Construction in the Time of COVID-19

Many communities deemed construction an essential industry in the wake of COVID-19. However, it’s impossible to ignore the effects that the health crisis has had on routine management processes, construction budgets, and other critical facets of completing projects well.

Between disruptions in the supply chain, a reduction of the available workforce, and dramatically lowered investor confidence, many construction projects have been put on hold during the global pandemic.

As a direct result of the pandemic, the construction in the time of COVID-19 faces these challenges:

Constantly-Changing Restrictions And/Or Guidances

Our global community is constantly considering updated ways to combat the coronavirus curve. With each new strategy comes different regulations to follow – regulations that necessarily impact labor, materials, and equipment availability.

Fluctuating Market Conditions

Project owners are aware that their capital is often in a volatile condition. Everyone’s hyper-aware of potential cash flow issues, which doesn’t help when considering big investments like steel building projects.

However, these challenges often don’t change the fact that you still have a deadline to work with. Need to know how best to own your construction project in the midst of the COVID-19 project? Here’s how to protect your people and your project performance at the same time, even amid a global pandemic.

Construction in Georgia in the Time of COVID-19: A Practical Guide

These efficient business and construction practices will help you protect your staff, your budget, and your project timeline.

Communicate more than you think is necessary.

Project parameters and material availability is changing on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, it’s never been easier to sustain a critical misunderstanding with members of your team. Use clearly laid-out memos, daily email summaries of action, and – if possible – video conferencing tools constantly so your team can read body language cues. Request that your team members send you updates about their progress regularly, even if doing so feels redundant.

Implement routine inspections of all construction progress

Whether you’re able to do so in person or you opt for a virtual walk-through, you need to lay eyes on your steel building project as often as possible. This will help you keep your projects on track. It will also help you identify any issues that require rerouting before they become catastrophic miscalculations. If you’re not able to be on-site regularly, virtual check-ins become even more important.  This will help you have at least some familiarity with the site.

Prioritize the pipeline for your materials – and have backup selections on standby.

The pandemic has resulted in a significant supply chain delay for many construction materials. Even if there is nothing you can do to accelerate the delivery of materials, you can strategize for inevitable delays. Keep a laser focus on your delivery schedules, and try to circumvent construction delays.  You can do this by ordering backup supplies (and okaying these backups with your client ahead of time) that will allow you to proceed in the event of a shortage.

Reevaluate your schedule as necessary.

No one wants to alter the scope of a project. However, if you find yourself losing large numbers of team members and experiencing multiple material delays, it may be time to revisit the project timeline with your client. It’s better to be realistic and up-front about these issues than to fail to meet expectations – or to blow your project budget in an attempt to meet fast-approaching (and increasingly unrealistic) deadlines.

Be aware of the project shifts that will most directly impact costs.

Project cost tends to be a function of materials, labor, and schedule. As a result, if you’re aware of any changes to your material pipeline, your labor force, or your timeline, you need to know that those will change your end-of-day costs. Do not forget this connection. Whenever you become aware of a new labor or material shortage or a schedule consideration, you need to take quick action so that the budget does not change as well.

With all of the changes happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it likely wouldn’t hurt to write and implement pandemic-specific protocols and policies into your contracts (or contract updates). This language can protect you and your crew on a personal-safety level and even reduce your own liability in the case that your project scope needs to change.

Georgia Steel Contractors Ready to Take Charge of Your Building Projects

Looking for trustworthy contractors to take your structure from design to finished building? Look no further than Peak Steel Contractors. Check out our gallery of past projects to see what we can offer you.