Architect Helps to Reconfigure Office Workspace Airflow

Jan 20, 2021

Melissa Eichman

Jonathan Moore is setting off smoke bombs of sorts to help get businesses back to business.

TAMPA, Fla. — Architect and builder, Jonathan Moore is setting off smoke bombs of sorts to help get businesses back to normal.

"Airflow is as important of a safety precaution as work station separation or washing your hands," said Moore, President of InVision Advisors.

Many offices will need reorganizing when welcoming employees back to the workplace due to new practices people are accustomed to from the pandemic.

"We’ll walk into a space and really try to map that space out really from an occupancy perspective knowing where people go, whether it’s right to their desk, right to the conference room," said Moore.

"We’ll look down, and we’ll look up. We want to understand the furniture layout, the wall layout, but also the ceiling layout with regards to the air ducts and vents."

From sanitizing to social distancing and wearing masks, Moore says it's important to consider airflow.

"The air blows out and gets sucked back in and how many people that air moves across when it’s sort of moving from blowing out to sucking in. I think it’s important to understand when you’re going to re-organize your office space,” said Moore.

From social distancing to fewer touch points, AIC Architecture in Tampa has made adjustments. The firm collaborates with InVision Advisors.

"To maintain separation, we took people out of one pod and relocated them to different pods,” said Andrew Matson with AIC Architecture.

Moore says configuration is key.

"When you organize an office, it would be good if that return air duct could be away from a main seating area so the air is pulled away from everybody," said Moore.

"We have recommended in several offices to increase the amount of return air, where the air gets pulled back in so that it doesn’t blow across as many people," he added.

To help emphasize airflow as an important safety measure, Moore uses smoke to show how germs can move across a room.

"We think about this as a sneeze, so seeing how quickly a sneeze diffuses or moves across another individual, certainly if there’s an airflow that moves that sneeze across another individual space we want to do something about that by either adding another return air duct or shifting the furniture around to prevent that,” said Moore."