What is the real impact of COVID-19 on activity in the construction sector? How long do owners and developers think it will take to return to pre-COVID productivity? What long term changes do industry leaders expect to see emerge from this crisis?
Procore put these and other questions to U.S. and Canadian senior executives in its Construction Owner and Developer Survey.
The results provide a snapshot of that leading segment’s market sentiment at an arguable crossroads for the industry. COVID-19’s tsunami-like ripple effect has seen the construction project owner maneuvered into a unique risk environment.
The respondents said they’d taken the following actions:
- 80% created new procedures
- 41% established staggered jobsite schedules to allow for social distancing
- 44% shutdown some project job sites completely.
In addition, 90% found it important to implement work-from-home scenarios.
Respondents also identified COVID-dictated changes they feel have the best chance of being adopted long-term:
- 78% – Increased use of collaboration technology
- 56% – Increased use of safety technology
- 37% – New project bidding and contracting structures
- 27% – A more robust or diversified global supply chain.
Aggregated responses to Procore’s survey show owners and developers anticipating a range of effects—including decreased capital spends, tightened lending, broad adoption of construction management technologies, and ultimately an industry rebound.
According to survey results, a majority of owners expect an economic rebound by the end of 2020 and are taking positive, actionable lessons from the austere business practices and worker safety considerations obliged by the pandemic. Responses show hints of an owner and developer industry fortifying itself, preparing to emerge from the current difficulties with a strong hand.
In Procore’s survey, owners and developers predicted COVID-19’s impact on their projects to take many forms. Supply chain mayhem, project delays, tenant lease renegotiations—from materials vendor to apartment renter, the scale and depth of the global emergency promised a commonality of disruption that had the effect of uniting once-disparate project stakeholders in the construction owner ecosystem.