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Creating Multi-Functional Residential Spaces: The Need of the Hour

Multi-functional residential spaces: The need of the hour

Source: Construction Week

Date: 21 July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for flexible residential spaces that can be altered to suit various requirements. Hence, architects, engineers and home décor experts should focus on multi-functional designs as the trend is here to stay.

The three months of social distancing and self-quarantine have changed our lives 360-degree, and it appears that this transformation is here to stay. It is as though we have travelled back in time where minimalism was the key, social experiences were limited, and our maximum time spent was indoors watching tv or learning new things. However, given the current scenario, one thing that completely differs from the yesteryears is the increased emphasis on hygiene and sanitisation of our homes. Besides, work has never been so challenging.

During the lockdown, we turned our homes into temporary, multi-purpose units by creating sections and rearranging furniture for office and residential needs. However, with the State governments extending the lockdown and work from home being the new standard, this temporary change is likely to transform into a permanent lifestyle. Therefore, leading engineers, architects and interior experts need to revisit designs that help in integrating productive work environment into our homes. The prime focus here is to build highly efficient and breathable work zones within the comfort of our abodes.

Flexible and multi-functional spaces

Currently, work-from-home and online learning has become a conscious choice for everyone to avoid health and safety risks. Now that our homes are the cornerstone for each our activity and the majority of our time spent is indoors, there is a dire need to remodel our homes in a way that they cater to everybody's requirement.

Industry experts suggest bifurcating a large room into smaller spaces to create an exclusive work corner, a play area for kids or may be an additional storage space for food and other essential items. But, how to create these new spaces from the existing area remains a crucial question. It is now when the consumers turn towards pre-fabricated solutions, such as gypsum-based drywalls. Made of light materials, these walls are best for creating segregations in internal spaces and are not only suitable for residential spaces but offices as well.

Health and hygiene is paramount

Given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, it has become essential to undertake hygiene measures and sanitise your hands frequently. Hence, put the sanitisation products in easily accessible places. To do so create segregations with the use of versatile, easy to clean, water-resistant and environment-friendly construction material like mass timber, gypsum, rubber and passive cooling ceramics.

Modern materials such as gypsum boards when coated with antimicrobial paints are beneficial for our health and are aesthetically pleasing. Other than this, gypsum boards are also capable of improving the air quality by neutralising Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as Formaldehyde. VOCs are organic chemicals that have high vapour pressure at ordinary room temperature and can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and skin problems.

Overall, the pandemic has made us realise the importance of building space with structural changes that prioritise well-being and is flexible towards the unforeseen needs of the surroundings and the people.