Keep Building during the Corona Crisis
Everyone in construction should do what they can to keep activities going during the current Corona outbreak – with due concern for health and safety. This is the recommendation from Bygherreforeningen (The Danish Association of Construction Clients), Dansk Byggeri (The Danish Construction Association) and Dansk Industri (The Confederation of Danish Industry) who are behind a sleeve of recommendations for everyone employed in the building sector.
The government has launched several initiatives to break the chain of contamination. At the heart of these recommendations are that everyone at the building sites show consideration and exhibit flexibility towards each other. It is also about considering how much can be done digitally – i.e. conducting planning meetings online and about keeping sufficient distance to colleagues, and in being diligent about apply high hygienic standards – i.e decontaminating tools and equipment.
“It is a priority to everyone that we have a strong building sector – also after this crisis. It is therefore important that we do our outmost to keep the sector going even if it is difficult in the current situation”, says Elly Kjems Hove, director at DI Byg.
The government has launched several relief packages to soften the blow to businesses and the economy from the Corona crisis. These packages will help a lot. But the best way to mitigate the crisis is to maintain production while ensuring the recommendation from the health authorities are kept.
“The parties have – through well-functioning cooperation – ensure that sufficient measures are taken at the build sites to respect the recommendations from the authorities”, says Henrik Lindved Bang, Managing director at Bygherreforeningen
More than 175.000 people are currently employed in construction in Denmark, and according to Dansk Byggeri, is it important to secure the liquidity and turnover, so that they– also after the crisis – can be a cornerstone in our society.
“We are in a very serious crisis right now. But if we are careful and considerate towards each other, it will help soften the blow and improve our situation on the other side of this crisis”, says Lars Storr-Hansen, managing director at Dansk Byggeri.
Bygherreforeningen, Dansk Byggeri og Dansk Industri have the following recommendations
- Keep building sites as open as possible – and show flexibility
- Prepare comprehensive plans for the work on site while ensuring furthest possible protection for the workers
- Use digital tools as much as possible – for meetings, documentation, ordering etc. – to keep physical contact to a minimum
- Be upfront and precise about challenges caused by corona, and put forward alternatives that mitigate these
- Be careful when claiming fines due to breaches of contracts. We strongly recommend keeping a proactive dialogue between parties about causes for delays and breaches that are linked to corona related events. Instead try to work out which remedies to use to mitigate the situation without any parties suffers financially
- As a public client / project owner advance payment as many municipalities have already done
- Advance as many planned projects as possible
- As a building owner consider what planned renovation, maintenance, planned service and minor repair works can be advanced in buildings that are currently empty because the staff is working from home
These recommendations are entirely in line with the political agreement that was signed the 19th of March by all parties in the Danish Parliament.
Further, we recommend all relevant authorities to show conduit in terms of approving building permits as fast as possible – ideally allowing digital documentation as much as possible.