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Catalytic Typologies Rethinking latent urban and suburban spaces for post-pandemic recovery

A white paper by: Irena Savakova RIBA, LEED AP BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

Daniel Yudchitz AIA, NCARB, LEED AP Ellen Mitchell-Kozack AIA, LEED AP BD+C. WELL AP

Chia-Lung Chang AIA


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COVID-19 has had widespread impacts on the commercial real estate industry, reducing cash flow and slowing new investment in hotel, retail, office, co-working and co-living. As the pandemic drags on, large cities have seen a collapse in the activities that make urban life economically and socially vibrant. While the magnitude of the pandemic's long-term effects on cities remain to be seen, it is clear the way urban dwellers live, work, buy, sell, socialize and travel will be altered for many years to come. Summary Restarting the economic engine that powers urban life will take creativity, investment and strategic partnership, and require designers, developers and institutions to reimagine the built environment in ways that encourage growth and establish resilience. Many trends already in process at the start of the pandemic will be accelerated, and many inefficiencies and inequities in the way land is developed and used will need to be addressed. The following white paper looks at latent urban and suburban spaces in search of opportunities to catalyze economic recovery. Under the umbrella of “catalytic typologies,” we present a mix of concept studies that apply wellness-focused planning and architecture strategies to add value and vibrancy. Think of catalytic typologies as ideas for supercharging economic and social growth. We argue that by rethinking office buildings, retail spaces, parking, municipal and public spaces as flexible, healthy and economically active social nodes, we can help revive urban life post-pandemic, driving real estate investment and building resilience in the face of future public health crises.

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Large cities have seen a collapse in the activities that make urban life econom effects on cities remain to be seen, it is clear the way urban dwellers live, work


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Challenges: COVID-19 and commercial real estate We begin with a review of four major design-related challenges presented by COVID-19. Economic recovery will require cities to adjust to these new circumstances and address the inherent health impacts of the built environment. Health concerns In the decades before COVID-19, large, dense and globally connected cities disproportionately enjoyed the economic benefits of urbanization. Through the pandemic, however, concerns over the health impacts of density have come to the surface. Overcrowding in international megacities like Wuhan, London, New York and Paris created hotspots of infection. After the pandemic, megacities will need to address the health risks of overcrowding in order to recapture their economic advantage.

mically and socially vibrant. While the magnitude of the pandemic's long-term k, buy, sell, socialize and travel will be altered for many years to come.

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Changing workplace dynamics Having successfully transitioned to work-fromhome in the short term, many companies with large office footprints may rethink their long-term workplace strategies. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 56% of the U.S workforce holds a job that is compatible with remote work, and by the end of 2021, 25-30% of the workforce will be working at home multiple days a week. Accommodating these shifts will require developers to rethink office buildings. Demographic shifts With work-from-home becoming more acceptable to employers, there is additional flexibility for urban workforces to choose where to live. Some urban dwellers have already made the move to less populous areas or smaller cities with lower costs of living. This trend, if it continues long-term, will require cities to compete on a larger stage to attract and retain a healthy residential base. It may also drive additional demand for the development of urban-like amenities in suburban locations. Online everything The pandemic has further entrenched online shopping in the lives of consumers. Reviving brickand-mortar retail will challenge developers, designers and operators to rethink retail spaces, enhancing the consumer appeal of shops, cafes, restaurants and other institutions in urban life. Meanwhile, the huge boom in online shopping and fulfillment offers new opportunities to rework urban logistics networks for efficiency and convenience.

"The scale of the economic challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic has not been faced in the United States in nearly a century. The pandemic has not only exposed weaknesses in US health systems but also, just as quickly, exposed economic vulnerabilities. The impacts across employment and productivity are at levels not seen since the Great Depression." McKinsey, “Reimaging the Postpandemic Economic Future”

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Incentives from federal, state and local governments can have a powerful influence on the built environment and its impacts on the common good. As economies work to rebound from the pandemic, governments will be likely to prioritize and assist developments that offer well supported strategies for improving wellness, resilience and economic growth.

