WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK AS WE GO BACK TO BUSINESS
Over the past few months, the Brookfield Properties team has been working tirelessly to ensure our buildings remained open and operating in compliance with public health and government guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While we have all experienced a disruption to social norms and everyday routines, we are starting to see positive signs emerge in flattening the COVID-19 curve. In anticipation of government and public health authorities reducing restrictions, we have developed and deployed a Brookfield Properties plan to assist in your Return to Work.
Throughout our Return to Work plan we have placed emphasis on physical distancing and good hygiene, in line with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.
We appreciate the level of effort involved in ushering teams back to work, establishing new routines, and in many cases new ways to work. Our team is looking forward to welcoming you back, helping facilitate a seamless re-entry for you, and ensuring your employees feel every precaution possible has been taken to continue to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your Building Management team.
Download the axiis Tenant App for timely updates about your property and our pandemic response.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been a primary resource for information throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They have released guidance on a number of topics that may be helpful in protecting your employees and customers as your business prepares for a return to work.
- The CDC website has a dedicated section for Businesses and Workplaces with guidance on a range of topics including:
- There is also helpful information on How COVID-19 Spreads
COVID-19 is part of a large family of coronaviruses that can make humans and animals sick. They cause illnesses that can range from the common cold to more severe diseases.
COVID-19 was first reported in December 2019
SYMPTOMS OF INFECTION
Symptoms can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick, very quickly. As per the CDC, people with COVID-19 may experience:
- Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Or at least 2 of these symptoms
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
WHAT TO DO
As we move out of the COVID-19 peak, we continue to ask that you stay informed with the latest updates from the CDC, that you do not come to work if you feel unwell, and that you remain vigilant in the monitoring of your staff, visitors, and contractors for any signs of illness.
TIPS FOR GOOD HYGIENE
Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Use your sleeve to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Avoid close contact with anyone that shows cold or flu-like symptoms.
The building management and engineering teams have tested and adjusted operating procedures to follow public health guidelines and best practices during the pandemic and recovery. The air and water distribution systems have been proactively monitored and maintained. New air filters with improved filtration have been installed where required on all base building fan systems and an independent third party has inspected the base building air and water distribution system.
In addition, we have taken the following measures:
- Increased outside air ventilation where possible including overnight to purge space completely.
- Increased air filtration efficiency.
- Reduced HVAC system downtime to enhance positive impact on ventilation.
- Continued disinfecting of water storage tanks maintenance, flushed and cleaned systems.
WHAT WE’RE DOING TO INCREASE YOUR COMFORT AND SAFETY
We continue to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer in common areas of our buildings.
We continue with enhanced cleaning cycles of all high touch point areas and our cleaners are wearing masks and gloves to provide additional protection and comfort to others.
We’ve deployed floor markers, elevator screen messaging and signage to remind everyone to keep an appropriate physical distance when queuing anywhere within the common areas of the building.
We require all our tenants to advise us immediately of any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the building. We will continue to notify all key tenant representatives of any such instances via tenant bulletin.
Posters and elevator screens are in place to remind people to deploy hygiene best practices.
Where relevant, food court seating and common area seating has been reduced or removed to meet mandated criteria for appropriate physical distancing.
We have deployed physical distancing markers in each elevator cab to help indicate the suggested maximum number of occupants. You will also notice floor markers in our ground floor elevator lobbies that help manage access and queuing.
See-through protective screens have been installed or will be installed at our reception and concierge desks.
Umbrella loans have been temporarily suspended in some of our assets.
We love a community gathering better than anyone but in these challenging times we will avoid large event activations in favor of small or static placemaking activities in compliance with government restrictions.
Our onsite teams will continue to engage with our tenants virtually, via conference or video calls to minimize face-to-face interactions.
PPE (personal protective equipment)
Building staff will be wearing PPE as part of their uniform and all will be asked to answer medical screening questions before being allowed on the premises. Where not mandated by law or required by the Public Health Authority, we encourage our tenants and building visitors to wear a mask when in building common areas.
HVAC systems are operated to best practice standards and in line with health advice. Our HVAC systems regularly allow in fresh air from outside.
End of trip facilities
Our end of trip facilities, including bicycle racks, remain available to use and are cleaned regularly. We ask all our users to practice good hygiene and maintain physical distancing.
