We are all looking forward to the day when Covid-19 will be a distant memory. As we are now learning, many parts of our lives will be shaped by the pandemic for years to come. That includes the buildings in which we work and dwell.
All of us have been cooped up in our homes 24/7 these past months, leading to the realization that major changes need to be made to the places in which we live. This includes changes to the way we sleep, eat, work, play, and relax.
Openness in design was all anyone talked about in the recent past. Since the pandemic, defined spaces are becoming more popular. More than ever, people want separate areas for different purposes. One family member may need a more private home office, while another needs to work out in a home gym at the same time. Or another family may have a child who needs to focus on their virtual class while their sibling plays loudly in a different space.
Sanitization is now top of mind. Where air filters were once an afterthought, air circulation, and the placement of vents will become priorities when considering home layout and physical circulation. People are looking into new technology, such as HEPA filtering and radiating air using ultraviolet light. Of the air that homeowners are breathing, outside air is ideal, and recirculated inside air must be filtered, cleaned, and refreshed.
Not too long ago, touch screen technology became the norm and has been incorporated into many home designs over the years. For the past few months, there has been rising demand for contactless interaction with one's home. Soon, voice-activated technology will become the new normal, as well as contactless sensors and cell phone apps replacing keys to unlock home doors.
Homes and properties will soon have dedicated outdoor spaces for home deliveries. Mud Rooms have been gaining popularity, as having a place to put down keys and cell phones on entry is a must. Today, these are being seen as “de-contamination rooms,” necessary spaces where people can hang their clothes and sanitize prior to entering their homes.
Although the pandemic is clearly having an impact on the way we live our lives, much of this impact should be seen as positive. Architecture was already heading toward these technological improvements. The pandemic has merely ushered them in more quickly.