The construction industry, which mirrors the economy, has taken a huge blow from the frequent lockdowns 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 in the future. However, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for construction equipment and materials have witnessed a sharp decline. The global construction market size is decline from USD 11,217.4 billion in 2019 to USD 10,741.2 billion in 2020. However, the industry showed 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.
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 construction sectors has declined sharply.
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In 2020, 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.
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.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is one of the leading construction contractors in the world. The company is a major technology, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and financial services conglomerate with operations all across the globe. It caters to industries, such as hydrocarbon, infrastructure, power, process industries, and defense. In 2021, L&T joined a national effort to overcome the oxygen shortage. L&T will soon start delivering 22 oxygen generators to various hospitals in India, where the scarcity is most acute. These units will absorb air from the atmosphere before converting it into medical-grade oxygen and pumping it into pre-existing pipes in hospitals.
Bechtel Group Established in 1898, Bechtel Group, Inc. provides engineering and construction services. It caters to industries such as infrastructure, oil & gas, and mining & metals worldwide. The company offers technology, procurement, and project management services. It is into designing and building roads, airports, nuclear power plants, communication networks, mines, pipelines, and oil & gas field development projects. The Bechtel Group Foundation donated USD 3 million to communities globally, coping with the coronavirus pandemic, in partnership with the crowdfunding nonprofit organization GlobalGiving. The newly established Bechtel COVID-19 Relief Fund has supported local nonprofit organizations that provide vital services in areas where Bechtel Corporation maintains offices and project sites.
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