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Governments offer a variety of forms of financial assistance to developers in the form of economic incentives. These can take the form of tax abatements, tax revenue sharing, grants, matching funds, no or low-interest financing, free land, tax credits and more. To receive these benefits, the developer must demonstrate that the project will benefit the public good, provide an economic impact for the area, and would not occur “but for” the government’s financial assistance. Proving the economic impact of a development requires the developer to show a positive ROI for the agency. Real estate developments with the potential to expand the tax base, increase property values, add amenities that improve quality of life and provide long-term benefits to the community and advance other important public policy goals. In negotiating these incentives, developers and designers should work together to include design elements that can be tied directly to both increased tax base and improvements in community resilience and health, which will be top-of-mind for government agencies in the post-pandemic period. Incentives for USGBC WELL certifications are relatively new but are expected to grow as these certifications are becoming more sought after in new building designs. They can be provided by private corporations, care or insurance providers, and governments in the form of rebates or credits on taxes, income or healthcare costs. The case studies that follow will share tips for increasing the public benefit and economic impact of new developments, making them appealing to government agencies providing financial assistance.

As we explore new ways of activating social nodes and weaving the urban fabric, our work takes on a historic role in the creation of a resilient social infrastructure for cities. Just as cities evolved to become more hygienic after the Spanish Flu and Cholera pandemics, they must evolve now to fully integrate the advances in evidence-based design, placemaking, sustainability and resilience.

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New Design Drivers As cities begin to recover economically, there is a need for designers to proactively reimagine and renew latent building typologies. The following five design drivers offer potential for a renaissance in design ideas aimed at making cities more resilient, vibrant and attractive. Pandemic preparedness A lack of preparedness in U.S. cities caused a great deal of economic damage during the pandemic. Other nations like Taiwan, who had learned critical lessons from SARS in 2003, fared better. A lack of cultural bias against mask wearing, along with a tried and tested system of contact tracing and proactive healthcare system, limited Taiwan’s outbreak to only 7 deaths as of June 30, 2020. Beyond a better prepared health system, U.S. pandemic resilience must be addressed systemically through the design of the built environment. The newly developed WELL Health-Safety Rating takes on this challenge. Working with nearly 600 public health experts, virologists, government officials, academics, business leaders, architects, designers building scientists and real estate professionals, the International WELL Building Institute developed a third-party designation to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses. It includes ratings of cleaning and sanitization procedures, emergency preparedness programs, health service resources, air and water quality management, stakeholder engagement and communication. Application of these principles will be critical as long as COVID-19 remains a threat. It will also be an important guide to preparing for future pandemics.

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By rethinking office buildings, retail spaces, parking, municipal and public spaces as flexible, healthy and economically active social nodes, we can help revive urban life post-pandemic, driving real estate investment and building resilience in the face of future public health crises.

Smart density Since COVID-19 has thrived in dense cities, there is a perception by some that density is inherently unhealthy. The truth is more subtle. Density is health agnostic; crowding is dangerous. The difference is how density is managed. Smart density is an emerging concept that aims to retain the financial benefits of urbanization while looking out for the health of city dwellers. This organized approach to development that expands the health-positive elements of the built environment by reclaiming open air and green space by implementing smart technologies like autonomous vehicles and shared mobility.


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Proactively reimagining and renewing latent building typologies.

The resulting developments offer a healthy mix of retail, residential, commercial and transit uses on a smaller neighborhood scale. Density is critical to the economic health of cities. It creates social connectivity, catalyzes talent attraction and spurs investment and growth. However, it must be managed in a socially responsible way. By applying smart density principals in postpandemic development, we can make cities safer, more socially vibrant and more economically resilient.

Community wellness COVID-19 has laid bare the health disparities inherent in urban environments. According to the CDC, “longstanding systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.”

