Adapted from the American Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Disaster Assistance Committee’s Re-occupancy Assessment Tool, this tool can be used to provide a framework for re-occupying buildings and businesses that are in the process of transitioning from being fully closed to fully open. The goals below are set forth a baseline requisites.

If your facility can not satisfy certain requirements, it may not be a good candidate for reopening, until baselines can be met. We are happy to connect to discuss ways to to help you meet baselines.

Site and Arrival

  • Convey recommended guidance for ride-sharing services, delivery services, and taxi services that define cleanliness standards and protocols.
  • Provide area for customer social distancing exterior queuing not subject to winds.
  • Provide temporary or permanent outdoor sun/rain covering to allow queuing outside of front door.

Building Envelope

  • Dedicate certain exterior doors to the building as entrance only and exit only
  • Provide entry vestibules and queing canopies

Fixtures + Furnishings

  • Install physical barriers such as clear plastic sneeze guards at information counters, children’s check-in desks, and café counters.
  • Utilize temporary, movable partitions to subdivide large working spaces.
  • Reduce density and/or increase spacing of furniture.
  • Stagger work-stations where possible.
  • Replace manual door locks with touchless RFID entry system.
  • Provide cleanable, transparent films over surfaces such as elevator buttons.
  • Consider installing antimicrobial coatings/surfaces where human touch is required.

Plumbing + HVAC

  • For buildings experiencing extended closure, flush and test potable water systems.
  • Increase ventilation and air changes.
  • Create negative air pressure.
  • Consider a fixed maximum number of occupants per HVAC zone.
  • Change HVAC air filters prior to re-occupancy.
  • Clean ducts that have been dormant.
  • Keep systems running longer hours, if possible 24/7.
  • Prioritize fresh air intake versus recycled air, where possible.7
  • Monitor and maintain relative humidity levels, preferably to RH 40–60%.8
  • Disable demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).
  • Consider the use of portable room air cleaners with HEPA filters.
  • Consider installing UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI)
  • in mechanical ventilation paths or in upper-room applications to indirectly treat air through convective air
  • movement.
  • Consider utilizing ultraviolet C (UVC) during non-occupied hours for sterilization.
  • For larger buildings, check cooling and water tower condensate for bacterial growth.

Administrative Policies

  • Develop an emergency communications plan.
  • Identify necessary revisions to human resources policies.
  • Provide up-to-date education and training on COVID-19.
  • Identify occupants in higher health risk categories.
  • Establish a protocol for anyone not feeling well.
  • Establish procedures for immediately isolating those who have signs or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Develop organizational policies to guide what happens if and when a person at the workplace is found to be COVID-19 positive.
  • Establish procedures for returning to work after COVID-19 positive infections.
  • Establish an official guide of an approved protocol to manage employee and customer safety.
  • Institute social distancing strategies.
  • Create virtual communications and telework policies.
  • Implement occupancy-reduction policies.
  • Develop policies to reduce risk related to high-touch practices.
  • Establish procedures and places to quarantine deliveries.

Procedures to Reduce Spread of Pathogens

  • Provide dedicated staff member(s) at building entrance to guide queuing of incoming occupants.
  • Institute workplace entrance screening.
  • Promote hand washing and personal hygiene.
  • Post hygiene signage.
  • Provide tissues.
  • Provide touchless hand soap and towel dispensers.
  • Provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol disinfectants.
  • Educate occupants on respiratory etiquette.
  • Encourage self-monitoring for symptoms.
  • Provide safety training for staff to assist incoming occupants/customers.
  • Conduct regular housekeeping.
  • Consider periodic operational break(s) during business hours for cleaning.
  • Consider periodic third-party enhanced cleaning services.
  • Where known infected persons were present, consider third-party deep cleaning (sterilization) services.
  • Institute guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces of chairs and tables, equipment, etc.
  • Provide disposable towels to clean work surfaces.
  • Install no-touch trash cans.
  • Provide additional rubbish bins at entrances to aid in disposing of masks and gloves.
  • Avoid and/or greatly limit the use of common equipment.
  • Institute options for contactless payment processes for retailers to further limit contact with credit card readers, pens, or surfaces.

Procedures to Support Physical Social Distancing

  • Limit access to work areas.
  • Restrict number of persons in publicly designated waiting areas.
  • Restrict number of personnel entering isolated areas.
  • Limit the number of workers allowed simultaneously in break areas.
  • Use communication boards or digital messaging to convey information.
  • Design a process to ensure customers stay distanced while waiting.
  • Limit the number of customers in a space at a time.
  • Schedule customer appointments to avoid waiting groups.
  • Shorten public time within the facility.
  • Manage the check-out line process in bookstores and café areas to reduce COVID-19 transmission.
  • Consider limiting the occupancy of restrooms to single use where possible.
  • Determine ingress/egress to and from restrooms to establish paths that mitigate waiting and proximity for guests and staff.
  • Install markings/signage encouraging one-way travel where practical.
  • Implement floor/pavement markings (i.e., paint/tape) to visualize recommended spacing among occupants.
  • Institute mandatory six-foot spacing or as otherwise required by governing jurisdiction.
  • Establish dedicated hours for higher-risk customers.
  • Discontinue nonessential travel in lieu of virtual communications.
  • Regularly inspect, maintain, and replace supplies.

PPE Policies, Procedures & Equipment

  • Utilize CDC guidelines to identify when and what type of protection is to be used.
  • Provide gloves.
  • Provide face shields.
  • Provide face masks.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is meant to serve as a helpful resource, but should not be interpreted as legal or other professional advice. Due to the rapidly changing legal and regulatory landscape related to the COVID-19 outbreak, it may at any time be out of date, and LIVE Design Group does not guarantee the accuracy of the information. Where appropriate, you should seek the advice of an appropriate licensed professional or relevant government office in your location for advice on current laws and regulations.