It feels like we’ve been living with our “new normal” for quite some time now. During this time, the BnK team has been fine-tuning our procedures and protocols to ensure that our clients’ project sites are as COVID-safe as possible.
Are you thinking about starting a new tenant improvement, commercial remodeling, or ground-up construction project soon? Keep reading to learn more about the steps we’re taking to keep everyone safe.
From Our Team: Our Emphasis on Safety
As a Superintendent working for BnK, COVID-19 concerns have put a new emphasis on “keeping it clean.”
We have implemented a few new procedures that only require a moment of every visitor’s time in order to come on to one of our projects. As the CDC has required, we also keep a log of all workers and visitors in order to keep us all safe.
With good communication, we are able to insure full compliance from all our subcontractors for a clean project site!
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) comes first
For decades, we’ve taken pride in doing things the right way. The proper use of PPE is nothing new to our team. It’s part of our culture and our dedication to working safely and effectively. So even though COVID-19 has been a huge challenge, we’ve been able to adapt, wearing masks, gloves, glasses, and other PPE designed to maximize safety in the workplace.
Updates to our protocols
Of course, we’ve added additional safeguards to how we work, including:
- Every surface is wiped and disinfected frequently
- Hand sanitizer is available throughout every job site
- Maintaining social distance whenever possible
- Limited workers onsite at any one time
- Guests are pre-screened before being allowed to enter a job site
We have been carefully following the CDC’s guidelines for construction workers. We are proactively monitoring the situation and will continue to modify and change our procedures and protocols as recommended by health experts.
You might be surprised by what else is changing…
Beyond changes to how we work, our project managers and superintendents have noticed some changes to what business and property owners are looking for these days. If you’re thinking about how your business can adapt during these challenging and uncertain times, you might be inspired by these ideas.
Is this the end of open office floor plans?
While extremely cost-effective, the modern open office floor plan does have its drawbacks. Many employees have complained that noise and foot traffic take a toll on productivity. But now, fears of COVID transmission have led many businesses to rethink their office layouts, with many returning to more traditional closed and separated office spaces.
As we know, separated office spaces come at a cost — they require more square footage per employee than an open office space. Where do you find the room? One common choice is reducing the amount of communal space like:
- Kitchens and break rooms
- Conference rooms
- Waiting areas
Now more than ever, these spaces are getting less use and “borrowing” square footage from them can allow you to convert an open office into a more safe and productive workspace.
An emphasis on clean and healthy air
Many medical clinics and dental offices are upgrading their HVAC systems to remove even the smallest virus-sized particulates from the air. This helps to minimize the risk of aerosol transmission of COVID-19. While these hospital-grade HVAC systems are in short supply, they are available and may be a great choice for any commercial, retail, or office construction project.
In addition to filtering out COVID-19, modern HVAC systems can also improve air quality caused by forest fires and smoke. It’s unfortunate, but if smokey summers become part of our “new normal,” upgraded HVAC might be an essential investment for every business in NW Oregon and SW Washington!
COVID-19 transmission is believed to be less likely outdoors than in — that’s one of the reasons why so many restaurants in Portland offered outdoor seating this summer. We’re beginning to see more businesses of all kinds invest in outdoor space that employees can use to take breaks or even work outside during warmer weather! If your commercial property or multi-family dwelling has available outdoor space, we’d highly recommend upgrading it to meet the changing needs of your tenants, employees, clients, and customers.
It’s time to start thinking about the future
Perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen over the past 6 months is growing confidence among business and property owners. In the beginning of the pandemic, many put construction and tenant improvement projects on hold, taking a wait-and-see approach. Now society has begun to adapt and many businesses are getting back to work.
We’re hearing from more and more businesses that are taking their fingers off the “pause” button and picking right back up where they left off 6+ months ago.
If you’re thinking about remodeling or building out a commercial property in the Portland area, get started today. We’re ready to talk about your project and the sooner you get started the better.
BnK is ready to meet the growing demand for safe and high-tech commercial construction work. Contact us today to learn more.