how will the home environment continue to be affected during the pandemic?
BY STEPHANIE CASIMIRO
THE PANDEMIC HAS TOUCHED every industry and life in the past seven months. As businesses struggle to find ways to reopen while providing a healthier and safer environment for their employees and customers, I cannot help but wonder how the home environment will be impacted. Not only from a design perspective, but also a livability perspective.
People love to entertain, which means having groups of people gathering around, eating food and socializing for birthdays, major holidays and just for the heck of it, which now carries risk. The shutdown of our social events and the limiting of people’s lives to the confines of their homes and neighborhoods has left people hungry to return to normalcy, to social events, entertainment, arts and travel. Once the pandemic is over, people will want to go back to hosting and visiting friends and relatives in their homes. Visitors will travel from different parts of the city, state and world to visit friends and family. Before the pandemic, these social gatherings would take place without any discussion on how to best gather to not spread a virus. Will this activity change once COVID-19 is no longer a threat, or have we learned we should be protected from outbreaks as a part of a “new normal?”
Thermographic imaging devices that take your guests’ temperatures as a first line of defense.
I believe that technology is poised to assist in providing a healthier environment that will soon become standard procedure in the luxury market. The technologies to address outbreaks head-on are facial recognition temperature readers, integrated systems for continuous disinfection of air, surfaces, and laundry. Technology has been making life convenient in the design-build industry, and now it will continue to improve life by making it safer and healthier. We have mentioned how lighting can set a mood, and music can be played anywhere in a home with the right planning and technology. Now, these technologies can assist in providing a less stressful environment for the homeowner, allowing for a better night’s sleep and a productive day which in turn will boost the immune system which is important to overall health.
In a post-COVID-19 world, luxury homes will implement this technology to provide a healthier environment for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays, etc. By being proactive and installing some high-tech cutting-edge tools, homes will be prepared for the next pandemic or flu-season. Upon entering a home, temperature screening technology will greet guests at the door. Thermographic imaging devices that take your guests’ temperatures as a first line of defense. This camera will take the temperature using AI, and if elevated body temperature is detected, the guest will not be allowed to enter.
The cameras that provide the temperature screening are placed like a security camera, and upon not registering an elevated temperature, the door can automatically open. In this scenario, the guest has not come into close contact with another human, which is part of social distancing protocols, and not touched a doorknob. Additional temperature taking technology can be placed throughout a larger home that will continuously monitor people as they pass by and signal an alarm if someone registers a temperature. I predict that this health screen system will be integrated into an alarm system that enables health screening to create a time-stamped log to show the homeowner is proactive in mitigating the spread of illness. This integration technology will be as commonplace as hiring a lifeguard to monitor the pool at a party as a risk mitigation strategy to protect the homeowner.
Once your visitors are in your home, a continuous, integrated air cleaning system will disinfect the air. This system could be controlled by a whole-house automation product like Crestron and set to a specific timetable. A clean air system like the one from AtmosAir™ SolutionsAtmosair uses technology to provide circulated air free of pollutants, toxins and pathogens. Air passes through ionization tubes on its way into common area spaces, where the ionized air then treats contaminants as it encounters them.
Likewise, I believe purified water strategies are going to be another existing technology that people are going to gravitate to. If the homeowner is interested in clean air for the sake of the entire family, they sure as heck are going to want purified water for when they brush their teeth or cook meals.
You might as well throw acoustics into the mix, because controlling noise is also a part of a healthier environment. And general environmental queues from well-positioned windows and how a space is lit all tie in to the theme of a space that has the utmost livability quotient.
How homes are cleaned will be forever changed in a post pandemic society. A home cleaning will include frequently disinfecting a home, especially after a larger gathering. Hospital grade cleaning agents will be used for residential use, and this service will be just like the monthly pest control service for the home.
Residential dwellings will perhaps start following the same CDC guidelines required of bars and restaurants. These businesses are hiring companies to clean and sanitize their restaurants after a staff member tests positive. Keeping a healthy home environment and improving the immunity of the homeowner will be commonplace in a world post-pandemic and technologies (both old and new) will be integrated into this new normal.
All of these new technologies and procedures are going to be a part of how residences are designed, whether a new build or major remodel. From the architect to the builder to the interior designer to the technology designer, each will play a role in developing cleaner, healthier, more resilient homes. I believe that’s how we are all going to be moving forward in the very near future.
Keeping a healthy home environment and improving the immunity of the homeowner will be commonplace in a world post-pandemic and technologies (both old and new) will be integrated into this NEW NORMAL.
Stephanie is a contributing editor and the social media manager for Technology Designer. She is
the founder of Designer Marketing Solutions, a full-service social media and marketing agency.