This e-book was written by Peter S. Kimmel, Publisher of FMLink. Its goal is to help building and facilities managers get their buildings back to the “new normal” occupancy and functioning safely for their occupants. It is written in four parts that are being published simultaneously; each links to the others. If you prefer to read a PDF, you may download the e-book here. Footnotes are at the end of each part; a full bibliography is available in the PDF.
- PART ONE: Introduction
- PART TWO: Strategies for getting the building from mostly vacant to populated
- PART THREE: Detailed considerations for key aspects of the facility and plan
- PART FOUR: Resource Guide (Below)
PART FOUR: Resource Guide
The following is a summary of key resources where you may delve into more depth about topics of interest. Most of these provided information used in this document.
We highly recommend taking advantage of work done by others to help determine the best courses of action for your facility. Besides the material in this guide, there are many other resources to review—see which apply to your specific needs. While the guide is intended to serve most of our readers, some in certain situations (for example, specific industries, those who have more complicated HVAC or plumbing systems, etc.) may benefit from the additional detail in these resources.
With each resource below, we have listed the resource and described what makes it particularly useful; in addition, instead of just linking to their home pages, we link to the resources’ detailed pages that relate to what we believe will be of value to you. If the organization has published a guidebook relating to the coronavirus, we provide a link to it.
Before we begin, we would be remiss not to mention FMLink itself as an excellent resource. FMLink has over 40 coronavirus news stories through April 2020, and many more get posted each week. These cover papers and checklists on how to handle the pandemic; tips; scams; government-issued guidelines and regulations; products and services; and projections related to how the workplace will become different—all related to the virus.
In addition, the FMLink Events Calendar lists webinars that are focused on the virus. Many associations and companies serving facilities managers are offering webinars weekly. Even if you have missed the date for a webinar, many are available through a recording from the sponsoring organization.
FMLink also publishes a weekly e-newsletter that is free to all. It summarizes all the news and events posted during the previous week. It is a good way to keep up with everything related to the coronavirus as it may impact buildings and facilities managers.
Resources—Associations and Government Organizations
- American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)
- American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
- Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA International)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- CoreNet Global
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
- International Facility Management Association (IFMA)
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
American Industrial Hygiene Association
AIHA has published two excellent resources from its coronavirus page: one focuses on recovering from COVID-19 building closures, and the other is a guidance document for workplace cleaning. It has many details on how to keep the workplace clean, including carpeting, fabrics, HVAC ducts, and pipes.
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The AIA’s Committee of Corporate Architects and Facility Management has launched a discussion forum focusing on change in corporate space usage as a consequence of COVID-19. This active group has frequent new postings from corporate architects, where each describes what they are doing to reopen their buildings.
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
ASHRAE focuses on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. It has put together a Coronavirus Preparedness Resources page that includes considerable information on buildings, filtration and disinfection, and transportation—there is very good detailed information here.
Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA International)
BOMA has compiled several excellent resources that are available from its coronavirus resource center. Two of them, which may be downloaded from there, are the Coronavirus Preparedness Checklist and Getting Back to Work—Preparing Buildings for Re-Entry. The Checklist, based on guidance from the CDC, discusses communicating with workers, planning for business continuity, best practices for cleaning, and supplies to have on hand.
Getting Back to Work identifies a detailed plan to put together a facilities team to prepare and manage a return to the workplace. It provides guidelines on social distancing, use of common areas, security, and signage, as well as policies for building personnel and contractors. Some of the “rules and guidelines” in PART THREE are based on ideas presented here. There are special sections for various types of services, including HVAC, janitorial, and emergency preparedness. There is also a lot of information on what landlords should be communicating to tenants.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Besides the CDC’s general page on the coronavirus, it has a variety of relevant resources that it has published. First, there is a special page focused on the coronavirus for businesses and various industries. This page also directs you to specific cleaning and disinfection recommendations. The CDC also has a page for cleaning and disinfecting various surfaces found primarily in households, but has additional information that can apply to buildings as well. For those whose water has not been used regularly and where there may be standing water in the pipes, the CDC recommends eight steps to take before a building reopens.
Together with the US EPA, the CDC has published Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes, which leads you to two very useful documents: one is a decision-making flowchart that tells you whether you will need to clean and disinfect certain areas; the other is guidance on how to do it.
