1. You may have seen news about the University of Texas study regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. It alleges that continuing construction activities in Austin poses an increased risk, placing the number of potential hospitalizations from 10,000 to 30,000 by mid-August. This report is misleading at best.
The report assumed no measures were being taken on jobsites. The potential for virus transmission is real but can be significantly mitigated with proper risk management, allowing your construction project to continue safely. We published a recent post outlining a few safety techniques we are implementing on our clients’ projects.
If policy decisions are made as a result of this misleading study that negatively impact your project, we will let you know.
2. We have been closely monitoring the disrupted supply chain and bridging the gap between purchasers and suppliers to get our clients the materials they need, when they need it. China has prioritized finished goods in their factory restarts, which has disrupted the construction supply chain for lighting, HVAC, and finishes. However, for case goods, the cost and lead time has been reduced by a third.
Meanwhile, there is no available Italian ceramic tile for the foreseeable future. Design Teams are pivoting from those selections. American factories such as Trane have had to close down for periods after workers tested positive. With a global supply chain, even the simplest component parts may affect the completion of a project.
I’d love to hear how your project is holding up. Please call, email, or message me on social media.
3. Virtual meetings are impacting ongoing construction projects creating an additional layer of risk to your project. We are seeing an increase in available field trades—subcontractors such as electricians, drywallers, steel erectors, etc. Meanwhile, after a period of confusion, professional services response times are becoming faster than ever. Those that are working from home such as construction project managers, engineers, and architects appear to have raised their productivity after figuring out how to manage the family and work at home. The metrics we see indicate an earlier increase in response time, which could be attributed to systems being unavailable or other distractions from working at home. Now, with no commutes, virtual conference acumen, and limited site walks, we suspect the A/E teams CA time to be less than before the crisis. What will be interesting to see is whether these productivity and labor gains will mean lower costs to projects after the inflationary atmosphere over the past 5 years.
These are just a few of the additional risks facing projects today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are interested in discussing your project and reviewing a basic risk analysis, please contact us.