Impact of the Pandemic on Residential Development Design - GBW

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Has the Pandemic Had a Positive Impact on Residential Development Design?

With the enormous increase in people having to work from home during the COVID-19 crisis, it would seem that priorities have changed in what we are looking for from our housing.  According to a report by Knight Frank the emphasis is now on space to work, bicycle storage, outside areas and cleanliness as well as the size and space of the apartment.  So, will this result in a long term change in the way developers build in the future?

The Ability to Switch Off

The importance of being able to switch off from work, even when working from home, has become a priority whether your home office is a desk in the cupboard or a large executive work room.  This idea is being considered and the potential for mixed use schemes where developments incorporate either communal areas such as boardrooms, or individual pods to rent where you can video conference in privacy but without the children and the dog, are likely to prove popular.

Impact of COVID-19 on residential development design Impact of COVID-19 on residential development design

Health & Mental Wellbeing

The emphasis on health and mental well-being has also been highlighted by the pandemic and peoples’ need to have access to outdoor space has become more important.  Developers are being encouraged to look at the ratio between internal and external spaces within apartments and to make balconies and terraces better designed for genuine usability, as well as incorporating useable and accessible outdoor space for everybody to enjoy.

Increased bICYCLE uSE

The increase in bicycle use is another positive that has come out of the pandemic, with cities looking to reduce traffic congestion and people looking for alternatives to public transport.  According to the European Cyclists Federation local and national governments across Europe have pledged to install 2,315km of pop up cycleways during the pandemic and the belief is that this trend will continue long term.

hEALTH & sAFETY Within Developments

Another area highlighted as important in the Knight Frank report was that of health and safety features within developments.  Consumers are looking to automation in terms of keeping themselves healthy with the use of automatic doors, voice recognition and wave sensor activation in communal areas and lifts.

These technologies can then be integrated into the individual apartments as well and within the work areas, reducing the risk of transmitting viruses on handles, lights and other touchable areas. Antibacterial materials will be encouraged to be used in construction going forward.

For further information please contact Ed or Kelly on tel: 01284 365345 or email /

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