Concerns about the spread of COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, may prompt some developers and builders to hold off on major new projects for the time being.
That is the opinion of Steve Lesser, a construction attorney with the Florida firm of Becker & Poliakoff, who recently remarked that for the present, “full speed ahead with a planned construction project does not make business sense.’
In an interview with the publication Construction Dive, Lesser said contractors should, at least temporarily, “take a breath, slow down, and know that every day may bring more information, and the more information we have the better we can predict what to do.”
As it now stands, some 70 percent of contractors in a survey conducted by the publication said the most negative fallout so far from the virus was the anxiety it was causing workers.
Only 23 percent of the respondents pointed to a shortage of materials as their most pressing concern.
That materials question is particularly important because of the large role China plays exporting steel, aluminum, and concrete to other countries. Some 20 percent of construction materials in the U.S. are currently imported from China.
Other imported Chinese materials include floor tiles, tempered glass, doors, wood flooring, and fencing.
The country’s prominence as a construction materials exporter is not expected to decline anytime soon, according to the Engineering News-Record, which recently remarked, “We don’t believe by this time in 2021, other countries will have wrestled its advantage away as a low-price supplier.”
By Garry Boulard
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