Facility and design trends are difficult to identify right now in the COVID-19 landscape. Social distancing, health and safety are on everyone’s mind, and information is constantly changing but what if you are designing a project for 2022? Do you need a design with the same factors that operators are adjusting to right now? The honest answer is that we don’t know what the future holds, but there are some things that the Active Procurement & Design team have identified to keep front and center in our design conversations moving forward.
How did we evaluate these things? First, we thought about what trends were already starting to see emerge and some of these trends have been expedited by COVID-19. Next, we evaluated those trends that have popped up but have logical staying power even outside of a pandemic.
Here are a few of our Facility and Design trends that our Director of Procurement & Design Justin Honas put together to meet the above criteria.
Perception of Cleanliness
This does not mean to pretend that something is clean which is not. It simply means that consumers not only want to be told that things are clean, but they also want to see you clean them and/or be reminded visually that they are clean. This can be anything from scheduled cleaning during high use periods, to signage stating that a specific area was cleaned/sanitized at a certain time. One of the most important things you can do is to use materials that not only are easily cleaned but look like they can be easily cleaned.
Spread out and Get Outdoors
This one has been coming for a long time. Now more than ever people want to exercise in their own open space. Creating open areas which are not packed full of fitness equipment is all that it takes. A trendy way to do this is by opening your space to the outdoors. This can be done with a large architectural door, or even just an easy way to get to a specified outdoor fitness area. By giving your members easy controlled access to the outdoors you can not only help members feel safe, but you can open up space on the inside. Just don’t forget to design in some open space on the inside too.
Now more than ever people are trying to avoid having to touch surfaces when possible. We have seen this trend coming, but will become even more important moving forward. This goes from touchless check-ins at the front desk to automatic or foot pull doors, to plumbing fixtures. Any time you can avoid a physical touchpoint we see as a comfortable experience for members of the future. We recommend mapping the member experience and considering touchless options when feasible.
Mechanical and Infrastructure
Consider the design of your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. We see fitness facilities not only trying to control for temperature, but also the proper number of air changes, filtration, and also the mix of fresh air into the facility. There are also numerous products available to sanitize both air and surface by treating the air that are worth considering. The products also tell a great story on the perception of cleanliness from above.
Other things to consider with your next fitness center layout:
- Cleanability - Consider using limited porous surfaces which are hard to clean.
- Continuous/Self Cleaning - Look at antimicrobial, extended killing, and self-cleaning products and surfaces.
- Flexibility - Try to keep your designs flexible when possible. It is nice to be able to adjust with the current times without a complete remodel.
Need help with your fitness center layout project? We can help. Contact the Active Procurement & Design Team today.
Justin Honas | Director of Procurement & Design
Justin designs modern fitness centers and provides smart equipment procurement for Active Wellness clients. With a steady pulse on space planning trends, Justin’s expertise produces solid solutions with intuitive innovation for the target community. His partnerships with key vendors and attention to detail drives consistent results for Active and our partners.