Design-Builders Prepare for a "New Normal" - Survey Shows Continuing Uncertainty + Cautious Optimism

June 4, 2020

A new AEC industry poll by the Design-Build Institute of America offers a glimpse into the continually shifting challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses for our industry. The May poll follows-up a similar survey taken early in the pandemic. While a lot has changed in that time there is one constant. Uncertainty still reigns.


What's Changed

More projects have been postponed or canceled, more positive cases of coronavirus on teams have led to more deaths and remote work has gone from a unique experiment to what many say could be a "new normal." A growing number of firms (34%) report working on new projects related to pandemic mitigation, emergency services, and capacity building. From creating alternate care facilities in hotels, convention centers, and dorms to building new capacity in existing hospitals America's, design-build teams have delivered expedited emergency facilities in states nationwide. In the transportation and education sectors, several existing projects have been expedited as less traffic and no students on campus have provided the opportunity for more work.


Looking Ahead

Respondents in this DBIA poll predict projects could become more expensive with the implementation of new safety protocols, commodity cost hikes, and other economic factors in the COVID-19 work environment. They also anticipate longer delivery times as social distancing policies impact scheduling and the use of creative strategies are needed to manage project crews on site. At the same time, Owners' capital is limited and public agencies in states and localities, especially, will face tightening budgets.


Now What?

DBIA is committed to helping our industry prepare for the future and has a number of resources available to the AEC industry navigating the COVID-19 response and recovery.


Revamped Design-Build Curriculum & Certification Schedule: The remainder of DBIA's 2020 education courses, certification workshops and custom training will be virtual to allow maximum flexibility, safety and convenience for design-builders.


Design-Build Contracts + Free Resources: DBIA contract documents are designed and vetted by industry leaders who know what you need to get your project started. In fact, did you know, DBIA's force majeure clause specifically references pandemics? 

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