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Reopening Northeastern

Space planning recommendations for managers

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*Updated September 9, 2020*

Returning to Northeastern

Northeastern Facilities Management and Campus Planning & Real Estate (CP&RE) work to provide a safe and healthy campus for all of Northeastern’s staff, faculty, researchers, students, and visitors. This guidebook illustrates and informs the university community of the guidelines and recommendations that have been developed to ensure a safe environment as we return to campus. This document encompasses large-scale efforts already completed throughout campus, as well as the responsibilities of groups looking to reopen their workspaces in the coming weeks and months.

The Northeastern facilities team sanitize and clean the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex on May 28, 2020. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The guidebook is informed by the overarching guidance of Northeastern resources and beyond, and frames all of this information through the lens of spatial and behavioral considerations for adapting the university. It is meant to help facilitate healthy distancing in various campus contexts, as we return to research, work, learning, and socializing on campus. The illustrations and diagrams help to visualize what the changes to these spaces may look like, and the adjustments that we will need to make to ensure proper healthy distancing. This guidebook will continue to be a living document that is updated as new information becomes available.

In addition to spatial guidelines, this document contains an actionable process through which departments can assess their space and receive help preparing to return to campus and their workspace.

For questions or clarifications on the content in this guide, please email workspaceresponse@northeastern.edu.

 

Distancing Framework

Throughout this guide you will see a variety of space-marking graphics, such as circles and dashed lines. The diagram below shows how these graphics represent recommended guidance for healthy distancing on campus. Please respect these guidelines when possible in all spaces on campus.

The current healthy distance recommendations are based on a 6 foot radius of individual space.

 

Cleaning Standards

In addition to the specific cleaning notes listed for individual spaces, the following protocols are expected to apply throughout campus.

Facilities/Building Services

Learning spaces and conference rooms will be disinfected at touch points, including:

  • Tables
  • Entrance doors, inside and outside
  • Chairs
  • Light switches
  • Countertops
  • Equipment (as specified by occupants)
  • Trash receptacles

Restrooms will be cleaned using disinfectant, including:

  • Faucets
  • Dispensers (soap, paper products, etc)
  • Sinks
  • Handles
  • Toilets
  • Entrance doors, inside and outside
  • Urinals
  • Stall doors

Kitchens, coffee stations, and lounges will be disinfected at touch points, including:

  • Faucets
  • Cabinet door handles
  • Sinks
  • Tables and chairs (where applicable)
  • Countertops
  • Appliance doors and handles
  • Refrigerator doors

Building common areas will be disinfected at touch points, including:

  • Entrance doors and handles
  • Light switches
  • Interior door handles
  • Trash/recycle containers
  • Drinking fountains
  • Stairwells: railings, doors in and out
  • Elevator push buttons, inside and outside
Worker cleans a table on campus

Occupant Responsibilities

  1. Employees on site should implement individual cleaning responsibilities and sanitize public-used surfaces they come into contact with before and after use (appliances, tables, chair arms, countertops, etc.)
  2. Shared work surfaces should be sanitized at the beginning and end of every shift/workday.
  3. Cleaning supplies are available for procurement.

Products available for purchase via MyMarketplace or MyNortheastern

Surface cleaning products (alcohol wipes)

Individual hand sanitizer

Disposable masks

Nitrile gloves

Gowns

Thermometers

Clear mouth face masks

N95 masks

Adapting your Workspace

Where to Start?

These questions are meant to help you and your team prepare to re-enter your workspace.

  • Do visitors come to your space? If so, how will they:
    – wait in line?
    – utilize appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)?
    – communicate with a receptionist/admin?
  • Does your workspace have any of the following equipment? If so, how/when will it be cleaned? Who is responsible for cleaning? If they cannot be cleaned regularly, consider discontinuing use.
    – refrigerator (handles, shelves)
    – microwave
    – coffee maker
    – printer/copier
    – water cooler
  • How do mail and packages arrive at your workspace?
  • What are the new capacities of meeting spaces in your workspace, assuming 6’ healthy distancing? How will you enforce these new capacities? Some options are:
    – removing furniture
    – blocking off/marking excess furniture
    – updating room reservation tools

 

PHPE & Cleaning Supplies

Northeastern is working to establish a variety of connections for on-campus personnel to procure PHPE and cleaning supplies as needed.

PHPE

These requests should be submitted via work order by each department’s DSO.

Lanyards

Bulk orders by division/department should be submitted via work order by each Authorized Requester. Please note quantity and delivery location.

Cleaning Supplies

Surface Cleaning Products • Alcohol Wipes • Individual Hand Sanitizer

These requests can be placed through myMarketplace, and available supplies  will be updated regularly. Each department/division/college must coordinate orders such that someone can receive the delivery, or have supplies be delivered to an open/ accessible space.

