COVID-19 Resources for Construction
The news is filled with statistics and warnings related to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. In general terms, the information is valuable and timely. As states start to see the curve flatten, and plan for the emergence of business from their lockdown, construction companies will find various changes that need to be made.
Obviously, some construction projects are being delayed or canceled as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the companies and governments that commissioned them. Further, possible supply chain bottlenecks of equipment and materials—including structural steel and glass from Asia—could cause project delays in currently funded projects, or reduced spending on future ones.
The most immediate impacts are likely to be felt at the subcontractor middle market of the industry, as potential widespread construction site shutdowns loom. Subcontractors may be especially vulnerable to bankruptcy, which could occur after a site shutdown of only weeks.
The need to monitor the outbreak and its impact across all segments of construction leads organizations to set up websites that can alert contractors to changes that will impact their projects and business.
For example, the National Institute of Building Sciences has a portal aimed at answering questions around COVID-19 to serve the building industry. Coronavirus-related updates include recent developments, financial assistance information, webinars and events, continuing education, and other impacts of the coronavirus on the building sector. The hub will regularly be updated as new information becomes available. Individuals, organizations, or firms that wish to submit a news item can do so.
AGC, the Associated General Contractors of America, is a valuable resource during these challenging times. The coronavirus has forced firms to change the way they operate to maintain their commitment to safety. AGC developed a new website designed to highlight how the construction industry is working to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. This site highlights many of the steps firms are taking to protect workers and includes photos of different examples of these practices.
Financial consultancy PwC also has a site related to the engineering and construction industry. The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant effect on markets and commercial activity presents a range of challenges to the E&C segment — challenges that could deepen depending on the severity and length of the crisis in the U.S. and globally. Uncertainty surrounding the duration and severity of this crisis make it hard to anticipate how a recovery could affect the industry. PwC will monitor these changes and report on them.