COVID-19 New Building Standards
Demand for construction of residential projects will continue to rise. Around the world 200,000 people a day are migrating to Urban areas, requiring significantly more shelter and business accommodations. A report by Report Linker states that the construction industry in the MENA region is expected to reach USD 822.1 Billion by 2024.
The real estate market in Lebanon is challenged with a reduced purchasing power of buyers and a lack of financing for developers as part of a drawback in the global markets and state economies.
Hayek Group believes the new trend in construction is simply “Wealth equals Health” and no more fast-cash projects. Appealing architectural design is not the only interest for buyers, contamination free residence is the new demand where all building services and materials must comply with the most up to date technologies to maintain a healthy atmosphere.
We are developing new building standards and incentives for clients to preserve comfort and convenience. Our current under construction projects are considered to be the first touchless and anti-contamination projects in the country where residents will enjoy reaching their apartments through a touchless protocol system using voice recognition and optical prints and live in a hygienic atmosphere.
The new design criteria represent an evolution in the building industry. Digital transformation is the only option; It calls for a shift in mindset and requires project team to collaborate and perform professional R&D for each project. This includes specific considerations for common areas, services and operations.
By embedding digital technology into design, construction and occupancy of built infrastructure, Hayek Group can ensure that customers get value for money and be willing to pay for it. Both closer vision and implementation are needed, these must be led by developers who understand both disciplines, the technology and the industry.
The new design not only reduces large indoor spaces and circulation zones to comply with the decline in group gatherings and social distancing measures, but also requires the selection of construction materials for contact surfaces to be contamination free especially those exposed to children.
The new design standards will consider the Covid-19 virus control in addition to provisions for possible future air, water and environmental contaminations. The new advanced technology in detecting suspended particles and air quality control system is crucial both inside the units and in the common zones. Water purification and anti-bacterial system is not a luxury operation any more, projects must apply all needed requirements to provide clean potable water supply.
Healthy environment, renewable energy and green building standards are not satisfactory anymore for buyers in this new era; instead developers should consider offering new technologies for a touchless design which seems acceptable and cost affordable. Asian and Western manufacturers are competing to provide innovative systems and reliable applications at a convenient cost which does not hinder the construction cost of the project.
Sanitation is mandatory on a daily basis, this includes personal hygiene for tenants, staff and visitors. It also includes sterility of hallways, corridors, elevators, drop zones, all common areas and parking facilities. Residents also must abide with pets’ cleanliness control plan provided by the facility managers.
To compensate with a minimal extra construction cost, the new design contemplates less security personnel substituted by smugglers detectors and CCTV on 24/7 basis. Residents can also enjoy remote control of their premises through home automation systems and cloud communication network as an extra option.
The real estate market in Lebanon consumes more than 20,000 residential units per year, out of which around 70% are in urban areas. By adapting our new standards, Hayek Group will attract new buyers and will be able to convince them that they will be fully satisfied and will be rewarded their money worth while living in a healthy environment.
Abdallah Hayek P.E
CEO, Hayek Group