“The stakes are high for state and local economic leaders to get it right as they reimagine the economy. That imperative is underlined by the wide disparity in recovery rates that states attained following the Great Recession, which left top-quintile-performing states with roughly 30 percent more GDP than bottom-quintile performers after a decade of recovery." McKinsey, "Reimagining the Postpandemic Economic Future" LEO A DALY


In addition to humanitarian concerns, this is troubling economic news. According to the WHO, “at a societal level, poor population health is associated with lower savings rates, lower rates of return on capital, and lower levels of domestic and foreign investment; all of these factors can and do contribute to reductions in economic growth.” In designing for a resilient post-pandemic future, wellness will be key driver in all commercial development. Air pollution, insufficient availability of water and healthy food, inactivity, hazardous chemicals and systemic social inequality must all be addressed through planning and design. Existing guidance from the WELL Building Institute and the Center for Active Design will be more relevant than ever as we apply evidence-based wellness standards to design. The WELL Community Standard is particularly important due to its focus on health and wellbeing, adaptability and resilience. LEO A DALY

Flexibility As the pandemic has shown, cities need the flexibility to adapt to new, unexpected conditions without grinding to a halt. This is critical for long-term resilience. Part of this equation will be the elimination of singleuse spaces in favor multi-use spaces. Urban spaces need to function as flexible assets in the 24/7/365 life of the city. The in-between spaces of the urban and suburban landscape must be transformed to enable citizencentric social and economic activities around the clock. Moreover, adaptability must be built in to offer public services or emergency functions when needed. 3D or 4D placemaking will play a key role in economic recovery by creating safer, more attractive and futureproof neighborhoods.


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Workplace environment schedule Pre-COVID Fulltime Remote

Workplace environment schedule 16% Pre-COVID Fulltime Remote

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With the prevalence of work-from-home, new models of workplace design will drive operational decisions and leasing discussions. Designers and owners will need to rethink their offers to enable companies to balance how employees spend their time between home and traditional office environments. A new level of adaptability is needed from commercial office buildings. Spaces with specific and singular uses should give way to flexible frameworks that accommodates many part-time uses. The amount of space each tenant “owns” within a floorplate may shift dramatically, with shared or “elastic” amenities becoming bigger part of a building’s offering. As part of this shift come new opportunities for smart technology to allow aspects of the office environment to be constantly tuned to adapt to fluctuations in use and occupancy. The new program for the office will not be focused on desks and seats, but instead on the enhanced experience of connection, culture and innovation, which will be a critical turning point for the workforce.

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How did cities respond to previous pandemics? The history of pandemics and urban design are intertwined. Each time a major pandemic hits, cities are forced to reckon with the complex relationship between the built environment and public health.

In 1832, Cholera hit Paris, leading to a number of urban planning responses that have become common features of cities. Streets were widened to accommodate sewers on either side, rather than in the center. Sidewalks were raised to keep pedestrians away from sewage. This legacy of design response to public health challenges also helped France address more recent pandemics with an organized approach. In the late 19th/early 20th century, nearly half of all deaths in the United States were caused by infectious diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia, and gastrointestinal infections. In response to these epidemics, cities looked at infrastructure and policy development to craft a holistic approach to the prevention of infectious disease.

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Examples of infrastructure and policy changes in NYC include the creation of reservoirs to pipe fresh water into the city; creation of the subway system to reduce overcrowding in lower Manhattan; creation of the Tenement House Act which set standards for livable spaces. These building and infrastructure changes had a truly profound impact on the rate of infectious disease, which decreased drastically by 1940. This remarkable drop occurred prior to the widespread availability of antibiotics, which were not widely available until the mid-to-late 1940s. However, at the same time, noninfectious diseases—which include chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and asthma— start to surpass infectious disease as the leading cause of death.


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This is partially because our built environment started to change to become more car centric, and opportunities for regular physical activity were largely designed out of our lives. Fast forward to the present day, where 7 out of 10 deaths each year in the United States are attributed to chronic disease. A few of the major risk factors for chronic disease include tobacco use, exposure to pollutants, poor diet and physical inactivity. Today, we have reached a point where physical inactivity is comparable to smoking as a leading cause of preventable death throughout the world. Consumers and employees have caught on to the myriad ways design impacts health, and are increasingly preferring healthpromoting environments, demonstrating a strong business rationale to improve health within the workplace and home.

