Best practices can help contractors navigate COVID-19 challenges

23rd April 2020


With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting countless construction projects across the U.S., contractors are seeking ways to mitigate the impacts to their projects and their bottom lines.

In many states, construction projects have been halted, and in others, construction is proceeding—at least for now—as state and local governments try to balance the benefits of maintaining jobs while safeguarding public health. Following is a collection of leading practices that contractors faced with potential work stoppages can employ to mitigate their risk:

Review your Contracts

  • Understand your obligations regarding notice, and provide timely notice per contractual requirements.
    Determine your contractual requirements as they relate to impacts, and understand and adhere to all related local, state and federal mandates.
  • Confirm contractual requirements in writing, along with an expected/estimated cost of the impact.
  • Determine what, if any, security requirements are necessary.
  • Document the Status of the Project and the Start of the Impacting Event Document, in detail, the status of the project and the nature of impacting events, establishing when the impacting event started and why.
  • Gather and organize all relevant COVID-19-related documents, including client directives, meeting minutes, RFIs, status reports and emails.
  • Take photos and video documenting the status of all work, including subcontractor work. (Drones can be particularly useful here.)
  • Document any COVID-19-related notice and direction provided to subcontractors. Review and confirm site staffing; Collect and document the names of all subcontractor personnel, if possible.
  • Determine the planned and actual workforce levels before COVID-19-related impacts.
  • Submit an updated project schedule to the owner that reflects work done prior to COVID-19-related impacts, and make sure to include all subcontractor work in the updated schedule.
  • Set up separate cost codes to track COVID-19-related impact costs, including standby time (if applicable), as well as equipment, demobilization and remobilization costs.
  • Determine if the procurement of any long-lead material or equipment is impacted.

Finish Construction Activities and Inspect the Site

  • Make all reasonable efforts to advance construction activities to a logical shutdown point (e.g., complete concrete pours, enclose or weather-proof structures, and safely secure delivered equipment and materials).
  • Inspect the site with the architect and engineer to ensure that your project will be left in a safe and structurally sound condition.

In our next advisory, we’ll discuss best practices that contractors can employ during a construction shutdown.

This advisory is courtesy of HKA, one of the world’s leading privately owned, independent providers of consulting, expert and advisory services for the construction, manufacturing, process and technology industries.

With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting countless construction projects across the U.S., contractors are seeking ways to mitigate the impacts to their projects and their bottom lines.”
Caryn Fuller, Director, HKA

This publication presents the views, thoughts or opinions of the author and not necessarily those of HKA. Whilst we take every care to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of publication, the content is not intended to deal with all aspects of the subject referred to, should not be relied upon and does not constitute advice of any kind. This publication is protected by copyright © 2024 HKA Global Ltd.


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