The construction industry, which mirrors the economy, is expected to take a huge blow from the extended lockdown clamped to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing automation in public spaces and rising awareness about antibacterial construction materials is expected to boost the construction industry. However, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for construction equipment and materials is expected to show a sharp decline. The global construction market size is expected to decline from USD 11,217.4 billion in 2019 to USD 10,566.8 billion in 2020. However, the industry is showing signs of recovery since the beginning of 2021 and is expected to reach a market size of USD 13,572.4 billion in 2024, projecting a CAGR of 6.0% between 2020 and 2024.
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Globally, construction is more than USD 11 trillion industry, of which residential construction is the largest sector. The occurrence of COVID-19 has caused disruption in the residential construction sector. The transformation of COVID-19 from a China-centric challenge to a global pandemic has resulted in the shifting of the impact to the global construction supply chains and markets.
Operations had stopped or limited in to adhere to the government rules for ensuring the safety of the employees. However, many companies were operating in some countries where the construction industry is listed under essential activities. For many companies, the digitally enabled functions, for instance, design, were continue, but the operational or site-related work is completely suspended. Labor shortage, near-total restrictions on logistics and transport have disrupted supply chains, creating a scarcity of raw materials.
Over the past years, companies have strengthened their position in the global construction industry by adopting expansions, partnerships, agreements, new product/technology launches, joint ventures, contracts, and mergers & acquisitions. However, due to the lockdown announced by several countries in 2020, the demand for materials and equipment in the construction sector has declined sharply.
For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused contractors to pivot to new ways of working on ongoing projects. The renovation work of the University of Delaware’s Worrilow Hall academic building carried out by Skanska was also initially impacted by COVID-19. The company authorities had to rethink on their project plans as materials and workers became scarce. In addition, there was a limit on travel, which made some team members unable to visit the job site. Apart from this, the government and CDC orders mandated new requirements for job site cleanliness. The above-mentioned factors were seriously taken into consideration by the company. Skanska has been following city and state guidelines along with university rules and regulations and working closely and collaboratively with its clients and partners. As a result, the renovation activity of the Worrilow Hall continued during the lockdown, and the Hall is set to reopen in the next few months.
Despite all the preventive measures, the company faces delays in the manufacturing and delivery of equipment and materials, and there was a reduction in the workforce in the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, working collaboratively with the university and subcontractors, the company split the workforce into a morning shift and an afternoon shift to allow for better social distancing.
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The major manufacturers profiled in this report include Bechtel Group (US), Balfour Beatty (UK), Grupo ACS (Spain), China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (China), L&T Construction (India), PCL Construction Enterprises (Canada), and Skanska Construction (Sweden). The construction business of these companies is severely affected due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disruption in the supply chain has compelled the companies to operate in partial capacities.
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