15 Building Products for a Post-COVID-19 World

May 21, 2020

As communities prepare to slowly reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the built environment will look different. See new products meant to change the look and operations of buildings in the name of safety.

As communities prepare to slowly reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the built environment will no doubt look different for a period of time. Some facilities might require temperature checks to fully enter the building. Physical distancing will surely be in place between occupants.

Following are a series of commercial building products that are meant to help FMs and building owners keep tenants and employees safe in this new normal.

Thermal Cameras

In the past few weeks, major hotel chains have released health and sanitation plans that include the use of thermal cameras for temperature checks, where a guest or employee is flagged if they present a certain high temperature.

Seek Scan (Seek Thermal)

Seek Scan from Seek Thermal is a simple, low-cost thermal imaging system designed to automate body temperature screening using skin temperature as a proxy. The product is designed and calibrated to deliver accurate skin temperature measurements while enabling social distancing protocols.

Courtesy of Seek Thermal

In seconds, according to Seek Thermal, the system automatically detects a face, identifies the most reliable facial features for measurement and displays an alert if someone is warmer than the customizable alarm temperature. Seek Scan can be installed in lobbies, hallways and other key access points.

ThermoRebellion (Honeywell)

Honeywell also recently launched a new thermal imaging camera, ThermoRebellion, which can conduct a non-invasive preliminary screening of personnel entering a facility using infrared imaging technology and AI algorithms. According to Honeywell, the camera detects skin temperature within two seconds and displays it on an accompanying monitor.

Courtesy of Honeywell

The product can also identify whether personnel are wearing the required personal protective equipment needed for entering the building. It can be deployed at entryways of factories, airports, distribution centers, stadiums and other commercial facilities.


The CSE1008 walk-through body temperature detector gate features a non-contact temperature sensing system. The screening gate is also light-weight and portable and can help ensure everyone is screened before entering.

(Photo courtesy of CENTRIC)

CSE1008 also offers an ADA-compliant door and visual and audio alarms for signaling abnormal temperatures. Real-time, LED display shows the body temperature.

Physical Distancing Solutions

Governments and health organizations worldwide are enforcing social distancing. As tenants cautiously return to offices, these products are meant to help people avoid person-to-person contact and maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others.

Protective Acrylic Shields (Poppin)

For office workers’ personal protection, Poppin has created Protective Acrylic Shields, which are clear acrylic shields that can be used on any surface as a freestanding solution. They can also be fit to install into a Poppin Series A or Series L Desk. The shields are available in three sizes: 27 inches, 48 inches or 58 inches. They feature cable cutouts to avoid cord clutter and flexible plastic hinges for a range of motion relative to the center panel.

Courtesy of Poppin

Social Distancing Strap (Sandler)

Sandler’s Social Distancing Strap can be placed on an adjacent seat via Velcro so others can identify a social distancing pattern. (Image courtesy of Sandler)

The Velcro makes removal and repositioning easy. The signage on the brushed aluminum strap can be customized to fit your building’s design guidelines. Ideal applications include university lecture theaters, schools, conference halls, cinemas, theaters, public transportation and business auditoriums.

BuzziTripl Desk (BuzziSpace)

The BuzziTripl Desk is part of BuzziSpace’s collection of privacy panels with acoustical properties. This product shields against noise and visual disruptions while also compartmentalizing open office and desk set-ups. This allows for safe social distancing in communal spaces as office workers gradually return to their workspaces.

Courtesy of BuzziSpace

Updated video analytics from BriefCam

BriefCam recently announced new capabilities to its product portfolio of video content analytics that are meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and support safe re-opening of facilities. New features include:

  • Proximity identification: To ensure social distancing compliance, this allows users to review video to identify individuals who were in proximity to another individual for a determined duration of time. It can also be combined with face recognition and appearance similarity capabilities to determine if a person has been in contact with COVID-19-infected people.
  • Face mask detection: Users can search for people with or without a face mask, as well as detect and alert on face mask violations in real-time.
  • Occupancy controller: Users can maintain building occupancy requirements (which might have tightened to comply with local post-shutdown restrictions). This new feature can count people as they enter and exist a facility across multiple cameras and entry and exit points. When the threshold is met, an alert can be sent to the appropriate destination.
Courtesy of BriefCam

Varia Desk Partition (3form)

This translucent desk partition utilizes Varia, a durable, architectural-grade resin. Varia contains 40% pre-consumer recycled content, is GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality certified and carries a strong fire rating. Varia offers a multitude of pattern options including handcrafted artisan designs, biophilic interlayers, modern textiles, digitally printed imagery and 250 different colors. The hardware also does no damage to the existing desktop when removed.