MyMarketplace can be accessed at: https://northeastern.sollodtech.com

More information about procurement can be found at: https://finance.northeastern.edu/departments/procurement-services/

 

Return to Research

Research is one of the many pillars at Northeastern University that takes valuable knowledge and unites it within a global context. Northeastern’s research facilities support the experiments, synergies and sharing of ideas that make research possible. As we return to campus, we will not only ensure access to critical tools and resources, but also the ability to collaborate while maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

Labs

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in a lab:

1. Provide Healthy Distancing

When possible, sit further away from colleagues to ensure 6’ healthy distancing.

2. Stagger Workforce

Provide staggered schedules for researchers to ensure 6’ healthy distancing can be met.

3. Space Between Furniture

Where possible, space out desks and chairs to ensure 6’ healthy distancing.

4. Disinfect & Sanitize

Limit contact with lab equipment, and disinfect high-touch equipment, sinks, and surfaces before and after use.

5. Follow Posted Signs

Follow wall and floor signage to encourage healthy distancing.

6. Safely Reoccupy

Work with your Associate Dean of Research, Department Safety Officer, and the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) on following the steps to reoccupy your lab space.

 

Return to Work

Office life may look different now, but Northeastern is resilient and adaptable. Northeastern’s office facilities allow faculty and staff to perform their duties in close proximity to the communities that they serve. As we identify which elements benefit most from occurring on campus, we can create environments that support the work of faculty and staff, as they work both individually and collaboratively in a safe manner.

Workspace

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in this space type:

1. One-Way Circulation

Provide one-way circulation routes when available to limit exposure. Post circulation signs to indicate route.

2. Stagger Workforce

Develop a plan for staggered schedules in order to ensure 6’ healthy distancing.

3. Redistribute Furniture

Rearrange or redistribute furniture to ensure 6’ healthy distancing

4. Barriers & Shields

Install plexiglass dividers at reception desks, and between close-proximity workstations where 6’ distancing cannot be maintained.

5. Follow Posted Signs

Install wall and floor signage to encourage healthy distancing.

6. Sanitize Surfaces

Wipe down your workstation (desk, mouse, keyboard, etc) at the beginning and end of every work day. NU facilities will clean common areas once per day.

7. Provide Healthy Distancing

Whenever possible, sit further away from colleagues to ensure 6’ healthy distancing.

Kitchens/Breakrooms

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in this space type:

1. One-way Circulation

Provide one-way circulation routes when available to limit exposure. Post circulation signs to indicate route.

2. Limit Room Capacity

Provide fewer seats, or mark/block off extra seats, to ensure 6’ healthy distancing. Post occupancy signs to indicate capacity.

3. Sanitize Shared Appliances

User groups should establish a cleaning routine for shared appliances and high-touch surfaces — at least 3-4 times per 24 hour period.

4. Reduce Shared Resources

Remove/restrict use of shared cups/plates/utensils.

5. Reallocate Space

Consider repurposing conference rooms as overflow lunch space.

Meeting Rooms

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in this space type:

1. Limit Room Capacity

Provide fewer seats, or mark/block off extra seats, to ensure 6’ healthy distancing.

2. Sanitize AV Equipment

Limit contact with AV equipment and controls, and disinfect before and after use.

3. Remove Shared Supplies

Remove whiteboard markers and erasers, and instead distribute to individuals as needed.

4. Reallocate Space

Consider repurposing conference rooms as overflow work or lunch space.

5. Leave a Buffer

End meetings 5-10 minutes early to allow for a staggered transition between meetings.

6. Go Virtual

Encourage video/web conferencing to hold remote meetings (both on and off campus) when possible, and only hold in-person meetings when essential.

 

Return to the Public Realm

Northeastern students, faculty, staff, researchers, and visitors become a part of our community from the moment they arrive on campus. We will maintain a rich campus environment that supports connection and participation in every aspect of campus life, while maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

Social Spaces

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in this space type:

1. Keep to the Right

When entering buildings and circulating through corridors and stairs, keep to the right, unless one-way circulation is noted.

2. Redistribute Furniture

Furniture has been rearranged throughout the space to ensure 6’ healthy distancing can be met.

3. One-way Circulation

One-way circulation routes have been noted where applicable.

4. Follow Posted Signs

Look for signage that will appear around campus.

 

Circulation

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in this space type:

1. Keep to the Right

When entering buildings and circulating through corridors and stairs, keep to the right, unless one-way circulation is noted.

2. One-Way Circulation

One-way circulation routes have been noted where applicable.

3. Limit Elevator Capacity

Allow only one person per elevator at a time, unless otherwise indicated.

4. Wait Respectfully

Allow those using the elevator and water fountains enough space to maintain 6’ healthy distancing. Follow posted signage indicating where to wait.

5. Follow Posted Signs

Look for signage that will appear around campus.

 

Return to Learning

Learning is the foundation of the University, and how we learn impacts everything we do. As a community, we need to rethink how we can create a safe and healthy environment for those in pursuit of knowledge. The classroom environment will continue to play an important role in learning and discovery. By creatively addressing hybrid strategies, alternative scheduling, and layouts that allow for healthy distancing, we can continue to create a safe, healthy, and engaging environment for world-class teaching and learning.

