COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge to all professionals involved in managing and maintaining buildings safely and securely during this crisis. Before anyone can return to a building there is much that needs to be considered and done to ensure that people are able to return to a safe environment.
The current situation is fast changing and requires constant monitoring and assessment, as plans are made for the reopening of a building. Before making a decision on reopening a building, it is advisable to:
• have a clear overview of the current situation, evaluate any sources of information and follow official recommendations, as well as having asset objectives based on current guidance
• plan based on current information and ‘what if’ scenarios
• communicate to relevant stakeholders about the current situation and any planned actions
• implement plans to reach the overall objectives and update them regularly without being afraid to make changes if the situation requires it.
The RICS document is intended to be a useful guide to help building and facilities managers, commercial tenants and landlords identify and plan to mitigate the main risks arising from reopening a building that may be applied to all asset types.
However, due to the varying requirements of different types of buildings, for instance, shopping centre, offices, retail parks and so on, certain recommendations will not be appropriate in all circumstances, and consideration should be given to any additional risks that arise in particular circumstances.