Technical guidance for gyms and leisure centres reopening during COVID-19 social distancing, with a 3D project ready for download
Are you a technical operator that has been appointed to adapt gym premises according to the current guidelines to contain the contagion risk? This focus article sets out the framework for gyms and leisure centres reopening during a period of social distancing following the full closure of the sector due to COVID-19.
We will also provide the basis for operators to develop their own safety plan and guidance for staff and gym users together with:
- a video showing how to operate with Edificius (the architectural BIM design software)
- brief presentation slides
- a 3D project with COVID-19-related objects, that has been produced using Edificius and ready to use as a reference model,
- 3D COVID-19 objects to download from the online BIM Objects Library.
In order to open the 3D project file, you will need to first download Edificius free trial version and follow the steps indicated below.
This render is an example from our case study created with Edificius that shows how a gym has been adapted to ensure safety and healthy precautions for customers and staff.
Gym and leisure centre reopening: The technical guidance
Before starting, we suggest you to download our gym BIM model that will help you to ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing guidelines following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions
To be able to open the model, you will first need to download the free trial version of Edificius.
How to organize a gym’s environments before reopening
Here are some best practises to manage the COVID-19 contagion for the fitness sector:
- prepare adequate information on all prevention measures to be adopted, by means of posters and information brochures. Customers, by framing the QR Code with their smartphone, will receive videos or in-depth information on the protection and prevention behaviors to be adopted,
- draw up a planned activities program (eg with activity class reservation) and control premises access in order to avoid gatherings,
- arrange body temperature screening, preventing access in case of temperature> 37.5 ° C,
- arrange spaces in the changing rooms and showers in order to ensure safety distances (for example, by providing special panels), and monitor the access to these areas,
- rearrange spaces and workout stations and distribute the equipment so as to ensure that safety distancing is maintained during training,
- provide hand sanitization points: place distributors with sanitizing gels at the entrance, in the changing rooms and in the training room for customers and operators. The dispensers must have dispensers such as to avoid touching the bottle,
- organize the cash desk area and reception desk that can be equipped with sneeze guards, alternatively staff must wear a mask and have hand sanitizing gel available,
- internal routes: depending on the space, you can provide a mandatory pathway for customers so as to guide them to the different machineries or to the toilets,
- air exchange systems: make sure that the right air exchange is guaranteed in all environments through natural and / or mechanical ventilation. Adapt the air conditioning filters to avoid the air recirculation function, to limit the risks of contagion.
- with regards to the microclimate, it is essential to check the ventilation characteristics of the premises and ventilation systems and the subsequent implementation in conditions of maintenance of adequate spare parts and indoor air quality.
Area view to adapt a workout room
The following image shows the floor plan of the workout room where the measures for COVID-19 contagion risk mitigation have been applied.
It should be noted that:
- only the tools, circled in green, that guarantee interpersonal distancing of 2 m can be used at the same time
- the use of tools, circled in red, which do not respect the spacing, was limited
- the minimum distance between the stations in use was verified
- columns, circled in yellow, have been added for providing sanitizing gel
- a green pathway has been marked on the ground to facilitate interpersonal distancing.
Case study: gym reopening
Here is a practical case for reorganizing a gym and help you with the reopening management process.
The surveyed stage
The gym has a single building with three wings, which in plan view has a C-shaped configuration. The main entrance is in a central position with respect to the entire building. The volume is distributed all on one level, to which you have direct access from the outside, avoiding architectural barriers and obstacles to the usability and practicability of all spaces.
Rooms overlook the internal courtyard thanks to large floor-to-ceiling windows.
The entrance is characterized by a large desk, the winter garden illuminated by the large skylight and the personnel office.
From the reception, the two main areas dedicated to sporting activities wind along the sides: the space that houses the equipment and the one for physical bodyweight activities. The two activities are well separated from each other in order to ensure the right privacy for all users.
The changing rooms are located between the entrance and the area dedicated to sports, divided by gender and with shielded access to the common areas to avoid any type of introspection. For each dressing room there are 4 showers, two bathrooms, one of which is for the disabled, and an area equipped with lockers, benches and hair dryers.
Basically, the gym consists of:
- entrance / reception
- relax area
- changing room area with toilets and showers
- office with staff bathroom
- equipment storage
- 3 rooms for bodyweight activities
- equipped garden.
The plan to adapt a gym facility
The project that we have illustrated below respects the indications for the mitigation of the risk of contagion from COVID-19 and the guidelines that we have indicated in the previous paragraphs.
Entrance / Reception
The two existing doors have been replaced with automatic sliding doors, to avoid contact with the handles. On the entrance’s right side, we have provided a device with thermal-scanner for temperature screening, disinfectant gel, disposable gloves and pedal-activated wate bin.
A pathway for customers and staff has been from the entrance, highlighted with a 10 cm wide green strip, to guide people and avoid queues and gatherings in the different rooms and changing rooms.
In the common areas and along the corridors, dispensers have been arranged with disinfectant gel and disposable gloves and signages for the safety procedures to be respected inside the gym.
The waiting area has been redesigned with seats that guarantee interpersonal safety distance.
Changing rooms and toilets
Near the entrance door to the changing rooms, we have provided a device with the sanitizing gel and disposable gloves, signages and lockers in enamelled sheet metal, for a rapid and frequent sanitization of the surfaces, to store, through plastic bags, customers’ belongings.
In all the toilets, we’ve replaced the air hand dryers and provided a paper towel dispenser, to reduce the contagion situations and the possibility of spreading the virus.
In the changing rooms, the use of some showers, washbasins and benches was limited, always to guarantee the distance of at least 1 m between users. Dispensers with sanitizing gel and disposable gloves complete the safety equipment. The use of the sauna, however, has been temporarily suspended.
We’ve organized the large workout room, in the following way:
- installation of columns with sanitizing gel and disposable gloves
- hand wipes/sanitisers will be on offer (or people will be directed to where they can clean their hands).
- extra care/signposting will be provided to maintain social distancing when in these areas.
- pathway highlighted on the floor to facilitate interpersonal distancing and avoid the intersection of flows of people
- verification of the minimum distance between all the stations
- simultaneous use only of tools that guarantee interpersonal spacing of 2 m
- limit the use of tools that do not respect the interpersonal distance of 2 m (circled in red).
- continue rigorous cleaning procedures.
For the individual rooms intended for bodyweight activities, we proceeded to check that these activities were carried out safely, guaranteeing the interpersonal distance of 2 m between users.
Having circles of 2 m in diameter, with additional spacing, in staggered rows, we outlined the number of athletes who can perform intense physical activity in the rooms.
Gyms and leisure centres reopening – video with plan to adapting premises
In this video we’ll be showing you how the practical operations to adapt a gym, in order to comply with any health designation documentation required by law, using Edificius, the architectural BIM design software.
Brief presentation slides
Here is a brief summary of the operations to adapting a gym.