Every flu season, entire departments can be out sick with a particularly nasty virus. And we’ve all seen a cold or a cough spread from one cubicle to the next to the next and so on.
Some companies request that employees stay home when they are contagious, but that is not always possible, especially when there are deadlines and individuals with irreplaceable skills. In light of this common phenomenon, there are several WELL Building Standards concerning germs.
WELL Feature #27 specifically discusses antimicrobial surfaces. Read on to learn more...
It is now possible for certain materials to be antimicrobial. These materials are capable of killing microorganisms on contact without leaching significant amounts of antimicrobial materials into the environment. This minimizes the use of harsh cleaning chemicals which are addressed in another WELL standard.
Antimicrobial materials vary in their methods. Some physically destroy microbes while remaining non-toxic to humans. Others are infused with antibiotics, which kill off bacteria. Still, others are antimicrobial due to their incredibly smooth surface texture.
One interesting note is that copper, brass, and bronze are naturally antimicrobial. Numerous studies have shown that these metals destroy even the worst bacteria and viruses such as E. coli, MRSA, the flu, and staph. Designers can incorporate these materials into building spaces to take advantage of this quality.
Alternatively, this WELL standard also allows cleaning processes and equipment that use short wavelength ultraviolet light (UV-C) to destroy microbes on surfaces. The standard specifies that the UV cleaning device has an output of at least 4 mW/cm2.
We all know the dread of hearing a coworker cough or sneeze and have seen the path of destruction an illness can bring to a workplace environment. Getting a handle on germ control by using WELL Standard 27 is definitely one that everyone can get behind.