I believe buildings should be developed with people’s health and wellness at the center of the design. Not only can it add value to real estate assets and generate savings in personnel costs, but it also enhances human health, well-being, and the overall experience of the place.
To go back on track swiftly, Hotels and Spas will have to feature safe & secure spaces and communicate efficiently with their employees and guests alike to regain their trust.
Here is how to design for health & wellness:
· Showcase Health and Resiliency in the built environment, especially in terms of air quality, airflow, HVAC maintenance and cleanliness, water quality. You might consider partnering with experts to get the right products and processes at the right places, reviews your current building health and safety policies, and fine-tune your SOPs. Getting a Certification is also a smart move to regain the trust of your employees and guests.
· Use new surfaces and materials,allowing for self-cleaning and self-disinfection and provide the guests with in-room cleaning products and hand sanitizers to further enhance their physical and mental wellbeing.
· Rethink spaces for social distancing in transition areas and spas while allowing efficiency in operations. Leverage the pre-COVID19 in-room wellness trend in hotels to offer in-room wellness, spa treatments, fitness, and one-on-one coaching exercises that allow for high quality, more personalized experiences.
· Use technology to implement more hand-free experiences from the hotel entrance to the room: from toilets to front desk, drawers, room key to the TV remote. Biometrics, gesture control, hands-free experience (Spotify makes my playlist for me), voice activation, self-served vending machines, and 24/7 options in the facilities are gaining momentum.
· Implement elements of biophilic design at every touchpoint – through green walls, natural light, materials and textures, scents, plants, among other features – to bring a sense of wellbeing and decrease the level of stress by tapping into people’s innate ability and need to connect with nature. Doing so, not only will your property showcase a distinctive design and enhance the overall customer and employee experiences, but it will also benefit from an additional way to clean the indoor environment naturally.
· Inform, educate, and train your employees according to the new standards of hygiene and SOPs. Going further, consider implementing a corporate culture of health and wellbeing that will benefit both your internal customers (the employees) and your external customers (your guests), ultimately helping your organization.
If you want to join the healthy building movement and learn more about how to implement those practices, the WELL Building Standard from the International WELL Building Institute can provide you with the tools and support you need to get started.
I would be glad to support your transformation toward a more resilient building environment.