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Sensum: how the construction industry is affected by COVID-19

March 27, 2020
Sensum: how the construction industry is affected by COVID-19

How will COVID-19 affect the construction industry?

The COVID-19 outbreak is providing an ever changing and challenging environment for Australian businesses and teams. Fortunately, within the construction industry, the shock has been absorbed relatively early and we are able to put strategies in place for when the situation develops and as we gain a greater understanding.

As shared by Master Builders Australia, construction sites are currently included in essential activities and are therefore not required to shut down under the Victorian State Government’s stage two restrictions. Clear guidelines have been developed for members to follow to ensure their sites can stay safe and open, such as social distancing, strict hygiene practices and separation of workers on meal breaks. Sensum is aware that coronavirus may cause disruptions to the sector’s supply chain and construction activity. However, our projects continue to progress on schedule.

The government’s introduction of a $17.6 billion stimulus package has aided the construction industry to brace for change and reduce cash flow pressures. It is predicted that the impact on the construction industry will likely be felt most in the second half of 2020.

How can prefabricated and modular construction assist?

The nature of offsite construction means our buildings are manufactured in a controlled environment, allowing ample space for workers to perform their individual jobs. Secondly, less requirement for workers onsite means a lower possibility of transition for coronavirus between team members. Essentially, these two factors result in increased ability to maintain social distancing, mitigating the risk of exposure more so than in a regular construction environment.

Modular construction’s quickened delivery times means we can provide rapid solutions to the increasing demand of health care facilities. We have already seen some fantastic examples of this in Wuhan, China. Two modular hospitals were built in just over a week in response to strained resources as a result of the outbreak. This increased need for shorter construction times along with desires for guaranteed cost certainty and building performance is predicted to result in growth for the modular construction industry in the coming year.

Looking ahead, some delivery delays may be expected from China as a source of building material imports to Australia. However manufacturing and exports are beginning to recommence in affected areas of China. Furthermore, Sensum South Australia’s commitment to sourcing 95% materials and labour from local South Australian sources will prove to be a great benefactor of local industry

What is Sensum is doing to support our team and clients?

Sensum is thoughtfully working to ensure that our team is fully supported and unified during this unprecedented period. The focus at this stage is on being transparent and maximising communication with the team and our clients to ensure they feel best equipped to deal with the current circumstances. We have made appropriate plans to ensure we are prepared for further changes. We remain committed to continue delivering optimal service.

We are implementing safe working practices for our team, including alternative working arrangements. We have increased our use of Microsoft Teams and Zoom for meetings, daily team huddles & check-ins. The Sensum Wolf Pack has also taken fantastic initiative to connect and stay positive with remote sessions for group meditation, software training, guitar jamming and evening drinks.

We acknowledge that the situation is ever-changing. We are realistic that upcoming government strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve, may affect our projects and our team. At this stage we are optimistic and are strategically preparing to tackle this crisis and thrive in the future.

Our lines of communication remain the same and we encourage you to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Stay safe and look after one another.

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