The CDC has also published a factsheet geared toward preparation for small businesses for the effects of COVID-19. It is an excellent succinct summary of the key elements of a plan to be administered by the workplace coordinator in a small business.
CoreNet Global’s coronavirus page has links to many webinars, websites, and a large number of white papers written by a variety of organizations.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA, a US government agency whose mission is to protect human health and the environment, has a special coronavirus page with information on disinfectants, and drinking and waste water. It also has published a list of disinfectants that satisfy EPA’s criteria for use against the coronavirus.
Together with the CDC, the EPA has published the previously mentioned Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes, which leads you to two very useful documents: a decision-making flowchart telling you whether you will need to clean and disinfect certain areas; and guidance on how to do it.
Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
IREM has posted a special page that focuses on COVID-19 resources and information for property managers; it includes links to podcasts, tools and resources related to the virus. IREM also has produced Pandemic Guide for Real Estate Managers: Resources for Reopening Your Property; the Guide includes a property reopening checklist and special guidelines and comprehensive checklists for reopening office buildings, industrial properties, multifamily communities, retail properties, and the workplace in general. The general checklist includes tasks related to communications, disease prevention, and operations and maintenance.
International Facility Management Association (IFMA)
The IFMA Foundation has updated its 2006 Pandemic Manual. The new 2020 version adds information related to COVID-19 case studies, pandemic response checklists, facility measures for pandemic control and mitigation, using technology and working from home, and more. It is very comprehensive and includes many checklists and several case studies. Its resource guide includes links to government agencies and associations not in the FM and building arenas (e.g., disaster preparedness and recovery, business continuity, emergency management, risk and insurance, and fire protection).
IFMA and RICS (see below) have recently teamed up with Leesman, a company known for measuring employee workplace experience, to form a global coronavirus response group. The three-part initiative aims to arm the industry with the information and insights it will need when social distancing policies are relaxed. Part One is research to understand the experience that home-based employees are having. Part Two allows participating organizations to learn from one another’s data. Part Three starts when social distancing rules are relaxed and studies the impact that prolonged working-from-home (WFH) has on traditionally office-based employees.
ISSA, a global association for the cleaning industry, is very focused on disseminating information on how to clean and disinfect for the coronavirus. It has put together a special page on the virus and has formed the Global Biorisk Advisory Council. It offers education, training, and business resources to help manage the virus.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
NIOSH is a part of the CDC. It has published a variety of publications related to the virus and special types of workers, including those in meat-processing facilities, health care workers, residents of long-term care facilities, truck drivers, and emergency response workers.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA has published an excellent resource, Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. Besides containing invaluable information about the coronavirus, how it is transmitted and what types of rules and guidelines companies should implement to protect its occupants, this resource identifies and discusses the superiority of engineering controls such as barriers over administrative controls (those that rely on vigilance, compliance and safe work practices) and personal protective equipment (PPE). It also classifies job exposure risks as Very High, High, Medium, and Lower. The special section in PART THREE is based on guidance from this document.
RICS is an organization that supports professional standards in the areas of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. It has put together a page with information and guidance related to the coronavirus. There is a particularly interesting piece called Resilience at the frontline—the future of Facilities Management. See the discussion above about how IFMA and RICS are collaborating with Leesman regarding the pandemic.
World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO has published its COVID-19 Strategy Update; while this resource is a good general guide to the global pandemic, it does not focus on solutions for buildings. The WHO website also contains an interesting page on myths related to the coronavirus; see which of them you already know.
The following companies have special pages devoted to the coronavirus. Many are global outsourcing companies and provide a variety of real estate and facilities services to their clients. There also are design firms, furniture manufacturers, and a plumbing manufacturer.
Besides the organizations listed below, for those that relate directly to an area covered in PART THREE, they are included there instead. We also refer you to the FMLink Events Calendar, which identifies not only conferences but webinars focusing on the coronavirus; many of these are put on by these organizations.
- Cushman & Wakefield
- Eden (look at their Reentry page)
ABM, a facility services firm, has a coronavirus information center. It identifies what goes into routine environmental cleaning, more comprehensive cleaning and disinfection (for where infected people may have been), and best practices during building closures.
Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate services firm, has an excellent resources page for dealing with the coronavirus. It includes a very comprehensive how-to guide for reopening the workplace, which may be downloaded. Their booklet contains some very detailed checklists, including one for which equipment may need to be checked out to get the building operational, recommended communication practices, and preparing the workplace.