Portions of the above were excerpted with permission from Fitwel and the Center for Active Design. LEO A DALY


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Case Study: The Catalytic Workplace The sudden onset of COVID-19 changed the urban dynamic of the workplace and, in turn, our downtown hubs of commerce. Creative partnerships between municipalities, citizens, developers, companies and designers will be paramount for the successful reimagining of the cultural, commercial and environmental future of our cities.

Urban core developments lose ground-floor retail and office tenants to pandemic effects. How can we reimagine the downtown office block to attract people and recover vibrancy? With relatively light interventions on the ground plane, façade and interior leasable space, the prototypical commercial office building can be completely transformed. In this case study, three types of adaptation are considered, each with distinct applications and advantages. The Object, Blended Link and Layered Edge concepts each treat a different part of the façade as an adaptable new zone for public activity and connections to nature.

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In a freestanding building typical of U.S. downtowns, a tenant floor can be divided up to serve multiple tenants in many configurations. This standard configuration can be transformed when the relationship between interior and exterior is rethought. As portions of the exterior are removed, new outdoor spaces are carved out of the building, creating connectivity to the exterior, new views and shared spaces within. By taking into consideration solar orientations and views, the design begins to create very dynamic spaces that didn’t exist before, bringing wellness and the ability to work outside into every floor of the office building in addition to being amenity spaces.

How can we reimagine the downtown office block to attract people and recover vibrancy?


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Typological Adaptability | Transformative Spatial

Layered Edge Blended Link Object

The Object, Blended Link and Layered Edge concepts each treat a different part of the façade as an adaptable new zone.

Starting from the ground plane, there is a strong indoor-outdoor connection at the first level. As you move up in the building, square footage that is no longer needed for tenant workplace is carved away depending on occupancy. Rather than a predetermined aesthetic idea forming the façade approach, the aesthetic is derived from the strategy of carving out new spaces. Each new exterior space creates a new stage for public activity and vibrancy. A variety of treatments animate the new indoor/outdoor spaces, including weather- and lightsensitive kinetic facades, plantings and landscaping, and interior architecture.

These new zones can be used for public activity and provide connections to nature.

Appeal for economic incentives • Improved air quality • Healthier work environment • USGBC WELL credits • Higher property value • Job retention/attraction

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Urban core developments lose ground-floor retail and office tenants to pandemic effects. These diagrams show ideas for reimagining the downtown office block to attract people and recover vibrancy.

This series of diagrams shows how a typical urban office asset (above) can be transformed.

Typical multi-tenant floor configuration

Carve outdoor spaces from existing envelope

New outdoor spaces create new spatial relationships with the environment and surrounding context

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This diagram shows an inside/outside connection at the ground plane.

These diagrams show three transformative façade interventions using a dispersed approach.

These diagrams show two transformative façade interventions using a focused approach, with the diagram on the right providing kinetic facade options.

These diagrams provide opportunities for dynamic experience-based activation. LEO A DALY


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CIRCULATION: EXPERIENCE

PARKING STRUCTURE

ACTIVE "HUB" ZONE

REPROGRAMMABLE ACTIVE "HUB" ZONE

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Case Study: The Socially Viable Transit Hub Transportation is evolving and will continue to transform, with ridesharing, autonomous vehicles and the pandemic all influencing these systems. How can the experience of a park-and-ride structure transition from a utilitarian ordeal built around an outdated commuter model to a lively public space that provides economic return on investment? This case study reimagines the transit hub typology by refocusing on the experiential aspects of circulation to create an active, flexible, reprogrammable zone. The "hub" is envisioned as a nimble zone that can flex, move and adapt to program needs over time. It becomes a host for modular components, such as Amazon Lockers, curbside pickup and kiosks to provide amenities that simplify commuters' lives as they pass through the hub.  This configuration can adapt and change based on specific events, economics, transportation methods, consumer habits or social distancing.

