The world is currently facing a health pandemic that has reshaped how people, businesses, and communities operate and interact. Leading organizations are boldly questioning long-held assumptions about the way we work and the role of the workplace as we reimagine the future of a post COVID-19 era.
With people spending up to 90% of their time indoors, there is an urgent need to re-design and re-engineer indoor spaces, including offices, commercial properties, institutions and homes, to create workplaces that are productive and safe with the correct capacity to prevent the spread of pathogens and diseases.
What is IMMUNE™
The IMMUNE Building Standard™ (IMMUNE™) is the first, open source global certification standard to certify built environment’s level of immunity to withstand present and future health challenges and minimize the impact of a pandemic such as COVID-19 and other bacteriological or toxicological threats.
The standard is inspired by technologies and procedures successfully applied in hospitals and “clean rooms” and adapted for use in commercial real estate development.
IMMUNE™ can be used by any international building assessment and certification entity to certify buildings at any stage of their life cycle and type, such as new, in-use, or a regeneration project.
The current open source document is dedicated to office buildings only and it can be adapted to certify other building types such as Hospitality, Retail, Health Care, Education, and Residential.
- To implement a mandatory set of requirements in built-environments focused on health and safety.
- To offer a clear guide to ensure compliance with such measures, preventing risk and management of present and future viral crises.
- To instruct, educate, and prepare facility management teams to act with efficacy in case of a pandemic threat.
- To efficiently protect visitors and building occupants, in the present and future.
- To ensure a productive space for people, spaces where they conduct activities that are Healthy by Design®.
- To promote widespread adaption at a time of global crisis by developing IMMUNE™ as an open-source platform for buildings to model and implement. The platform invites collaboration, support, and contributions from a variety of experts and competent people to further update the criteria.
How it works
The IMMUNE™ Assessment Scoring Index is comprise of a set of 100+ recommended measures, technical solutions, and facility management practices to certify the level of resilience of a building to present and future health challenges.
Based on the number of points received during the official assessment, the evaluated building will be awarded with one of the three IMMUNE™ labels, in order of importance:
Strong – equivalent of 3 stars , Powerful – equivalent of 4 stars or Resilient – equivalent of 5 stars.
The Accreditor, an institute or specialized building standard issuer, will be appointed to award a building one of the three IMMUNE™ labels after receiving the compliance report provided by an authorized building Assessor, an independent third-party company specialized in the field of sustainable building design, development, and certification. The Assessor is trained by the Accreditor to verify how the architectural engineering and design measures were implemented in the assessed building and how the Facility Management (FM) team is implementing the operational practices.
As an inaugural version, the present IMMUNE™ standard will remain under frequent review, and constant evolution as the medical, scientific, architectural, and engineering bodies arrive at new conclusions to combat the pandemic.
The Accreditor will also further develop and update the criteria to finalize the implementation methodology.
As per the recommended engineering and design in the criteria, the workplace of the future could include, various unique features established by IMMUNE™, such as:
- IMMUNE™ Stewards would be deployed within each building to implement and monitor activities.
- The IMMUNE™ Quarantine/Room – a specially designed, fully equipped, and ready to use area in case of an immediate need to isolate any exposed people.
- The Emergency IMMUNE™ Warehouse – contriving a rapid and effective relief logistic system for pandemic-response, containing specific protective materials including PPE. The IMMUNE™ Steward will be responsible to maintain the stock materials and to distribute at building level all the necessary to ensure safety to all occupants.
- IMMUNE™ Digital Twin – digital screens placed in receptions to display immunity-boosting indicators such as daily improvement of indoor air quality in comparison to outside air, water parameters vs. the water source received from the city network, and different measures imposed by the IMMUNE™ Steward, relevant information related to the good functioning of IMMUNE™ equipment throughout the building.
Other elements include:
- Built-in technologies to enhance the sanitizations of indoor spaces in the prevention of bacteria, viruses, and toxins spreading.
- Bathrooms to be fully equipped with Bio Sanitizers – Urinal & WC Hygiene Flushing System.
- Ozone space and water treatment.
- Walls covered with antimicrobial paint proven to prevent bacteria as well as mould and mildew growth.
- Rounded corners to minimize bacterial deposits in toilet cubicles, crowded areas such as meeting rooms, cafeterias or break out rooms to be fitted with high-class filters for the intake air.
