The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and new Government rules attempt to raise the importance of changing behaviours. The importance of the built environment and the associated risks are becoming better known especially as spreading the virus from person to person is a real issue inside confined spaces. Alongside this, our response to the climate emergency cannot be put on hold. Inevitably both become intertwined socially, economically, scientifically, and politically.
George Adams, Engineering & Energy Director for SPIE UK, discusses the key issues of making the built environment safer, healthier and more energy-efficient in the age of Coronavirus
The long-term challenges in urban areas around the globe involves both technical and behavioural changes in our societies and raises key issues of making the built environment safer, healthier and significantly more energy-efficient. Investors are increasing their pressure on large organisations in relation to Corporate Social Responsibility; however, COVID-19 brings a new challenge of economic survival.
Business is fundamentally dependant on the built environment and so modifications have to be made. Political, business and social leaders will need to respond with clear common objectives which must be inspired by long term strategies form governments. In particular, how innovation and research can play a vital part in establishing new solutions to reduce harm to the planet and increase wellbeing and safety of people. We have yet to realise the action for a global community response to the main challenges of long-term disease control and environmental improvements.
At SPIE, our expertise in engineering, project and facilities management and energy efficiency has enabled us to quickly and robustly establish a dedicated COVID-19 consulting, technology and outsourcing capability. This provides our customers with real-time advice and solutions that include COVID-19 strategies, technology applications, systems consultancy, building performance improvement and facilities operations support. We have already been engaged on a large scale for various client operational buildings in advising and supporting actions.
Above all, creating a safe and healthy workplace for people to return to is key in ensuring their well-being and we have the knowledge and understanding to provide the best possible advice to achieve this. Furthermore, due to this rapidly evolving situation, our customer-focused approach means we can continue to deliver the level of excellence and timeliness for which we are well recognised. This is demonstrated by our dedicated cross-disciplinary COVID-19 response team which can support clients with the necessary skills, flexibility, experience and the ability to respond to changing circumstances in order to meet the challenges now being faced.