Appeal for economic incentives • Encourages variety of land uses • New amenities for the community • Increased revenue • Pop-up nature attracts investment • Catalyzes entrepreneurship

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Case Study: Surface Parking Redux In many North American cities, a good portion of our urban experience has been developed with single-use typologies in mind. This leaves gaps in our urban fabric where areas go vacant for significant periods of time in the daily or weekly cycle. As work-from-home and new transportation methodologies continue to grow, how can a commuter parking lot transform to become more flexible and vibrant? A surface parking lot becomes a catalyst for economic activity, transforming from a commuter parking lot during the week into an active public space on the weekends. Lightweight interventions form the armature of a framework that is adaptable and tuneable, hosting a broad range of activities. Movable elements can be temporarily attached and disconnected, such as fabric scrims, tents and pneumatic structures. Rainwater is filtered and channeled to create pockets of greenspace that still allow for full parking lot functionality. Geothermal wells provide an energy infrastructure that powers the activities that take place on site. Adaptability and lightweight interventions like these allow for dynamic programming to evolve with market and cultural forces, whether driven by technological change, cultural change or public health. Using multilayered design strategies injects social and economic vitality into the inefficient and outdated surface parking typology. Maximizing space utilization and embracing 4D design drives economic and cultural return on investment, generating value by serving the pragmatic functions of everyday urban life.

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Vibrant social environments can also serve a utilitarian purpose with an attention to 4D planning. This type of design requires a dynamic understanding of temporal functions and exploration of how a multilayered, time-based approach to design transforms underutilized spaces into dynamic environments for people and events.

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Case Study: The Catalytic Community Center Urban edge cities now view civic buildings as catalysts for private economic development, looking to community centers, fitness facilities, playgrounds and parks to drive new investment.


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This case study is an example of that approach. A community center layers culture, commerce, sports and nature-focused activity to create a new social hub. The parti is organized around a dynamic space at the intersection point of more specifically programmed spaces. The adjacent programs spill out and weave together as a way of keeping the central zone of the building activated and allowing for temporal expansion of adjacent specific spaces. This space is adaptable to many users with flexible infrastructure and lightweight dividers. It can serve as event space, performance space, community meeting space, reception space, lobby or pop-up store. Many of these are income-generating, and additional uses will emerge. The central hinge is in direct dialogue with corresponding outdoor spaces, which are always important, but particularly in the context of wellness.

In many cases these public buildings are the first step of large scale commercial and residential developments. Regardless of age or interest, multi-use typologies engage all residents.

In many cases, projects of this type fill a functional niche in suburban areas by adding a much-needed “third place.” Bedroom communities are acquiring a living room. Natural elements and unique local cultural characteristics can create a distinct sense of place and a unique character. In this case, there are opportunities to connect the public realm to natural spaces and recreational trails. In colder climates, seasonal adaptability and awareness are distinct design drivers not just for building performance but also social experience. It is important to strive to maximize seasonal adaptability by creating a framework for activation in any season.

Appeal for economic incentives • Flexibility for emergency logistics center • Catalyzes entrepreneurship • New amenity space for the community

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Case Study: Pedestrian Connector Multi-layered activation can be woven into any project, including the seemingly incidental spaces that connect them. How can designers rethink these in-between spaces to create social engagement and add resiliency and value to any land use? The underground pedestrian link at Minnesota State University - Mankato connects the Memorial Library and Centennial Student Union. The "Connection" links the majority of the campus buildings, providing sheltered passage to students and faculty during harsh weather common to the area.

Without the space or budget for a full excavation, the design team devised a unique retaining system. The design features a sloped surface treated with a mud slab and standard ribbed metal deck positioned and back filled with concrete to form one side of the tunnel. The roof of the connection also utilizes standard ribbed metal deck. The effect is that the main retaining portions of the project are "folded" to create wall and roof. These are left exposed as design features. Soil and site conditions allowed for the full excavation of the opposite side of the connection.

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The design team believed that the correct structural solution could drive the best, most innovative and unique architectural solution.

