The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown has changed perceptions of the nature of work for many, with more people working from home on a long-term or permanent basis. The sudden growth of remote working has required developers and designers to think again about the spaces we create, as demand grows for homes equipped to facilitate the phenomenon. Chapman Taylor Residential Director, Michael Swiszczowski, looks at how the Build-to-Rent format is already well placed to deal with some of the key issues raised by the pandemic, both short- and long-term.
In addition, there is increasing interest in how residential design can improve in terms of health security, decreasing the risk of infections being transmitted from person to person, whether this be COVID or any other pathogen. Related to that, questions are being asked about how suitable our residences are for lockdown or quarantine-type situations – particularly when we consider that many people endured the 2020 lockdown in small apartments without outdoor spaces or suitable areas in which to work.
We believe that one residential format – Build-to-Rent – is ideally placed to provide solutions for the challenges thrown up by the recent pandemic.
The concept behind Build-to-Rent and the requirements of COVID compliance seem on the surface to be contradictory. Build-to-Rent is all about customer engagement, bringing people together, drawing them out of their apartments and breaking down the barriers between landlord and resident, whereas COVID compliance requires barriers to go up.
However, this is not the case – on the contrary. The Build-to-Rent format can provide a great service during times such as the current pandemic precisely because those barriers are going up. The core ethos of Build-to-Rent is about encouraging a sense of community (both digital and physical) and a culture of service – these are vital components at a time when people need to help and look out for each other more than ever.
Here, we look at how Build-to-Rent developments can help their residents to adapt to working from home, lockdown or quarantine situations.