Irvine Company has implemented significant health and wellness protocols and procedures as companies return to the office in greater numbers, according to UCI Health experts.
Irvine Company partnered with UCI Health to review and enhance its comprehensive program to help companies come back with confidence to its more than 50 million square feet of workplace communities in Orange County, San Diego, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
As health metrics for Covid-19 continue to improve in California, many of Irvine Company’s 3,000 customers are planning their return.
UCI Health recently began offering clinical- and research-backed consulting services to private businesses. It is the first partnership to date between the world-renowned health enterprise and a large office owner.
“With the right practices, protocols, and informative signage in place, companies and employees can have confidence in a safe environment for returning to the office,” said Susan Huang, MD MPH, medical director and chief epidemiologist at UCI Health. “Irvine Company already had a pandemic response plan in place that they thoughtfully adapted to address CDC guidance specific to the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen and specific to their workspaces and workflows.”
Dr. Huang, an internationally recognized expert in infectious diseases and infection prevention, said it’s critically important for the private and public sectors to work together to safely reopen places of business and, by extension, our economy.
“Irvine Company has a range of specialized indoor and outdoor workplaces, and we helped them refine their plan with those specialized elements in mind. Our review found that they clearly understood the key elements of preventing transmission and had taken comprehensive steps toward a healthy return to work. We were impressed with their preparation, commitment and detailed approach to ensuring their workplaces are as safe as possible,” she said.
Huang and Linda Dickey, RN, MPH, UCI Health’s Senior Director for Epidemiology and Infection Prevention, reviewed the company’s coronavirus-related health and safety plans and protocols, interviewed operations executives, conducted walk-throughs of Irvine Company office and corporate workplaces and ultimately validated Irvine Company’s wide-ranging safety efforts. They evaluated and affirmed:
- Enhanced ventilation and air filtration systems
- Touch-free enhancements
- The placement and number of hand sanitizing stations
- Disinfection protocols
- Entry screening protocols
- The education and communications program on topics such as physical distancing and the importance of face coverings
- Enhanced safety protocols for elevator use, along paths of travel and in shared common areas such as restrooms and outdoor workspaces
- Ongoing research into emerging technology surrounding virus mitigation technology
Dickey, an expert on the built environment as it relates to disease prevention who has served as a member of the Facilities Guidelines Institute, reviewed air handling systems, methods for monitoring and novel technology considerations. “Irvine Company’s systems and processes are a step ahead in safety. They are well prepared to provide a safe environment for workers and guests in their facilities”.
Optimal air filtration and ventilation are an essential part of Irvine Company’s long-term commitment to a healthy workplace environment. The Company’s systems use high-efficiency MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rated air filters, with 100% of high-rise buildings using MERV 13 or higher. Fresh air exchange is also prioritized at optimal intervals, both throughout the workday and after hours, and automatic, alarmed sensors and handheld humidity testers meters help optimize humidity levels.
Huang added, “Irvine Company’s huge investment in functional outdoor spaces is one of their greatest assets in this pandemic. Irvine Company has welcoming outdoor workspaces that harness maximal air dilution and create a healthy collaborative environment for businesses. They have invested in shaded coverings and comfortable seating that allows for social distancing, and provided a variety of Wifi and outlet-accessible work surfaces to encourage productivity outdoors. With the final touch of maximizing the placement and number of hand sanitizing stations, and ensuring visible signage at all access points, they have created a safe and engaging environment for employees who have worked from home for long stretches.”
Irvine Company began implementing the comprehensive safety policies and protocols immediately after the pandemic began by leveraging the unique depth of its subject matter experts and through relationships with national partners.
“Our goal is a smooth return to a healthy workplace community for our customers and their employees. As our customers are returning we are reactivating our amenities to provide best-in-class experiences for our customers and their employees,” said Mike Bennett, Irvine Company’s senior vice president of operations. “We are thankful to have a world-class healthcare provider like UCI Health as our neighbor, and we appreciate their insights. We plan to continue our partnership and dialogue with them into the future.”
The partnership between UCI and Irvine Company extends six decades. In 1960, Irvine Company sold 1,000 acres to the University of California for $1 to build UCI.
“Our outdoor workspaces are outstanding places to conduct meetings and gather with plenty of space for physical distancing,” said Bennett. “And our flexible lease terms, adaptability and wide range of workspace options provide customers the opportunity to conduct business in spaces that make the most sense for their particular needs at any given time.”
For more about Irvine Company’s protocols, please visit comebackwithconfidence.com.
About Irvine Company Office
As a long-term owner who continuously reinvests in its properties and services, Irvine Company has evolved traditional offices to something much more: vibrant workplace communities. A place where collaboration is encouraged, and creativity is enabled to elevate business success. The company serves more than 3,000 customers in 50 million square feet of premier workplace communities in Orange County, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and San Diego, as well as iconic trophy towers in Chicago and New York. Timeless design and quality craftsmanship is paired with Irvine Company’s permanent time horizon, customer-centric brand and pride of ownership.
About UCI Health
UCI Health comprises the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 418-bed acute care hospital provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, and behavioral health and rehabilitation services. U.S. News & World Report has recognized UCI Medical Center among America’s Best Hospitals for 20 consecutive years. The enterprise is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. It is the primary teaching hospital for the UCI School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.