Which Office Furniture Materials Provide Best Defence Against Covid-19?
Employers are expected to provide a Covid-secure work environment by the time employees return to the office.
Government mandates say high-risk environments, such as open-plan offices, must have measures in place that help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued recommendations which cover sanitisation, hosting meetings in a safe environment, and precautions to take when travelling to and from the office.
However, scientists and manufacturers are looking for solutions that provide optimum safety. One avenue of research is centred on materials that eliminate SARS-CoV-2 quickly.
A report published by the New England Journal of Medicine found the Covid-19 can persist on some hard surfaces for up to three days. Wood, Perspex, stainless steel and glass all harbour the virus for between 48-72 hours.
The discovery of UVC was actually made in 1878 and has been used for more than a century to sanitise hospitals, aeroplanes, offices, and factories. It’s also used to sterilise drinking water.
Cardboard Sneeze Screens
Researchers testing how long Covid-19 last on various surfaces found that cardboard outperformed plastic and stainless steel. The novel coronavirus can only survive for up to 24-hours on cardboard, 48-hours on stainless steel and 72-hours on plastic.
The introduction of cardboard three-way sneeze screens offers a solution to prevent Covid-19 spreading throughout the office. Because the desk shields encase three-quarters of the desk there is less room for the contagion to escape and become airborne.
Copper has naturally occurring antimicrobial properties that disrupt the proactive layers of SARS-CoV-2 and interferes with its cell growth.
Manufacturers are looking into ways of incorporating copper into office furniture and fittings. The most likely solution is on touchpoint such as door handles and taps although it is possible to create a thin metal covering for desk surfaces.
Nanoparticle manufacturers, Promethean Particles is working alongside textile manufacturers to explore how nano-copper can be woven into fabrics.
Another metal that has got researchers excited ins titanium alloy. The metal is already used in orthodontic implants due to its critical pathogenic defence of harmful infections.
Several studies have shown titanium surface coatings and modifications are effective against bacteria. Although more research is required in relation to titanium’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19, scientists are hopeful.
To meet Covid-secure directives, interior office designers, office managers, architects and commercial building owners should be investigating products that help kill virus’, bacteria and germs. It could save lives and billions of dollars globally in lost workdays and healthcare checks.