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What lessons can construction take from the pandemic?

The global impact of COVID-19 has been undeniable, no industry has remained unaffected by it's spread. When the time comes for the world to begin to return to 'normal' or whatever 'normal' looks like, what lessons can we take from lock down?

In the construction industry it is no secret that sometimes we don't function as efficiently as we could. We are slow to utilise digital tools to make our lives simpler compared to many industries, yet the pandemic could be the metaphorical kick we need to bring about change.

Prior to a new project commencing a pre-start meeting involved all parties travelling to site, in some cases this could involve a hours of travel per person and often an entire day allocated to one meeting. During the pandemic we have seen video conferencing utilised to conduct these meetings remotely, a productive hour long conversation able to still cover 90% of topics to be discussed. The only addition required would be a video walk through of the site which could be done with ease and distributed to all parties.

Utilising technology not only has time saving benefits but also encompasses many environmental benefits if no travel is required. With the undoubted reductions in pollution as a result of the lock down we have no doubt environmental agenda will have a renewed focus with many contractors and subcontractors.

One undeniable factor in working smarter and utilising technology is the cost saving benefit, with site closures affecting many contractor and subcontractor finances during the pandemic, we cannot avoid opportunities to save cost on travel and key individuals being out for entire working days for one meeting.

Moving forward we anticipate construction will follow many industries also utilising blockchain combined with BIM to further enhance how we manage new projects, however that is an entire topic in itself!

We hope out of an incredibly challenging time for everyone, we can take positive lessons from this to make the future more efficient, sustainable and beneficial for the entire construction industry.

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