Impacts of COVID-19 on Construction

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This research investigates and quantifies the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the duration and cost of construction projects, focusing specifically on two construction dimensions: supply chain and construction labor productivity. Conclusions on the topic were reached using two methods, namely performing two case studies and using Primavera 6 and Schedule Analyzer software to analyze schedule updates. Each of the case studies utilizes a real-life construction project that was active when the impact of the pandemic was at its peak (April 2020). The data also includes interviews with project managers and progress meeting minutes. Results reveal that COVID-19 has impacted the progress of construction in two ways: 1) delays resulting from the shutdown of the manufacturing facilities and suppliers that state officials deemed non-essential; 2) labor disruptions resulting from restrictions on gatherings, as well as absenteeism of workers who were either sick with COVID-19 or who were avoiding construction sites and preferred to stay home in response to state officials’ recommendations. The results suggest that contractors should request compensable time extensions, as they establish the basis for a legitimate claim that will lead to modifications of the contract time and/or total dollar amount. Future work may investigate the integration of tools and methods during the bidding and construction process that would mitigate the future impact of similar potential situations due to a pandemic or any other force majeure event. Future work may also investigate impacts of COVID-19 on construction sites outside the United States.