TODD buildings are playing their part to address the challenge of COVID-19

The first coronavirus assessment centre in Belfast is the Beech Hall Health and Wellbeing Centre which was designed by TODD Architects. It will see patients who have been referred there by their own GPs. The service at the Beech Hall has been put in place help manage workload and ensure patient safety.

Our healthcare team and their projects have and will continue to play a vital role in helping support the health and well-being of our society.

Maintaining our business continuity

In order to address and manage the risks to our staff, clients and supply chain arising from COVID19, our contingency plan has been implemented. As a result we are taking the following actions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:

From 20th March, our London and Dublin studios will close with all staff homeworking until further notice. Operations should remain unaffected. This is in anticipation of further measures, such as enforced travel restrictions, taken by the city.

Our Belfast office remains open and operational, and will continue to be unless we are instructed otherwise by authorities.

Our staff are following government guidance on self-isolation. We have robust IT infrastructure and systems in place that enable us to work from home. Our homeworking system has been successfully rolled out across the business. We are maintaining regular contact with clients and colleagues.

If any of our team is confirmed as having contracted the virus, we will update client and project team members that might be affected. We will aim to minimise disruption to projects by redistributing workload and responsibilities as soon as we can.

We are and will be conducting meetings by Microsoft Teams, conference calls and other remote means instead of face to face meetings. Where meetings were due to take place in any of our offices please check with your TODD contact for alternative arrangements.

Our staff are restricted from travelling between offices and are stopping attendance at external events until further notice.

We continue to closely monitor the situation and will update our plans.

All of us at TODD’s look forward to continued collaboration on our projects with our friends and business partners by embracing new technologies.

A note for our clients and partners on COVID-19

The spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to dominate the news, with major implications for public health and the NHS.

As you would expect, we are monitoring developments closely, but we have also put in place sensible measures to ensure that TODD Architects is well prepared.

We can reassure you that in respect of the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak we are focused on three things: the health and welfare of both our clients and staff and our ability to continue to support clients. Some of the specific actions that we have taken include:

Prior preparation
A robust approach to risk management and operational effectiveness is integral to our business and so we have been prepared for abnormal events for some time through a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

Our BCP plan identifies the requirements that would be needed for each area of the business to function under a wide range of scenarios and it is kept under constant review. These scenarios include natural disasters, acts of terrorism, data breaches, power and transport failures and major sickness outbreaks such as pandemics.

Operational resilience
We have invested in technology and infrastructure to ensure that the business is both robust and adaptable to be able to cope with significant and potentially disruptive events:

Remote Working
A significant number of our staff have the ability to work from home if required and can remotely access our systems within a secure IT environment. A programme to rollout access to other relevant staff is well underway. We are also able to redirect work phone lines to employee mobile phones where necessary.

Geographic Dispersion
We operate from 3 locations across the UK and Ireland and have reviewed the potential impact of the virus on each location. We have procedures in place to provide back office support to each of those offices remotely, should a requirement be identified.

Employee and client safety
The health, safety and well-being of our staff and clients is of paramount importance to us. We are therefore closely monitoring and implementing official guidelines from the Government and health organisations in respect of COVID-19. Specific actions taken include:
 

Foreign Travel
We have asked staff to follow the Government’s advice in relation travel to and from higher risk destinations for themselves and family members. We have put in place our own internal reporting processes to manage this, advising staff to self-isolate as required.

Signs of Sickness
We are asking staff to stay at home and self-isolate in line with current guidance.

Continuity in event of Personal Containment
In the event Government advice recommends all workplace closures, or we feel that this is necessary, then we are ready to respond immediately.

Personal Hygiene
Hand washing facilities/hand sanitisers are available throughout our offices for both staff and clients and we have enforced a clear desk policy.

Business Travel  
We have asked staff to consider business and personal travel. We recognise that many clients will also want to minimise their travel and face-to-face contact during this period and therefore we can facilitate meetings by telephone, video conferencing and Teams/Skype.

In the current circumstances, we believe that facilitating meetings by video conference or telephone is best practice but we remain responsive to client needs in reasonable and appropriate circumstances.

We respectively request that any visits to our office are made in advance and by agreement only – with your TODD contact. We would discourage speculative attendance to our office at this time.

Whilst the situation surrounding the virus is constantly changing, we want to reassure you that we are taking sensible precautions to minimise the potential impact of coronavirus on our clients, staff and operations while ensuring it is business as usual.

The Directors
For TODD Architects