The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has produced a seven-step risk management plan to assist design teams and clients when re-occupying buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan assists with assessing hazards, applying architectural or engineering strategies, and reducing risk. It uses an evidence-based design approach, documents design decisions, and functions as a repository for coordinated work with building owners.

The Plan provides two separate documents: a PDF worksheet and an Excel worksheet (Download AIA Risk Management Plan Worksheet 2) to develop and document the risk management plan. The plan should be regularly reviewed, updated, and documented through all stages of design, construction, and post-occupancy to ensure expectations are met. The seven steps, including protocol verification and systems testing, include:

1. Assemble the multidisciplinary team.
2. Establish goals and objectives for reducing risk.
3. Describe the building flow and user experience.
4. Conduct the hazard analysis and characterize the potential risk. (Use the worksheet to document the team’s work and decisions.
5. Identify architectural or engineering controls for each hazard determined in Step 4. Suggestions may include the following categorized from the AIA Re-occupancy Assessment Tool. (Use the worksheet to document your work.)
6. Verify system hazard protocols to verify controls.
7. Validate system hazard controls. Assess and perform testing to determine whether actual applied building controls are performing to meet design intent.