Courtesy of 3form

Connectrac GO (Connectrac)

Many facilities are reconfiguring workspaces to increase the distance between people, but that can create new challenges if people move further away from outlets.

Connectrac GO, a portable, pluggable wireway that corrals power and data cables, moves connectivity wherever you need it. (Photo courtesy of Connectrac)

Privacy Panels (Studio Other)

This collection of attachable privacy panels brings flexibility to existing workstations. The panels are designed to help protect employee health in an adaptable, easy and attractive way as organizations move toward reopening their workplaces and for general use thereafter.

Courtesy of Studio Other

They are available in six configurations and 18 colors to offer a range of options for integrating into the aesthetic environment. In addition, custom colors and materials are available as special orders.

No-Touch Solutions

Commercial buildings create plenty of high-touch areas, including door handles, elevator buttons and restrooms. These products aim to minimize skin-to-surface touchpoints throughout the day for occupants.

[On topic: How the Commercial Building Community Comes Together During COVID-19]

Rockwood Arm and Foot Pulls (ASSA ABLOY)

ASSA ABLOY’s Rockwood product line recently launched a series of hands-free door opening solutions. (Image courtesy of ASSA ABLOY)

Rockwood arm and foot pulls are easy-to-install, cost-effective options for hands-free door operation, so FMs can reduce the spread of germs and bacteria throughout their facility. The products are ideal for schools, offices, restaurants, stores, medical offices, arenas and more.

Door Handle Cuff (Mockett)

With this no-touch Door Handle Cuff from Mockett, users simply rest their forearm into the cuff, press down on the door handle and push or pull to minimize contact. (Image courtesy of Mockett)

The cuff is easy to install: Simply slip it over the handle and screw into place. According to Mockett, the cuff fits most traditional door handles, including square or round handles with a ¾-to1-inch diameter.

StepHandle (5th Axis)

For a completely hands-free solution, 5th Axis has launched StepHandle, which allows people to open doors with their feet. The product includes the needed hardware for an easy and quick installation. (Image courtesy of 5th Axis)

StepHandle features gripper teeth and a raised lip for traction and is angled enough to grab with your shoe but not high enough to be a tripping hazard. It's available in high-visibility red or a more natural-looking silver.

Next Generation WashBar (Bradley Corp.)

Bradley Corp. revealed the next generation of its WashBar series, Next Generation WashBar. This new extension delivers touchless clean, rinse and dry functionality along with a modern profile designed to make a statement in upscale commercial washroom applications. With only one connection point to the sink, the design provides more open space for easier cleaning. The new WashBar is deal for Class A offices, hospitality, upscale restaurants, bars, retail establishments and more.

Courtesy of Bradley Corp.

Touch-Free Elevator Call System Smartphone App (Mitsubishi Electric)

For buildings outfitted with Mitsubishi Electric’s Sigma AI 2200C Destination Oriented Allocation System (DOAS) elevators, building owners can implement the affiliated smartphone app that allows occupants to call elevator cars remotely from their mobile devices. (Image courtesy of Mitsubishi Electric)

The app displays the user’s assigned elevator and current status and alerts them as the elevator car approaches for touch-free boarding. Users can even sync their security-issued ID cards so that when they swipe for entry into the building, the app will call an elevator directly to their office floor. Alternatively, users can call an elevator from anywhere in the building and set both the arrival and destination floors in advance.

The goal is to help elevator passengers avoid touching common surfaces and prevent the spread of germs.

Read next: How Will Offices Change Post-COVID?

About the Author

Sarah Kloepple | Associate Editor

Sarah joined the BUILDINGS team as an associate editor in August 2018. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, where her focus was magazine writing. She's written and edited for numerous publications in her hometown of St. Louis.

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