Feb 15, 2021
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Commercial Contracting and Renovations

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The year 2020 brought a phenomenal change in the way businesses were run. With the government instituting lockdowns in a bid to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, businesses had to go back to the drawing board to strategize and reevaluate how to safely sell their products and services to the general public.

Now it’s 2021 and the status quo remains. Zoom is still the preferred medium for communication in business and educational settings. Individuals and families across Norfolk County and beyond are still urged to stay home, reduce outings to a minimum and when necessary, wear facemasks and practice social distancing, and generally, maintain safe COVID-19 prevention practices.

As a business owner or manager in Norfolk County, the responsibility to uphold and contribute to the collective sacrifice being made in different communities across Ontario and Canada is greater. You have a significant role to play in ensuring that the government directives, given to limit the spread of the virus are not only observed but carried out in a way that fits seamlessly into your business ideal and brand.

Now more than ever, businesses need to show their unending commitment to the safety and wellbeing of their employees and customers. Fortunately, this role is one that can be achieved in various ways. In light of this, Mark Acton Construction Ltd. has a few useful ideas on how you can renovate or restructure your offices and facilities to suit the current climate. Here’s how their Industrial Commercial & Institutional Construction Services can help your business.

Redefining Workspaces

Running a business is no walk in the park. While most of your objectives are framed with the needs of the consumer in mind, you also owe a duty to the employees under your care. Where in the past, open floor designs with unstructured sitting areas were embraced, it is clear that such concepts would not be accepted in today’s world.

Of course, we see how having your staff operating in close quarters could have engendered a feeling of trust and helped to build team spirit in the recent past. However, such closeness in this new normal could increase the spread of the virus. This in itself is an outcome that would prove disastrous for the public image and general growth of your company.

The growing emphasis on limiting physical touching and encouraging social distancing throughout Norfolk County necessitates a need to retrofit your workspaces to provide more space between your workers. This could require measures such as introducing traditional wood-paneled cubicles or transparent dividers in office spaces.

Providing portable hand washing and sanitizer stations that could be wheeled around whenever the need arises is another crucial step to take in ensuring the safety of your employees.

In addition to limiting contact between workers during office hours, there is also a need to ensure that the quality of air in your office buildings is operating in the best interests of the health of its occupants. Air pollution problems may arise from inadequate ventilation or faulty ventilation systems.

Poor indoor air circulation can also increase the risks of being infected by the Coronavirus. As such, it is important to revisit these issues and provide a safe and comfortable environment for your employees and clients.

Revisiting Accessibility

The entrance to your office building is equally as important as the setup within the building. How equipped are you to cater to the unique needs of individuals with disabilities? Are your entrances wheelchair accessible?

Do you have ramps and safety rails installed to aid the safe passage of the physically impaired? Are directional markings and signs available to communicate information effectively to the visually impaired? All these and more are questions you need to answer when considering changes that ought to be made in preparing your business for the new normal.

When contemplating the concept of accessibility, it is helpful to consider things from the standpoint of the disability community. Your commitment to the safety of your clients and employees ought to be all-encompassing, and as such, here are a series of changes that are worth considering:

Consider Installing Contactless Doors

A contactless door access system is an effective solution to the hygiene considerations in the COVID era, as well as the free movement of people to and from your office building. The doors can be programmed to allow access to individuals with the correct credentials.

This will not only improve security by restricting access of unqualified individuals to certain sections of the building, but the contactless nature of the doors will also help limit contamination.

Recreate Entrances and Waiting areas to Accommodate the needs of People using Mobility Devices

While automated entryways, clearly marked parking spaces and wheelchair ramps are effective measures to aid the free movement of the physically impaired into your office space, it is equally necessary to ensure that your waiting rooms and other spaces are just as accessible and comfortable.

Ensure that the spaces in the building will accommodate the use of wheelchairs and other mobility devices while also allowing for social distancing.

Introduce Various Forms of Signage

Providing information in multiple formats can help improve movement to, from, and around your establishment. Ensure that all occupants are aware of the need to social distance and create signage that recognizes and respects the differences of individuals that make use of the space.

Renovating Public Bathrooms / Facilities 

In this COVID era, we at Mark Acton Construction Ltd. understand that key considerations in building renovations and construction have been redefined. Previously, commercial bathrooms’ designs were influenced by convenience, durability, and making the most of available space.

Now, those considerations are being replaced by reducing the number of surfaces one comes in contact with and providing sufficient space between restrooms to avoid minimal physical contact. Restrooms are one of the most expensive spaces to furnish in an office building and also the most likely to wear out in time.

Where the placement of the facilities within the rooms was once a priority, the COVID-19 virus will require you to revisit touchpoints and how visitors move through the building to get to the bathrooms.

A socially distant bathroom will prioritize increased privacy for users. It will require the replacement of large multi-user bathrooms with single unit bathrooms. You can achieve this by introducing dividers between sinks and other toilet facilities.

Bathroom renovations in Norfolk County should also include more distance between sinks, touchless faucets, and fixtures for hand drying, etc. While these features have been in existence for a while, they have become more of a necessity in this present climate.

One-stop handwashing technology that allows users to wet, soap, and dry their hands without moving to separate fixtures would also be helpful to reduce touchpoints and congestion in the restroom.

Air purification is another key consideration in renovating restrooms. Purification devices and ventilation fans are necessary to promote airflow and the growth of mold on surfaces.

Restructuring Existing Buildings

Every good business owner or manager is always on the lookout for opportunities to grow and expand their business. If business has been good, and despite the pandemic, you’ve managed to maintain a strong foothold in your industry, then this is as good a time as any to consider renovating.

A renovation provides you with the opportunity to identify weak areas in the building, upgrade outdated features, and introduce modern facilities that can increase the appeal of your brand and grab the attention of new customers. It is often easy to get carried away with the financial demands of a renovation project.

However, years of experience in the construction industry provides us with a more defined point of view. Restructuring an existing building is an investment that is sure to yield profitable results for you and your company in the short and long run. Here are a few reasons why you ought to fully consider the option today:

Attract new Clientele

Nothing piques the interest of passersby and potential customers like a newly renovated office space. Bright colors and a new design is a sure way to get people curious about your brand. Such curiosity can then encourage them to visit you to check out the services you offer. In essence, restructuring your existing building is a promotional opportunity and a platform for you to advertise your brand.

Increase your Cost-Efficiency

Green technology provides improved ways to run an energy-efficient business, and you can identify a range of products that could improve the energy-constraints in your enterprise. By installing such energy-efficient upgrades in your office space, you can effectively reduce energy costs.

Constructing a New Building

We’ve outlined some benefits of renovating your existing building. Yet, what if your plans for your business involve a level of expansion that would require a new structure? We understand that there is a lot more to gain from constructing a whole new office building for your business rather than leasing.

Building your very own commercial property offers you a unique opportunity to create a space that is solely yours. Rather than depend on an existing structure, you can explore customization options that would otherwise have remained closed to you. Owning your building also provides an opportunity for expansion and wealth creation.

Conclusion

Do any of the above-stated options apply to you? Are you confused about how to begin retrofitting your business to fit ever changing government directives? Are you considering an expansion? Mark Acton Construction based in Simcoe, Ontario can help you implement your ideas in line with your unique requirements.

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