Eden, a facility services company that recently acquired Managed by Q (formerly a part of WeWork), assisted by investors led by JLL Technologies, developed a Reentry resources page. From that page one can download The 12-Point Plan for Workplace Re-Entry. The Plan includes a very comprehensive checklist for reentry and occupancy.
Gensler, an integrated design, planning and consulting firm, has published a series of blogs and interviews from industry experts regarding their thoughts on a variety of topics related to how design is responding to a changing world. Some of the topics include how the pandemic will influence building design; considerations for transitioning back to work; understanding the touchless workplace; creating data-rich spaces for a healthier workplace; what happens when we return to the workplace; how to build company culture in a virtual world; steps to take to ensure workplace wellness, and many more.
HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm, asked its leaders for their insights about how the coronavirus will impact different aspects of the workplace. This resulted in a series of papers on topics including COVID-19 takeaways for the workplace, COVID-19 and the case for a hands-free workplace, design strategies for work and life following COVID-19, and whether social distancing will make way for workplace distancing?
ISS, an integrated facility services company, describes its approach to ensuring that its clients’ buildings are safe. ISS formed a special task force to handle COVID-19 for its clients and to monitor their situation.
JLL, a real estate services leader, has published (re)entry: a guide for working in the next normal. The first part of the guide has good, detailed information about how and when people should begin to return to the workplace. There also is a good checklist with additional considerations for owners, occupiers and tenants, as well as a checklist in preparing for a safe and productive reentry.
Stantec, a global design and delivery firm, has a variety of interesting papers related to the coronavirus. One focuses on remaining safe at work, and has sections on developing a safe work plan, occupant safety and health, communication and transparency, and cleaning and disinfecting. It also has released a video about transitioning to recovery while preparing for a second wave of the coronavirus.
Sloan, a manufacturer of commercial plumbing systems, released a guide to clear (flush) commercial restrooms prior to reopening buildings. It describes the concerns with stagnant water in pipes and how to clear them. This impacts toilets, faucets and showerheads.
Steelcase, a furnishings company, has a special page devoted to the post-COVID workplace. It contains articles related to workplace design, strategies for successful remote collaboration, and a work-from-home (WFH) checklist. Many of these ideas are incorporated in Navigating What’s Next: The Post-COVID Workplace; this excellent resource focuses on planning of the workplace and includes a variety of layout concepts, distinguishing among solutions for right now, the retrofit period, and the ultimate reconfiguration. This resource then provides workstation alternatives designed to get one thinking about what can work best for each situation; it then addresses a variety of home office considerations and layouts.
Teknion, a furniture manufacturer, has created a cleaning guidelines page that goes into detail about which products to use on which types of surfaces and fabrics. These include wood veneer, painted finishes, laminates, metal, glass, and aluminum.
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ASHRAE. (2020). COVID-19: Resources Available to Address Concerns. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.ashrae.org/technical-resources/resources
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 US EPA
US-EPA. (2020). Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes | US EPA. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/guidance-cleaning-and-disinfecting-public-spaces-workplaces-businesses-schools-and-homes
CDC. (2020). Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19 [Ebook]. CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/guidance-small-business.pdf
 CORENET GLOBAL
CoreNet Global. (2020). UPDATED links to Virtual Popup Webinars. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.corenetglobal.org/coronavirus
 US EPA
US EPA. (2020). Coronavirus | US EPA. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus
 US EPA
US EPA. (2020). List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 | US EPA. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
 US EPA
US EPA. (2020). Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes | US EPA. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/guidance-cleaning-and-disinfecting-public-spaces-workplaces-businesses-schools-and-homes
IREM. (2020). COVID-19 resources and information for property managers. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.irem.org/learning/coronavirus
IREM. (2020). Pandemic Guide for Real Estate Managers: Resources for Reopening Your Property [Ebook]. IREM. Retrieved from https://www.irem.org/File Library/GlobalNavigation/Learning/COVID19/PandemicReopeningGuide.pdf
IFMA. (2020). Coronavirus Preparedness Resource Center. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.ifma.org/know-base/coronavirus-preparedness-resource-center