Once a building owner has been awarded an IMMUNE™ certificate, an IMMUNE™ Steward will be appointed via the building owner’s FM team to manage a dedicated project team. The project team’s role would be to determine the specifications for individual measures in order to create a workspace that is Healthy by Design®, a productive space for people to conduct their activities. The project team will need to provide the following information
- A description of the investment made on systems and installations in compliance with the IMMUNE™ standard requirements
- A description of how the FM team attained the operational practices – (P) perpetual, and (R) ready-to-activate, required by the IMMUNE™ standard
- Calculations used to asses and determine compliance
- Manufacture’s data sheets, fulfilling the compliance criteria
- Evidence of specified system or product installed
The IMMUNE™ index measures covers (A) architectural engineering, technology, design, and two levels of operational practices – (P) perpetual, and (R) ready-to-activate – and offers a structure with measures and relevant questions to help property developers and landlords achieve the resilience of a building, organized on the following seven modules:
- Legislation, Governance and Compliance Measures. This section refers to the legal requirements to ensure a building is addressing the current health risks. It also provides guidance for IMMUNE™ implementation stewardship.
- Exterior Measures for Building Accessibility. This module certifies the measures regarding the path for ingress and egress; the hands-free access and measures taken to increase alternative transportation means.
- Outdoor Space De-densification. This module addresses the physical distancing requirements within the out-door spaces that serve as interactive areas for employees.
- Building Receptions and Common Areas Prevention Measures. This module focuses on measures which needs to be implemented in all common areas and makes them more secure against the threat of viruses’, maximizing healthy access, and minimizing the crowd and ventilation of the closed spaces. It also covers emergency preparedness, such as the provision of an ‘Isolation space’ until the arrival of a medical team in case a viral problem is detected.
- Office Area Prevention Measures. This module provides guidance to tenants with the necessary measures to organize the office area in order to comply with hygiene measures, optimal secure distance requirements, and the policy regarding the support to employees who may suffer from anxiety and stress.
- Restrooms Specific Prevention Measures. This module covers the measures applied in one of the most hazardous public areas: restrooms. From touchless access and flushing sensors to more complex water ozone treatments, sanitation of sinks, toilets and urinals, the measures are designed to add maximum resilience to this high traffic area.
- Facility Management Measures. This module is a guidance for the facility management body to apply more structural measures such as the application of washable antibacterial / anti-mold / antivirus paints, nebulization disinfection in all common areas, humidity control, air quality control, regular water control, controlled ventilation systems, dedicated air filtering solutions, regular disinfection / sanitation of spaces with UV lamps, and many others.
This is the first version of the IMMUNE™ standard and will remain under frequent review and constant evolution as the medical, scientific, architectural, and engineering bodies arrive at new conclusions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current open source document is dedicated to office buildings only and it can be adapted to certify any building types such as Hospitality, Retail, Health Care, Education, and Residential, at any stage of their life cycle and type, such as new, in-use, or a regeneration project.
We invite collaboration, support, and contributions from a variety of experts to help further update the criteria to reflect emerging findings as the scientific evidence base around COVID-19 continues to unroll. We welcome feedback – please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, and insights for further IMMUNE™ updates.
- Dr. Liviu Tudor, Dipl. Eng. – Chairman – www.genesisproperty.net; President – European Property Federation – www.epf-fepi.com
- Mr. Gavin Bonner – Vice President – www.genesisproperty.net
- Dr. Darren Allen – Development Management – www.genesisproperty.net
“Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest
- Acad. Prof. Adrian Streinu-Cercel MD, PhD – Professor at the Department of Infectious Deseases – www.umf.ro; GM of The National Institute for Infectious Disease at ”Prof. Dr. Matei Bals” – www.mateibals.ro
Epstein – Chicago USA
- Mr. L. Randall Buescher – Senior Vice President / Director of Client Services – www.epsteinglobal.com
- Dipl. Eng. Alin Ungureanu – General Manager – www.addict-invest.com
Trusa Design Comunication
- Mr. Catalin Nastasoiu – Design & Communication – www.genesisproperty.net
- Mr. Razvan Nica – Managing Director – www.build-green.eu
- Arch. Dragos Epure – Lead Architect – www.archi-polis.com