WHAT YOU WILL SEE IN OUR BUILDINGS
We have installed signage throughout all of our buildings to assist with maintaining good hygiene practices and to help foster a culture of physical distancing. Here are some examples of what you will see:
LOBBY FURNITURE RESTRICTIONS
We have temporarily closed sections or reduced furniture within the lobby waiting area to comply with the physical distancing requirements. You may see less furniture and some lobbies will display an ‘Area closed’ sign.
We kindly ask tenants, occupants, and visitors to ensure they abide by physical distancing rules in lobbies.
Where a building provides bookable meeting spaces there will be restrictions on meeting sizes to ensure physical distancing rules are in place. If you have any questions, regarding meeting rooms please discuss with your Building Management team.
LOADING DOCK UTILIZATION
The loading dock is for the use of building contractors and couriers only. Should tenants require contractor access to the loading dock, requests will need to be made via a service request with a time and date specified for use. Sites with onsite security presence have already implemented controls to manage COVID-19 risk. The security services providers will monitor and ask contractors to adhere to physical distancing and safe work practices.
ELEVATOR LOBBY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
You will notice we have deployed physical distancing markers and signage throughout the main elevator lobbies and within each elevator cab with a similar appearance to the physical distancing markers throughout the building. Brookfield Properties has put the following protocols in place for our elevator lobbies and cabs in common areas.
Signage and decals have been installed on the floors in the main elevator lobbies, signifying physical distance of 6 feet and queuing paths. Brookfield Properties has considered how the flow of people leaving and entering the elevators will allow occupants to adhere to physical distancing where possible. Barriers will be used where needed based on the layout of the elevator lobbies.
- We ask that tenants not overcrowd elevators. Elevator doors indicate a suggested maximum number of occupants to allow for physical distancing.
- Where not required by law or required by the Public Health Authority, Brookfield Properties strongly encourages all elevator occupants and/or those in common areas to wear a mask or facial covering.
- When boarding in the Main Lobby:
- Please follow the signage and / or floor markers while queuing for your elevator
- Once your cab arrives, you will notice the exterior doors are labelled with the suggested maximum number of occupants
- Floor decals have also been installed inside each elevator cab in a layout that promotes physical distancing of riders
- Consider loading to the rear of the elevator cab first
- When boarding from an alternate location:
- Consider using physical distancing best practices when queuing
- Once the elevator arrives, assess the number of occupants already onboard
- If the cab is at the maximum suggested number of occupants, we recommend you wait for the next elevator
- To avoid congestion during peak times we suggest staggered start and finish times for all personnel.
- Sanitization stations are available in building lobbies.
- Our concierge, security or onsite teams will be monitoring elevator traffic and will assist individuals where needed.
We ask tenants and their employees to comply with government guidelines and any physical distancing measures stipulated. Please note travel times to elevators will be impacted and recommend tenants stagger their start, lunch, and end times to effectively manage the flow of traffic.
Common Area Cleaning
Common area cleaning will be prioritized by our property management and cleaning teams. We will continue to implement increased sanitization frequency of high touch point areas for all our properties. High touch point areas include washrooms, main lobby, end of trip facilities and elevators where additional focus is provided to door handles, furniture, escalator handrails, access control systems, and buttons.
If you have previously provided notice to cease tenancy cleaning, you will need to provide notice to recommence tenancy cleaning.
Additional Tenancy Cleaning Requests
Local and national health authorities have released a range of guidelines around appropriate workplace cleaning regimes. Our base building cleaners have an extensive list of optional cleaning services available to support your business requirements. If you are interested in requesting additional cleaning services, please contact your Building Management team who will be able to provide a cost tailored to your request and requirements.
BUILDING ACCESS & SECURITY
Brookfield Properties has updated our building security protocols to best assist in your Return to Work. Where not previously in place, our buildings have placed elevators on card access 24/7. This means you will need to use your security access card when using the elevators. For those who require a new access card, we have implemented contactless pass card administration protocols.
Fire Life Safety
As many organizations choose to return to work in phases, or as governments mandate a phased return, ensure you are aware of which individuals have been designated as Fire Wardens for your space and if alternate Fire Wardens have been selected. Each tenancy should also ensure their Persons Requiring Assistance list is up to date.
