend of socially distanced in-office configurations and work-from-home regimens. Read more.
  • Developer George Oliver made mid-construction changes to its redevelopment of the Alexander, a class-A office development in Chandler, including touchless accessibility and upgraded HVAC systems. Read more.
  • For high-rises with elevators, the CDC offers recommendations such as six-foot spacing while waiting in line, limiting the number of riders, urging people not to talk, and having hand sanitizer available outside. Read more.
  • Some companies are implementing biometric identification of people entering buildings—including a technology that would open doors automatically for those eligible to enter. Read more.
  • The epidemic task force at ASHRAE recommends ensuring the introduction of sufficient outside air and, if possible, upgrading HVAC filters to a denser material, from the standard MERV-8 filter to a MERV-13 filter, which can catch more particles. Read more.

Implications for Buying, Selling, and Leasing Office Properties

Not surprisingly, the concept of virus-proofing is already starting to have an impact on office space transactions. If you own an office property, health elements will be a top priority for people when positioning it for sale or lease. Similarly, if you are interested in purchasing or renting an office property, you may want to make sure certain safeguards are in place—or upgrades can be made—to protect yourself and your employees.

Whether you want professional advice about a specific asset class or assistance in building your strategic plan for selling, buying or leasing commercial real estate assets, R.O.I. Properties is here for you. Contact us at [email protected] or 602-319-1326.

The outlooks for individual commercial real estate sectors continue to change rapidly due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. For the most up-to-date information and analysis, please follow R.O.I. Properties on LinkedIn:

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