This case study shows an underground pedestrian link at a state university. The project’s primary role is to provide weather-proof shelter for pedestrians going between two buildings on opposite sides of a campus courtyard. Rather than hiding the connection in a concrete tunnel underground, the design takes advantage of an adjacent green space to create an amphitheater. One side of the tunnel is built with a glass curtain wall, which opens out onto a sloped grassy area where students can gather for events and fills the connection itself with natural light.

Outdoor event spaces have been critical to maintaining urban vibrancy, enabling people to congregate safely for outdoor movies, concerts, comedy performances and other events. As designers consider the long-term pandemic impacts, this kind of multi-functionality is of great value.

In addition to its main function of moving people between buildings, the project creates a new social node in a forgotten corner of the campus. This project takes on additional resonance in the context of pandemic resilience.

• USGBC WELL credits

Appeal for economic incentives • Potential for adding pop-up retail, entertainment, logistics

• Potential revenue generation, increasing tax base • Promotes entrepreneurship • New amenity space for the community

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COVID-19 is a historic public health crisis that will have lasting impacts on urban life. As cities look forward to the day when physical distancing restrictions are lifted and life returns to some version of “normal,” it’s also important to pause to consider the lessons offered by the pandemic.

Conclusion As designers, this moment is an opportunity to address longstanding deficiencies in the standard development playbook and seek new ways to build wellness, social vibrancy and economic resiliency into every project. Catalytic typologies are needed to improve safety and entice urban dwellers back into the public realm. These placemaking strategies will play an important role in creating dynamic zones of social activity and channeling economic dividends for development.

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Wellness and sustainability are central drivers to the creation of healthy environments. This holistic approach to building performance and placemaking transcends typology and is necessary to creating catalytic public spaces.

As we explore new ways of activating social nodes and weaving the urban fabric, our work takes on a historic role in the creation of a resilient social infrastructure for cities. The case studies herein represent a small sample of how we can leverage design to rethink the urban environment in the post-COVID era. Just as cities evolved to become more hygienic after the Spanish Flu and Cholera pandemics, they must evolve now to fully integrate the advances in evidence-based design, placemaking, sustainability and resilience. This is a rare opportunity, when urban life seems to be paused, to take a leap forward in the integration of wellness, technology and smart density. This is our moment to transform cities through design. In doing so, we will ensure the economic future, health and vibrancy of cities for decades to come.


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Bibliography Faiola, Anthony, et al. “The virus that shut down the world.” The Washington Post, June 26, 2020. <https:// www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/ coronavirus-pandemic-globalization/>. Accessed October 23, 2020. Smith, Talmon Joseph. “We’ve seen New York’s white flight before.” The Atlantic, August 26, 2020. <https:// www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/08/newyork-dead-to-whom/615673/>. Accessed October 16, 2020. Berry, Jim. "COVID-19 implications for commercial real estate: preparing for the 'next normal’”. <https:// www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/economy/ covid-19/covid-19-implications-for-commercial-realestate-cre.html>. Accessed September 9, 2020. Cheng, Wan Lae, et al. “Reimagining the post pandemic economic future.” McKinsey. <https:// www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-socialsector/our-insights/reimagining-the-postpandemiceconomic-future>. Posted August 14, 2020. Accessed September 9, 2020. Marhamat, Bobby. “The exaggerated death of retail (and what brick-and-mortar stores should do)”. Forbes. <https://www.forbes.com/sites/ forbesbusinessdevelopmentcouncil/2020/04/09/ the-exaggerated-death-of-retail-and-what-brick-andmortar-stores-should-do/#1822c1d81164>. Posted August 9, 2020. Accessed September 21, 2020.

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World Health Organization. “WHO Guide to Identifying the Economic Consequences of Disease and Injury.“ 2009. <https://www.who.int/choice/publications/d_ economic_impact_guide.pdf>. Accessed October 16, 2020. International WELL Building Institute. “WELL Community Standard: A benchmark for healthy communities”. <https://www.wellcertified.com/ certification/community/>. Accessed September 14, 2020. International WELL Building Institute. “WELL HealthSafety Rating”. <https://v2.wellcertified.com/healthsafety/en/overview>. Accessed September 14, 2020.

