It’s a fair bet that some ways of doing things will never be the same again. In our substantially revised chapter on primary health, author Geoffrey Purves explores how the pandemic has accelerated substantial changes to how GPs operate their practices, with significant implications for those architects working in this sector.

An increased recognition of the importance of good ventilation, light and access to external space will have repercussions across a wide variety of building typologies. And as for the future of the office – the jury is still out on how many of us will return to a physical workplace full-time, and how the office type might evolve in response.

The pandemic has also reaffirmed the importance of building types such as data centres and logistics centres, which have enabled us to work, shop and play at home. In this latest edition,we introduce brand new sections on these vital typologies, along with another new chapter on retail, a sector also undergoing great change. Many more chapters have been extensively updated,including the one on fire safety, which sets out the still-evolving requirements following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

While it will be some time before there is clarity on the pandemic’s enduring impact on how buildings are designed, the need for high quality architecture has never been so high. The extra time spent working from home during lockdowns has shone a sharper light on the inadequacies of poorly designed dwellings – at a time when the link between poor living conditions and increased susceptibility to Covid-19 has become all too clear.

Meanwhile, this publication will continue to play its part in promoting high quality design by bringing together best practice in design and planning across the building types. In doing so, we endeavour to provide authoritative guidance in uncertain times, creating a useful resource for both new entrants to the profession and to any architect tackling an unfamiliar building type.

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