Thoughts Over the Wire

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Summary of COVID-19 Research Findings

With so much information doing the rounds about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we thought it would be good to provide you with a summary of some of our own research and links to the source material. 

Please see below 6 resources that we have found to be very insightful:


    1. Gartner: Coronavirus Outbreak: Short- and Long- Term Actions for CIOs

  • The dangers and opportunities created by the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • Short-term actions to take to address operational disruptions and business decline.
  • Long-term actions to take to increase business resilience and prepare for future growth.
  • Read the full report here.

    2. Verdantix: Webinar - Addressing COVID-19 With Technology 

  • Industries that require employees to come into work, should utilize EHS mobile applications to notify employees of information in real time.
  • Utilize mobile applications for employees to self report health symptoms (report if they have COVID-19 symptoms).
  • Utilize IoT device to track and communicate with lone work employees.
  • Utilize software to log travel itineraries to ensure workers don't travel to COVID-19 hot spots.
  • Adjust BMS to adjust humidity level to impact survival level of viruses
  • Change cleaning processes.
  • Visitor management system.
  • Adjust room booking software to encourage social distancing. 

     3. Enertiv: Best Practices for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Outbreak

  • Things multifamily owners and operators can do:
  • Identify essential building functions for limited staff to focus on.
  • Document process, especially those performed by outside vendors who may not be able to access the building.
  • Order redundant critical parts in case supplies become unavailable.
  • Stagger shifts to decrease likelihood of staff-wide infections.
  • Cross-train personnel to perform essential building functions so that operations can continue if key staff members are absent. 
  • Technology’s role to play: 
  • Mobile apps that can be downloaded directly to allow on-site staff to perform. functionals usually completed by third party vendors, such as maintenance rounds or meter readings. 
  • Installing simple devices to connect the building management system to the cloud so engineers can access building systems remotely. 
  • Digitizing documents and processes to make available from anywhere. 
  • Virtual scans of mechanical rooms to enable remote guidance through a building. 
  • Installation of sensors to take continuous readings instead of relying on a human to perform rounds. 

    4. Gartner: Coronavirus: CIO Areas of Focus During the COVID-19 Outbreak

  • Expand digital workplace resources and access:
    • Inventory work use cases: Understand the typical workflow of people who are able to do their job remotely and identify the systems they need to access - can range from in-house communication platforms like email or messaging to CRM and ERP systems. Include interaction with customers and business partners as part of the user case analysis and document needs of external users.
    • Identify security needs: review existing security infrastructure and access what people will need to work safely. Consider the hardware remote employees will use such as company-issues or personal devices and the networks they’ll be on - public or private. Consider endpoint security for devices and robust identity and access management to allow secure sign-in to corporate systems. 
    • Update policies, access and training: need to update their policies regarding who can work remotely, how often and for how long. Update system access. Workers must undergo training on rules around data protection and proper data use, how to safely exchange documents or information electronically. 
    • Provide new capabilities: quickly acquire or scale technology capabilities - video conferencing, messaging, collaboration rolls and document sharing. Additional bandwidth and network capacity may also be needed.
  • Narita Airport in Japan using infrared cameras to measure the body temperature of passengers to determine if they have a fever.
  • Hospitals deployed washroom sensors to track whether staff are washing their hands for a sufficient length of time.
  • Reprogramming BMSs to manage indoor humidity levels to minimize the survival rate of viruses.
  • Using white light disinfection LED technology. 
  • These infection-fighting building technologies could face pushback because of occupant privacy concerns.

    6. Financial Times: How healthy buildings can help us fight coronavirus

  • Research found that when ventilation and filtration rates were increased above industry minimums, and when classrooms used portable air purifiers to supplement the building systems, there was a 50 per cent reduction in the relative risk of transmission. 
  • Other studies show that higher outdoor air ventilation rates and better filtration can reduce risk from influenza, rhinovirus, tuberculosis and Sars.  
  • Controlling airflow between rooms helps to prevent cross-contamination. 
  • Use high-rated filters in buildings to trap close to 80% of airborne virus-sized particles.

As an organization that serves both healthcare, commercial real estate, and corporate real estate organizations we empathize deeply with what our customers are going through at this moment. We’re a technology organization, but for us people have always come first. If you need advice on where to start or how you can make the changes your organization needs to be prepared for the future, get in touch. Community is important now more than ever.

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