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The Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) provides knowledge which supports the design of healthy environments by creating education and networking opportunities for members of – and those touched by – the healthcare architectural profession.

COVID-19 resources for healthcare design

You can contribute information to the AIA COVID-19 project database, and view all submitted projects. Visit the Alternative Care Sites preparedness site to learn important areas to evaluate when selecting ACSs for the care and treatment of COVID-19 or surge capacity patients.

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Response to COVID-19 Epidemic When Designing Public Toilets

  • 1.  Response to COVID-19 Epidemic When Designing Public Toilets

    Posted 21 days ago

    As the virus that causes Covid-19 spreads worldwide, I would be interested in whether there has been a response from the architectural community in the design of public toilets.


    Joel Ives, A.I.A., P.P., NCARB

    The Ives Architecture Studio LLC

    14-25 Plaza Road

    Suite S-3-5

    Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

    Ph: 201 773-9111

    Cell: 201 919-6543


  • 2.  RE: Response to COVID-19 Epidemic When Designing Public Toilets

    Posted 20 days ago
    Joel: In addition to the COVID 19 Task Force looking into health impacts, there is a larger umbrella effort
    to look at ALL buildings and reoccupying them.  This is the first version (link copied here).

    I don't know that it will answer your question directly about restrooms but these tools we are working on with AIA National are intended to raise awareness and stimulate thinking about other items for analyzing "hazards" and applying "controls" (i.e architecture and engineering controls). 

    Keep checking out the AIA main web page under COVID #19 design tools for updates.

    Molly M. Scanlon, PhD, FAIA, FACHA
    Environmental Health Scientist

  • 3.  RE: Response to COVID-19 Epidemic When Designing Public Toilets

    Posted 17 days ago
    This bathroom issues has been an issue that is going to keep me out of buildings and large gatherings for a very, very long time.
    It needs to be discussed on how to work this area with the majority of bathrooms.
    I have many questions:
    What to do about the now necessary more-than-ever harsh chemicals in mostly tight quarters and are, if it is a restaurant, in the basement with usually the boiler near by or the kitchen. Sounds like a toxic mess to me. Public restrooms half the time it is 90 degrees, of stagnant air. The lack of cleanliness, even prior to the pandemic, was already a problem, now this? Again with usually small quarters, the fact that men line up to pee, women go in gaggles AND there is normally a line sometimes out the door anyway, how does that work? Social distance in the restaurant while waiting on line? Meanwhile, many have the "no-touch" faucets (and, in my experience, many do not work properly anyway), which means no hand washing or having the levers being high touch surfaces. Who's wiping them down after every use? And, don't get me started on the hand-dryers and how they spray around droplets. And, lastly, it is important to remember most doors in the restroom swing in, which means that most people have to touch the bathroom door after everyone has used the toilet. 

    Janet Roche, MDS, CAPS
    Janet Roche Designs, LLC
    Real Design Solutions for the Human Condition
    Allied ASID, Affiliate EDAC
    Adjunct Instructor at The Boston Architectural College
    Host of INCLUSIVE DESIGNERS® Podcast - Stay Well... and Stay Well Informed
    Playing on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play (YouTube coming soon)