Arcadis report – major challenges facing the construction industry in the face of Covid-19

May 18 2020

Arcadis report – major challenges facing the construction industry in the face of Covid-19

Arcadis have published a report collating the views of 17 major contractors on the major challenges faced by the construction industry in the face of Covid-19. Please see the Arcadis article here.

Safety is cited as a primary concern in the return to work, along with cash, impact on revenue forecasts and a consequential reduction in profitability. However, most respondents expressed a keenness amongst their workforces for returning to work. At IMS we expect that the way in which people return to work will need to become the “new normal” whilst we are living alongside coronavirus – with social distancing measures in place and staggered work patterns.

Shortages of supplies do not appear to be a major problem according to the report; a result of reduced workload and stockpiling. However, there were some issues with the availability of plasterboard, pre-mix mortar and structural steelwork.

Whilst productivity is reported to have dropped at project level, with regard to the number of trades on-site, productivity was up overall.

Digital technology usage has been advanced with contractors and project teams coordinating work remotely, and in our opinion, this may be a lasting change arising from the Covid-19 crisis.

Edel Christie, UK Managing Director for Buildings at Arcadis, said:

“The construction sector is particularly vulnerable to the type of shock that we are going through with Covid-19 – it is very dependent on cashflow, it is complex by nature and is no stranger to litigation.

“Covid-19 is a wakeup call. Our sector needs to mobilise now, collaborate, so that it is ready to play its role – in supporting the economic recovery now, and next – in tackling the major horizon risk of climate change. Let us not waste this crisis.”

It is great to see that safety is so high on the agenda for the return to work and that climate change will still be a primary focus, not to be overshadowed by the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the industry.