Classrooms

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in this space type:

1. Limited Room Capacity

Fewer seats will be provided, and smaller in-person sections scheduled, to ensure 6’ healthy distancing.

2. Space Between Desks

Keep desks & chairs spaced out to ensure 6’ healthy distancing can be maintained.

3. AV Usage

New AV setups have been installed in a portion of the rooms on campus as part of the NUFlex program, to allow remote learners to better participate in class sessions.

4. Wear Masks

Masks must be worn throughout the duration of classes.

5. Clean Your Workstation

Please wipe down your chair and table before and after class with provided cleaning supplies.

6. Respect Designated Seating

Chairs that cannot be occupied while maintaining healthy distancing may be blocked off with a sash or sticker. Please respect these measures and sit elsewhere.

Return to Campus Life

Northeastern’s campus inspires exploration, learning, and growth in and out of the classroom. We commit to maintaining that vibrancy and sense of place that promotes togetherness, while assuring a safe and healthy environment for all members of the community.

Residence Facilities

The following behavioral and space considerations should be observed when in this space type:

1. Limited Occupancy

Dorm occupancy has been reduced to encourage healthy distancing.

2. Visitors

Visitors will not be permitted access to residence facilities.

3. Move-In

Student move-in will take place over 11 days to reduce density.

4. Wear Masks

Masks must be worn at all times in hallways, common spaces, and restrooms.

5. Proctor Stations

Proctor stations will have a plexiglass barrier, and proctors will be required to wear masks, screen their health, and sanitize their stations frequently.

6. Husky ID

The CBORD mobile app can be used for contactless entry.

7. Shared Amenities

Laundry rooms and mailrooms will have posted occupancy limits. Laundry rooms will have options for mobile payment. Study spaces will have occupancy limits with decals to promote healthy distancing.

8. Cleaning & Sanitation

Facilities will clean common spaces daily, and high-touch surfaces 3x per day. In first year residences, common restrooms will be cleaned 3x per day. Students living in upperclass residences will be provided with a starter cleaning kit at move-in. Shared restrooms should be treated as high-touch surfaces & cleaned daily.

Campus Signage

As we return to campus, new signage will be in place to help encourage behaviors related to healthy distancing. Northeastern has diligently explored the use of signage in an attempt to educate the community in the safest way to enter & exit buildings, circulate through stairs and corridors, and maintain healthy distancing as best as possible.

Signage in public campus spaces has already been widely implemented. This signage toolkit is also available for use within office suites and departments on campus, as are custom signs where necessary. Requests for signage can be submitted through the Workspace Reopening Checklist. By utilizing this signage toolkit, we can maintain a unified effort across campus.

 

 

  • Each lobby on campus will have a banner that outlines the Covid-19 Guidelines. The banner will be 30” x 89”.
  • Entry and Exit signs should be hung at all entrances/exits to buildings on campus. The Entry Only sign should be paired with the Face Covering Required sign.
  • Elevator signage should be posted above the elevator buttons on each floor. Elevators that can safely accommodate two people will have the 2 People per Elevator sign posted.
  • Wait Line floor signage will be installed in any location where people need to wait in a line. Signage should be placed 6 feet apart. The graphic measures 6” x 24”.
  • One floor vinyl graphic should be placed in each elevator cab. In locations where it  is safe for two people in a cab, two vinyl stickers should be applied to the floor. Each sticker measures 2 feet in diameter.
  • Outside each elevator cab will be two sets of footprints. One set entering the elevator cab and another set leaving. The footprints should be 10” in length.
  • Signage will be posted inside each stairwell and hallway as a reminder to stay to the right and be mindful of healthy distancing.
  • One floor vinyl graphic should be placed in front of each hand sanitizer station and bottle refill station. Each sticker measures 2 feet in diameter.
  • Tables in any public space will each have a sticker applied to the surface that specifies the table occupancy. Two person tables will have an additional graphic applied that shows where people should sit to maintain healthy distancing.
  • Two person tables will have two silhouette stickers applied to the table top in opposite corners to specify where people can sit to maintain healthy distancing.
  • Face covering signage can be requested and installed for your space as needed.
  • Occupancy signage can be requested and installed on the doors of conference rooms, or any other limited-capacity space.
  • Bathroom signage will be installed throughout campus. Round decals will be posted on mirrors at sink locations.

 

Wayfinding and Floor plans

In order to facilitate safe and mindful navigation through campus buildings, the diagrammatic floor plans below illustrate key elements on the ground floors of buildings throughout campus. The diagrams emphasize changes in circulation patterns to comply with healthy distancing, such as: exit only doors, one-way stairwells, and elevator capacity limits. The icons below are represented on the included floor plans, to aid in understanding circulation changes. These plans will be developed for all buildings on campus. Take a moment to look at buildings you plan to visit on campus, and take note of how circulation and navigation may have changed.

In the case of an emergency, posted signs are voided, and normal emergency protocol should take precedence.

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