Builders look at design interventions in a world with COVID-19

Construction work at Jakkuru in Bengaluru. According to real estate bodies, developers are introducing more common areas and open spaces to help maintain social distancing   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

As the real estate sector slowly resumes, builders and developers are looking at design interventions to accommodate the requirements of a world with COVID-19.

According to real estate bodies, developers are introducing more common areas and open spaces to help maintain social distancing. “Some developers are also introducing quarantine facilities in malls. One such is already being talked about in Chennai,” said Kishore Jain, chairman, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), Karnataka.

In addition, with the world shifting into the work-from-home culture — a change that is increasingly being looked at as doable by many — real estate developers will be nudged into looking at integrating a home office space within the house design, developers said.

Sathish Kumar M., president, National Real Estate Development Council, Karnataka, said builders would build what customers ask for. “Buyers have their own design aspirations. The coronavirus pandemic may go, but the future may not be the same. So changes are inevitable. Apart from surviving the pandemic, the work-from-home scenario will also see builders offering a 2.5 BHK instead of 2 BHK, the half being a home-office space. For existing houses which do not allow design changes, retractable furniture may become popular. A lot of people are returning to India from abroad and these issues will be among the selling points as well as requirements for builders,” he said.

He also said that common areas and amenities would see changes, while points of entry and exit would be more tech-enabled, with no-touch mechanisms.

Commercial properties

In commercial properties, prevention standards, experiments with anti-microbial surfaces have begun, said developers.

But what about the demand for office spaces itself? Though at present there are worries over the future, the CREDAI chairman said there was unlikely to be a drop in demand.

“Companies still need to keep equipments, etc. somewhere. So commercial real estate will still be in demand. Moreover, they are unlikely to completely move into work-from-home [set-up] because past experiences have shown that this could lead to reduction in productivity,” Mr. Jain said.

Mr. Sathish Kumar said companies would be shifting away from people-oriented management and integrating technology. Spaces such as the office cafeteria would have to be adapted to the new normal. “Robotics may also pick up,” he added.

Project completion

But the most immediate change that one would see is the impact on project completion.

“There has been a mass exodus of workers since a few days. It is definitely going to hamper the project completion and there will be delay. We are working out catching-up strategies to overcome this,” Mr. Jain said. He also added that the supply chain disruptions, lack of adequate manpower and cost escalations would affect the overall cost to the consumer too.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 10:44:01 PM |

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