COVID-19 Workplace Re-Design Challenge

Dear Community,

The world is slowly going back to the office. The big question is whether existing workplaces are up to the challenge. How are we going to maintain social distancing norms to keep everyone safe?

Everyone here at Trimble is putting their minds together to help organizations and teams across the world get back to work safely. We are confident we can do this because we know our biggest strength is you, our community and this is why at this urgent time we turn to you.

The Challenge

We are launching a Hackathon for designs, ideas, or purpose-built tools that leverage the power of the SketchUp ecosystem to tackle the redesign of the workplace.

As an example, we asked our friends at AgiliCity to quickly hack their popular urban design extension Modelur and turn it into an alert system that notifies the user once objects like chairs or even people are placed too close together. Check out the CoviDistance Extension page to see what they came up with!

CoviDistance v0.02

Here are a few more ideas to consider:

  • Design and upload furniture configurations on 3D Warehouse that are optimized for social distancing in the workplace.
  • Create an extension that generates a heatmap of a floor plan based on how narrow/wide a space is and identifies safe vs riskier areas.
  • Suggest tools or techniques to create circulation diagrams that ensure everyone’s safety when moving around the office.

The Reward

The real reward from this effort is to use the collective knowledge of the largest 3D-modelling community in the world to address these unprecedented and challenging times.

The best ideas will be included, and their authors recognized, in a special SketchUp blog post that will be shared with all of our followers.

Finally, we would like to show our gratitude to anyone who contributes their time to this cause by featuring links to the winner’s website or social media accounts when the blog article goes live.


Unleash your creativity, and submit your ideas as a response to this article by 2020-05-13T15:00:00Z


Here is a quick stab I took on creating a floorplan heatmap using Soap Skin & Bubble
and CLF Color by Z:

Unfortunately this method does not take internal closed shapes into account (like columns, or potentially furniture).
I am sure there is a more elegant way to do this :wink:


How does this relate to COVID-workspace redesign? Just curious after watching your video.

I was trying to come up with a tool that colour-maps a space depending on how wide/narrow it is.

I figured that since Soap Skin and Bubble ‘inflates’ a surface based on the distance from the edges, I could combine that with Color by Z to achieve this.

Here is what a complete solution would look like:

Let me know what you think.


Yes, as I suspected.

Maybe you could exagerate the floor buble heigths with the ‘Scale’ tool to later emphasize the differences in width, with CLF Color by Z. Coloring the buble right into green in more safe areas Then scale back again along the blue axis, to flatten the floor. Just a thought.
It’s a great way to color the entire office floor before shifting workspaces, etc, around.

I was thinking about shifting objects into position: (chair+desk, person in aisle, etc) all centered within their own circle with radius of 1m.
All as “glue to + cutting” components on the office floor. Each with their distinct color to reveal Z-fighting when you orbit, to spot unsafe locations.

I like that idea with the scale. I ll try it.

For the fighting Z workflow, I think it is also worth keeping these circles on a separate hidden Tag/Layer. Then all you have to do is create a Scene where this Tag/Layer is visible so you can have a look as you rearrange furniture to see if there are any clashes.