Copyright All text and images © LEO A DALY except where otherwise stated.

About LEO A DALY LEO A DALY is a leader in the design of the built environment, offering planning, architecture, engineering, interior design and program management. Since 1915, we have had an unyielding focus on design excellence to create exceptional spaces that enhance and enrich the human experience. Our award-winning, diverse portfolio includes projects in a wide range of markets in more than 91 countries, all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit www.leoadaly. com.

Global Workplace Analytics. “Work at home after COVID-19 – our forecast”. <https:// globalworkplaceanalytics.com/work-at-home-aftercovid-19-our-forecast>. Accessed September 10, 2020. Emanuel, Ezekiel, et al. “Learning from Taiwan about responding to Covid-19". STAT. June 30, 2020. <https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/30/taiwanlessons-fighting-covid-19-using-electronic-healthrecords/>. Accessed October 16, 2020. CDC. “Health Equity Considerations & Racial & Ethnic Minority Groups”. July 24, 2020. <https://www.cdc. gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/healthequity/race-ethnicity.html>. Accessed October 16, 2020.

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About the Authors

Irena Savakova

Daniel Yudchitz

Ellen Mitchell-Kozack

RIBA, LEED AP BD+C

AIA, NCARB, LEED AP

AIA, LEED BD+C, WELL AP, SEED

Vice President, Global Design Principal

Associate, Design Director

Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer

Irena is an award-winning architectural designer with 25 years of experience developing projects for federal, commercial and educational facilities in the U.S. and internationally. She enjoys an industry-wide reputation for her creativity, passion and knowledge in managing complex core and shell developments, interiors and space-planning projects.

Growing up as the son of an architect undoubtedly instilled a passion to create and explore the built environment in Daniel. He believes architecture is about allocating resources strategically to achieve maximum impact, which requires meaningful architectural expression within constraints of time and money. The challenge is in the discovery of opportunities for design impact that transcend those limitations.

Ellen’s goal is to leverage LEO A DALY’s integrated design expertise to affect positive change. She applies a humanitarian and environmental lens to architecture to benefit clients, the communities we live in and the future of our planet.

Irena began her design career in Bulgaria. In 1991, she graduated with a Master of Architecture degree and began practicing in the European Union, where she is licensed as a registered architect. In 1995, she earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Maryland at College Park.

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Designing in varied contexts and scales informs Dan’s design approach. He focuses on creating strategies for aspirational design expressions to reinforce the client’s mission and enhance building functionality in a sustainable, economical and impactful manner.

As chief sustainability officer, Ellen leads the firm’s strategic initiatives in sustainable design worldwide, including Environmental Social & Governance, alignment with the UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals, carbon footprint assessment and social impact. She has managed certification of more than 60 LEED projects worldwide, totaling $2.8 billion in construction, including 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.


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Chia-Lung Chang AIA

Vice President, Director of Planning and Urban Design

Chia works closely with executive and studio leadership to develop and execute strategic direction for the firm’s global planning and urban design practice. An awardwinning planner and architect, he is widely recognized for the forward-looking leadership he brings to his work and regularly lectures on smart cities, quality of life and long-term sustainability in the built environment. Chia is also expert at managing and designing complex projects that require big picture, resourcedriven solutions. His planning and urban design portfolio encompasses work across the globe.

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PLANNING ARCHITECTURE ENGINEERING INTERIORS

Irena Savakova IGSavakova@leoadaly.com 202.955.3211 Daniel Yudchitz DLYudchitz@leoadaly.com 612.341.9584 Ellen Mitchell-Kozack EMKozack@leoadaly.com 469.357.4204 Chia-Lung Chang CChang@leoadaly.com 202.955.9113 1200 Nineteenth Street, NW Suite 220 Washington, DC 20036 202.861.4600 leoadaly.com