Jamie Gold, a contributor for Forbes in the Real Estate area, published a recent article about Biden’s administration plan regarding infrastructure. A new infrastructure plan was presented and it scales to a 2 trillion dollar infrastructure investment, it contains wellness design enhancements for all Americans homes. The improvement of public housing contributes to the ideal of everyone having a safe and healthy place to live.
“The pandemic pointed out the importance of this ideal, though the President’s infrastructure plan doesn’t specifically include one of its major findings for the residential end of its plan: Potentially deadly airborne viruses like the one that causes Covid-19 are more transmissible in poorly-ventilated spaces. There are provisions in the plan summary for improving ventilation in schools, but it does not mention it for public housing or other residential buildings”.
Let’s revise some interesting angles and criterias revealed on the article:
Affordability: For experts such as Bob Simpson, a board member of the Center for Active Design, ventilation and indoor air quality wasn’t omitted. "The $40 billion proposed for upgrades would put a significant dent in the current backlog of capital repairs that are needed to create safe and healthy public housing”.The infrastructure bill, for Simpson, wil give opportunities for public housing authorities to upgrade plumbing and HVAC systems which will improve air and water quality for millions of income renters.
Accessibility: The 40 billion plan references also to ‘address critical life-safety concerns’ and ‘mitigate imminent hazards to residents’ but it doesn’t mention how these improvements will benefit people with disabilities. “The infrastructure plan’s fact sheet summarizes this goal as building and retrofitting more than two million homes as accessible and resilient housing. It’s unclear yet whether, if passed, this could provide additional funding and eligibility criteria to existing home modifications programs for disabled veterans run by the VA”.
Clean drink water: The Biden Infrastructure plan seeks to prevent future occurrences regarding drinking water and the dangers of lead pipes. A goal is marked to ““eliminate all lead pipes and service lines in our drinking water systems”. This also concerns the aging of treatment plants and polluted drinking water which “are also endangering public health, the plan notes, with $111 billion budgeted to address these issues, as well as an improved electrical grid and universal broadband”.
Electrical Grid: By modernizing the nation’s electrical grid, this infrastructure plan could prevent man made disasters from occurring in the future. Especially “when non-winterized utility infrastructure across the South, especially in Texas, left millions of residents without heat, water or electricity for weeks. There were more than 100 deaths attributed to the massive failure, and thousands of others struggled to keep their life-saving medical devices powered during the outage”.
Universal broadband Access: Pandemic has shown the importance of universal broadband access with, for example, telehealth as a feature that provided more care than ever before. “With families gathering virtually at an increasing rate, broadband is the infrastructure that enables care and connection. According to the infrastructure plan summary, 35% of rural Americans lack access to high speed internet connections”.
Builders, engineers, designers and constructors see the need of building new infrastructure that can benefit and improve quality of life. This plan is also a sign of the recognition of urgents needs to build affordable homes and retrofit existing housing to increase energy efficiency.
At MKThink we are also looking at how city planning can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how housing can be designed considering factors such as sustainability, wellbeing and safety.
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