Resources to Safely Reopening Facilities
GMB wants all students, faculty, and staff to be safe and healthy when they return to campuses. We have compiled a brief list of resources as a quick reference for facility managers and others who are involved in the planning process.
Some of these resources are tailored to specific types of institutions such as colleges and universities, K-12 schools, offices, and public buildings. Much of the information overlaps as it can apply equally to many types of buildings. We have found that it can be helpful to study all potential strategies and identify the best way to apply each protocol within the unique context of each facility.
Careful consideration of all facets of the reopening process is critical for ensuring a safe learning environment. For organizations with sufficient staff to tackle this effort, we hope these resources will be helpful. For any school or organization who needs additional assistance, GMB encourages soliciting the input from a trusted team which includes architects and engineers.
American Institute of Architects (AIA) has compiled several documents with strategies for safer buildings. These include:
- General strategies
- Strategies for specific building types such as K-12 schools, offices and retail.
- Risk-management Plan
- Re-occupancy Assessment Tool
American Society for Microbiology provides detailed information which include the following topics:
- Transmission within Built Environments
- Control and mitigation in Built Environments
- Spatial configuration for social distancing
- Chemical deactivation
- Enhanced HVAC operation
Note: an author video summary of this article is available. A link is at the end of the abstract.
Michigan State University’s College of Education produced a white paper which addresses many topics for re-opening schools. In addition to listing concerns such as hygiene, viral mitigation, separation, and operational changes this article covers many of the personal-impact factors such as:
- Equity of experience
- Whistle blower protection
- Changes to sick leave
- Schedule changes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a “toolkit” for resuming business. The site includes several infographics and checklists along with considerations for many different types of facilities.
The Arizona Department of Education released reopening guidance that provides a roadmap for school community's that is flexible and adaptable to local needs.
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