Cornerstone Collective Announces New Hotel Design Standards
This week, officials of The Cornerstone Collective — a firm that provides in-class design, procurement and project management services for the hospitality, commercial, multifamily and modular markets — announced the Nexus Design Standards, a program to give hotel brands, owners and operators a plan for safely designing properties for today and during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Standards follow criteria taken from many expert sources, including the CDC and EPA.
“A number of brands and hotel management companies have put together their own pandemic safety procedures, but no two are alike,” Cornerstone President and founder Suzie Hall said. “If an owner has multiple brands or owns an independent property, there is no trusted resource to assist them through what can be a costly process. The Nexus Design standards are the first unified, all-encompassing approach that addresses all aspects of design for the ‘new normal.’
“There is a lot of confusion and conflicting claims ranging from what constitutes appropriate distancing to what makes them the most effective barriers,” she continued. “Not only do Nexus Standards include potentially life-saving advice, but they can substantially reduce costs by 15 — 40 percent. The Standards are supplier-agnostic but provide clear specifications on materials which often cost less than other options, even though the quality is similar if not superior.”
Hall has completed 20 LEED projects and dozens of healthcare assignments, which has made her qualified for this initiative. “We’ve called upon our experience in designing hospital interiors, which present a higher concern for safety, as well as my current position on the Board of St. Alphonsus Hospital Foundation,” she said. “Utilizing that expertise, we worked with expert sources that form the core of the program.”
The Nexus standards address the areas of disinfectability, cleanability, performance, health, environmental, price, lifecycle cost, sustainability, proof of product properties/claims and warranties. “We will begin to see major failures of materials and products in existing hotels that weren’t made to withstand the rigorous cleaning protocols that have been put in place,” Hall said. “New builds must adopt the Nexus Standards to be successful in both the short- and long-term.
“Coronavirus fears put great emotional and psychological stress on the guest,” she continued. “This is not the time to provide them with an unpleasant hotel experience by removing or reducing the room to not much more than a bed, towel and a bar of soap. Hopefully, the coronavirus will be under control within one to two years or sooner. It is important to design the best safeguards, but in a way that will have long-term benefit and value to the hotel design.”