 IFMA FOUNDATION
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 NIOSH (CDC)
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OSHA. (2020). Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-10 [Ebook]. OSHA. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
OSHA. (2020). COVID-19 Safety and Health Topics & News. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
RICS. (2020). RICS Response to COVID-19. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.rics.org/north-america/news-insight/latest-news/coronavirus-and-rics-events/
RICS, & Bagust, P. (2020). Resilience at the Front Line–The future of Facilities Management. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.rics.org/north-america/news-insight/latest-news/news-opinion/resilience-at-the-frontline–the-future-of-facilities-management/
WHO. (2020). Coronavirus. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
WHO. (2020). COVID-19 Strategy Update [Ebook]. WHO. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/covid-strategy-update-14april2020.pdf?sfvrsn=29da3ba0_19
WHO. (2020). Myth busters. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
ABM. (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center – Building Maintenance and Facility Services. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.abm.com/covid-19/
CBRE. (2020). Insights and Implications Of Covid-19 Pandemic. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.cbre.com/covid-19
 CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD
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 Cushman &WAKEFIELD
Cushman & Wakefield. (2020). Recovery Readiness: A How-to Guide for Reopening your Workplace | Cushman & Wakefield. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.cushmanwakefield.com/en/insights/covid-19/recovery-readiness-a-how-to-guide-for-reopening-your-workplace
Eden. (2020). Workplace Re-Entry Resources. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://go.eden.io/covid-19-services-resources/
Gensler. (2020). Design Responds to a Changing World | Gensler. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.gensler.com/design-responds-to-a-changing-world
HOK. (2020). Amid COVID-19, Lessons in Workplace Readiness from a Corporate Real Estate Director – HOK. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.hok.com/news/2020-04/amid-covid-19-lessons-in-workplace-readiness-from-a-corporate-real-estate-director/
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JLL. (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for real estate | JLL. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.us.jll.com/en/coronavirus-resources
Stantec. (2020). Strategies for developing a safe return-to-work plan following the pandemic. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://spotlight.stantec.com/covid-19/stantec-workplace-safe-at-work-during-covid-19
Stantec. (2020). Safe at Work [Ebook]. Stantec. Retrieved from https://content.cdntwrk.com/files/aT0xMjM5ODc5JnY9MSZpc3N1ZU5hbWU9c3RhbnRlYy13b3JrcGxhY2Utc2FmZS1hdC13b3JrLWR1cmluZy1jb3ZpZC0xOSZjbWQ9ZCZzaWc9ZTBiOWZjYjA2MmJjYzNkYzFiNGE4ZWEzNTNmZWNiMjM%253D
Stantec. (2020). [With Video] Transitioning to recovery while preparing for a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://spotlight.stantec.com/covid-19/with-video-transitioning-to-recovery-while-preparing-for-a-second-wave-of-covid-19-cases
Steelcase. (2020). Post-COVID Workplace – Steelcase. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.steelcase.com/postcovid/
Steelcase. (2020). Navigating What’s Next: The Post-COVID Workplace [Ebook]. Steelcase. Retrieved from https://info.steelcase.com/hubfs/Steelcase_ThePostCOVIDWorkplace.pdf
Teknion. (2020). Fabrics & Finishes Cleaning Guidelines. Retrieved 9 May 2020, from https://www.teknion.com/fabrics-and-finishes-cleaning-guidelines
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To contact Peter Kimmel, the author, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Peter Kimmel, AIA, IFMA Fellow, a former facilities manager, is Publisher of FMLink, the information-based online magazine for facilities managers (https://fmlink.com). He also is a Principal of FM BENCHMARKING, the online benchmarking service for facilities managers (http://fmbenchmarking.com).
Prior to founding FMLink in 1995, Peter was president of his own FM consulting firm for more than ten years, focusing on helping FMs automate their facility operations and develop strategic facility plans. Before that, he managed facilities in the Federal government and in the private sector for over ten years, including the development of federal policies and programs.
Peter speaks at a variety of conferences, and his writings have been published in most FM magazines. He is a six-time winner of the International Facility Management Association’s (IFMA’s) Distinguished Author Award (most recently in 2020 for this e-book); besides this 2020 award, he is particularly proud of his 2014 e-book on benchmarking, which was commissioned by the IFMA Foundation. He also was the founding President of IFMA’s Capital Chapter. IFMA has honored Peter with its award for Distinguished Service, and in 1997, he was named an IFMA Fellow.
Peter is a registered architect and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California.