How the Construction Industry is Coping with COVID-19 in Alberta

How the Construction Industry is Coping with COVID-19 in Alberta
Like any business in Alberta, the Construction Industry is also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small consulting and construction firms depend on businesses that re-purpose existing buildings or construct new buildings to suit their business. With this pandemic, no business will open, resulting in the of halt new plans and future design projects due to the uncertain future. There are projects that are in the pipeline and design drawings that are on-going among different consulting firms but the uncertainties as to when this crisis will end is still a question.

There are movements amongst different construction organizations to appeal to the Government of Alberta to keep the construction industry open and be recognized as an essential industry sector as a lesson learned from China – that should the need arise, the Construction Industry can be use for the immediate construction of temporary facilities in assisting the Government to fight against COVID-19.

Just recently, The Alberta Construction Association, through the Calgary Construction Association, issued a Guide for Pandemic Planning for the Construction Industry. The Guide is based on collective policies and practices that are being followed by a number of General and Trade Contractors. The main objective of the guide is the health and protection of workers and others in the field. Jobsite sanitation measures, social distancing and strong risk management must be implemented at all times.

In most consulting firms where their main role in a project involves design drawings, coordination and project supports – system will be in place for work-from-home policies through online collaboration among stake holders.

The challenge is up to when those small and medium consulting and construction firms can sustain their finances in order to pay their workers. If the stakeholders and project proponents are willing to gamble to continue the project with all these uncertainties and the Government continues to provide support for those who are affected – this challenge can be overcome.

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