Chicago Building Designed for Post Covid-19

June 16, 2020

A newly-constructed building in Chicago, Fulton East, is among the first commercial buildings specifically designed for a post Covid-19 world. According to an article in Forbes the 12-story, 90,000-square-foot office and retail building was originally set to open late summer 2020. However, with Covid-19's hard hit earlier this year, the development team was forced to shift their plans.

“At the time COVID-19 hit, our team immediately pivoted to research how to best address the concerns that we understood COVID-19 would raise for tenants and their employees,” says Bob Wislow, chairman and CEO of Parkside Realty, Inc., the developer of Fulton East.

According to the article, concerns among Chicago's Fulton East’s future tenants became “seismic” and required the team to place health and wellness at the forefront of the project, causing the opening date to shift from July to August.

After extensive research, the team implemented key structural changes, including the world’s first new-construction installation of Canada-based MAD Elevator Inc.’s elevator system. The elevator utilizes foot-activated call buttons for a hands-free elevator experience, reducing the spread of germs. Fulton East will also be among the first multi-story office buildings to employ airPHX non-thermal, plasma technology throughout the building. This will help reduce cross-contamination risks, according to the article, and provide employees with cleaner air and work surfaces. 

In terms of space planning in a post Covid-19 business environment, Fulton East’s new design features 10,605-square-foot floor plates to accommodate safe social distancing and allow for custom space planning. 

Fulton East’s post-COVID-19 design strategy includes the following modifications:

  • Touch-free thermal scanning at the lobby security desk to check people’s temperatures.
  • Rosslare’s touch-free key fob access and security system, pre-wired for future BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) access via a mobile phone.
  • Butterfly, touch-free, after-hours security/building access/intercom/elevator access system.
  • Private, in-building, exclusive parking providing direct, touch-free, secure access to tenant floors.
  • EPA-registered, microbicidal paint that kills greater than 99.9% of aerogenes within 2 hours of exposure on painted surfaces.
  • Touch-free, solar-powered faucets, soap dispensers, and flush valves and SloanTec Hydrophobic Glaze on all vitreous washroom fixtures.
  • All washrooms constructed with one fixture more than Chicago city code to help enhance social distancing.