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Designing For Social Distancing

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date8/02/2024
Host publicationDesign and COVID-19: from Reaction to Resilience
EditorsLouise Mullagh, Rachel Cooper
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages304
ISBN (electronic)9781350266735
ISBN (print)9781350266711, 9781350266728
<mark>Original language</mark>English


COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the way we design, operate, use and experience buildings. One consequence of this is likely to be an enduring medium­ and long-term change to the arrangement of building layouts. In order to study the impact of distancing on spatial planning early on in the pandemic, our project the Social Distance Lab, used computing software (Rhino3D and Grasshopper) to provide a unique methodology to redesign any interior layout with compliant social distancing at optimal user capacity. The method was tested in a ‘live lab’ at the Storey Building in Lancaster during the first UK lockdown in June 2020. We developed a unique automated methodology for building operators to redesign their layouts to instantly comply with social distancing. The objective was to reduce timescales for reopening and adaptation in the event of revised government advice, local lockdown, or further variant outbreaks; benefitting building user health through verification of distances, whilst improving the efficiency of building operation through the optimisation of capacity.