Brookfield Properties will provide tenants and occupants with regular COVID-19 communication updates. This will include implementation or lifting of government restrictions affecting the way we run buildings, or that affect building amenities. Communication will be provided to our main tenant contacts and occupants via a range of channels including:
Signage in all common areas
Emails to your key tenant representatives
Digital elevator communications
Regular building management meetings (these may be held virtually)
Via our Tenant Engagement App
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE EVENT OF AN INCIDENT
Brookfield Properties has a site-specific Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place to ensure we can continue supporting the building operations in the event of an emergency.
The Brookfield Properties site-specific BCP focuses on critical business processes, including:
- Property supervision and management
- Repairs and maintenance
- HVAC and mechanical services
- Fire services
- Critical building operational technology systems
We continue to actively monitor developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of government and public health authorities. We will keep you advised of any changes to building operations as a result of new information. Additionally, should any building occupants, tenants, or building service personnel be confirmed to have contracted or have been recently exposed to someone who has been confirmed to have COVID-19, please advise Building Management immediately.
What you can expect from us
In the event we become aware that a person within the building has recently been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, is unwell and sent for testing, or is confirmed themselves as having COVID-19, we will:
1. Communicate this via tenant bulletin
- We will be in touch with your organization to confirm that your tenant representative details are correct for this purpose.
2. We will share more information as it becomes available
- Rest assured our steps will be measured. We ask that you also remain calm during this time as we seek to investigate the situation to be able to provide you with all that we know.
- If you have any specific questions you wish to ask us, please contact your Building Management team. We will endeavor to respond as soon as we are able.
3. Your Building Management team may schedule conference calls with your organization to provide any more detailed information
4. A full disinfection of the affected areas and a disinfection of all base building areas will be completed
TIPS FOR YOUR WORKSPACES
As your organization transitions teams from working from home back into your premises, Brookfield Properties has provided some tips and ideas for you to consider:
Stagger your return
Consider requesting non-essential staff to continue to work from home with a gradual phased plan to transition back into the office over time. Also consider avoiding peak public transportation times, and how any ‘vulnerable’ staff should be addressed. Policies for deciding who returns and when are an important part of your employee communications.
Try alternating shifts
Rotate staff presence on site and consider different morning and afternoon shifts for your staff. Enable teams to negotiate their own ‘in-office’ schedules.
Plan ahead to keep your distance
Print off a current floorplan of your workplace and add an overlay that incorporates updated seating arrangements in your office to provide appropriate physical distancing. Change policies around the use of communal spaces, including meeting rooms and breakout areas where necessary.
Stay at home if you are unwell
If you or anyone in your team is unwell, please be the front line of defense and stay home.
Make a plan
All tenants should have a business continuity plan now in place.
Monitor your staff and advise Building Management immediately if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within your tenancy.
Avoid peak hour
You may wish to advise your staff to avoid the busiest times of day on public transportation by arriving early to leave early, or arriving later to leave later.
Food services & deliveries
To assist your staff in avoiding lunchtime crowds, consider teaming up with on-site food providers to receive daily bulk orders and deliveries.
Remain virtual where possible
Encourage virtual meetings where possible and limit face-to-face meetings in the office. Discourage non-essential visitors to your space.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has helpful resources to help businesses understand their obligations and provides guidance as to how they can protect their workers and customers. Click here to access.
Increase cleaning cycles
Request your employees wipe down their workstations regularly with alcohol-based cleaning solution.
If you would like to introduce more frequent levels of cleaning to your workspaces, please speak to your cleaning provider or let our Building Management team know
Consider installing protective screens on your reception desks.
General health and wellbeing checking
Encourage your staff and visitors to monitor their own temperature before they leave for the office and to stay home if they are unwell or have any doubts on their wellness.
Consider best practice hygiene etiquette to conduct meetings and avoid or re-purpose small meeting rooms.
Make hand sanitizer available throughout your offices and within your on-floor elevator lobby.
Consider repurposing large seating areas to other workplace activities to avoid gatherings.
High touch points
Have alcohol cleaning wipes available at printing and copying stations.
Brookfield Properties will continue to use the axiis by Brookfield Properties tenant app to relay timely information about the virus, our response, and how you may be impacted. Sign up for axiis for free and ensure that the information you need is available whenever and wherever you need it.