We all could use more good news these days. However, it can be easy to fall down the seemingly endless rabbit hole of news and media. In our #ToughAsNails series, we want to surface the top positive and feel-good news, stories, and articles across the construction industry.
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen inspiring construction stories involving new ways of working, resiliency, and innovation. Are you ready to hear some good news? Dig in below.
Looking for more COVID-19 related construction news and stories? More here.
1. A New Focus on Collaboration
COVID-19 has challenged construction teams to come together in new ways – on and off the jobsite. A recent Construction Dive article, “Coronavirus crisis inspires industry collaboration: ‘We’re all in this together’,” highlights how companies are putting aside the drive to compete and instead are focusing on more knowledge sharing. According to the article, “General contractors are working closely with owners, subs and suppliers to stay abreast of the latest developments and find solutions to shared problems.”
For some firms, this new focus on digital collaboration has incited even more creativity and engagement. In a DJC Oregon article, “Collaboration, creativity flourishing despite physical separation,” several architects share how they have been winning work and improving preconstruction collaboration in a remote environment.
2. Safety Continues to Be of Utmost Importance
Construction firms are thinking outside the box when it comes to ensuring employees’ health and safety. In a recent webinar, “Project Restart Strategies for Getting Back to Work,” Autodesk and FMI highlighted some outstanding examples of how construction companies are finding new ways to keep their workers safe. Some examples include a virtual groundbreaking ceremony from Consigli Construction and a pivot to digital inspections from Atlanta’s City Planning department.
To limit site visits, forward-thinking contractors are utilizing advanced technology. For instance, a recent blog, “Building Resiliency and Community During Times of Change,” spotlighted Odeh Engineers for its use of drones. The company uses its FAA licensed pilots to capture the drone footage, maintaining social distancing while enhancing quality control. Other companies like PARIC, Swinerton, and AECOM are utilizing 3D virtual collaboration tools to conduct walkthroughs for site reviews with key stakeholders.
3. Resiliency Is in Construction’s DNA
Many construction projects are preparing to return to work around the world if their jobsites were temporarily shutdown. Currently, FMI has comprehensive resources available to help firms plan proactively for project restarts. One of its resources, “Looking Beyond the Storm: How to Remain Competitive in the New Era of Construction,” breaks down how leaders can move forward even stronger after a crisis.
The “return to better” was a theme highlighted in the recent FMI and Autodesk webinar. Speakers cited that they expect to see industry-wide shifts like an increase in predictive analytics and digital workflows, more growth in industrialized construction methods, and a bigger focus on diversity.
Beyond building internal resilience, the construction industry is also in a unique position to support global communities in a time of need. We’ve seen the construction industry deliver emergency support with prefabrication, as highlighted in a recent Redshift blog, “Prefabrication Holds Many Keys for Emergency Buildings in Times of Crisis” and an article in Realtor Magazine, “Prefab Aids in Pandemic Fight.”
As we look towards the future, the construction industry may hold a key for long-term economic recovery. For instance, articles like “Sustainable infrastructure investments can aid the post-COVID recovery” on GreenBiz showcase how an investment in sustainable infrastructure might be timely. On a similar note, a blog post from AECOM, “Monuments to Trying Times: Stimulus Investments that are Still Paying Dividends,” surfaced examples of successful infrastructure investments post-crisis’.
5. Companies Putting Skilled Employees to Work in New Ways
In our last edition of #ToughAsNails, we highlighted how construction companies were stepping up with monetary and supply donations. However, some firms are finding a way to give back while supporting their workforce.
Although their typical projects are put on hold, Louisville-based contractor, Whittenberg Construction Company, is providing their master carpenters temporary work for a good cause. According to a Louisville Courier Journal article, “Good News: Amid pandemic, Louisville construction company builds homes for people in need,” the local Habitat for Humanity branch realized it could not use its volunteer workforce. As a result, carpenters from Whittenberg Construction Company were able to step in instead. The workers are helping to frame multiple Habitat for Humanity homes in the city while maintaining proper social distancing protocols.
Share the Good Stuff!
We want to see all the top construction news and stories that have inspired you. Share links in the comments section below, and we might feature it in the next edition!