There’s likely not an industry left untouched by the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. From the restaurant industry to retail shops, transportation, and tourism to supply chains and beyond, few industries have come out unscathed. The construction industry is certainly no exception. Let’s take a look at the ways the construction industry has been affected by the virus.

Not a Halting, But a Slowing

As of the publishing of this piece, the COVID-19 coronavirus has not had the treacherous impact on the construction industry akin to the restaurant, live concert, or sports industries. For the most part, the majority of construction projects have been allowed to proceed, granted that construction site protocol is augmented to prevent the spread of the virus among workers. A mixture of heightened social distancing as well as the preexistent need for personal distance for safety reasons has also contributed to the relatively low instances of worker-to-worker virus transmission.

Supply Chain Problems

Far beyond the risk of worker virus transmission lies the most significant impact on the construction industry due to the COVID-19 coronavirus—supply chain. Though construction workers are able to work on job sites safely, many materials suppliers have been forced to close their doors—albeit mostly temporarily. Kinks in the supply chain have slowed down the progress of many construction projects if not causing some to be entirely put on hold until further notice.

Essential Worker Status

One of the reasons why construction projects have been able to continue through shelter-in-place orders and other related social distancing efforts is due to the unique “essential” worker designations from governing bodies. Despite “essential” work status, worksites are still subject to routine inspections to ensure that construction workers are abiding by proper virus transmission mitigation guidelines.

Contractual Obligations

One of the most significant ways the virus has changed the construction industry is in how contracts are and will be formulated. Due to the unprecedented nature of the implications of the virus, new verbiage and conditions dictating project scopes and delays have been crafted to protect all parties from the limitations related to shelter-in-place orders, crew infections, and other project delays.

In Step with the Economy

Perhaps the most significant impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry has to do with the state of the economy itself. Between the wide variety of businesses closing their doors and the cost of oil plummeting, fewer developers may be as willing to fund their projects until the economy has reached some semblance of normalcy. Other developers may see these days as a chance to prepare for a post-COVID economy where consumers will feel more comfortable frequenting new establishments and spending money with their businesses. The construction industry will continue to walk in step with the comfort levels of developers and the state of the economy.

Working Safely for a Brighter Tomorrow

The commercial construction professionals from Cowen Construction are available to help the organizations of the Greater Tulsa, OK area walk towards a brighter tomorrow, six feet at a time.