Modular Building Institute

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A Return to Normal? Let’s Hope Not.

Original Comment:
As a Virginia resident, I am excited but admittedly a little anxious about our state’s return to work policy that begins today. With the mixed messages from the news and our political leaders, it’s hard to know exactly how to move forward. If you are like me, you have seen and heard the phrase “return to normal” dozens of times. Here’s hoping that does not happen for the construction industry! Allow me to explain.

It is a well-documented fact that the construction industry, more so than nearly every other industry has not realized significant gains in productivity in fifty years. McKinsey & Company has thoroughly researched this topic and issued multiple reports.

Before COVID-19, cost overruns on construction projects were the norm. The 2017 McKinsey Global Institute report on construction productivity found that nine out of ten infrastructure megaprojects face cost overruns that add, on average, 70 percent to the original budget. The research also indicated the industry does a poor job of completing projects on time, with 61 percent exceeding the original schedule.

In fact, every aspect of the construction industry was developed under the assumption that all the work would occur on the final building site — including procurement, design, financing, insurance, contracts, logistics, materials handling, labor laws, safety, and building codes. This assumption is no longer valid and no longer serves us well. ALL areas of the construction process must be revisited.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, MBI issued a whitepaper on the impending construction crisis. Affordable housing shortages, massive investments in infrastructure, labor shortages, regulations, and worker safety all need to be addressed. This current crisis highlighted how important the construction industry is, and how it MUST NOT return to normal.

You can read our whitepaper here:
Started on May 15, 2020 by Tom Hardiman
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Additional Comments:
Well put, Tom!
Updated on May 29, 2020 by Stephen Shang

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