There’s no denying that COVID-19 is going to have massive impacts on the economy—locally, within regional economies, nationally, and the global economy, too. It’s a challenge that every sector will face, construction included.
But it’s not all bad! The U.S. economy is resilient, and it relies on things like innovation, growth, and expansion. That’s why the construction industry will play a large part in the revitalization of our economy. Few other sectors see the innovation that the construction industry does what with new advancements to eco-friendly and energy efficient technologies. Growth and expansion? There will always be a demand for new residential and commercial buildings, and in many places, like Boston, the population is growing, which demands expansion no matter what the economy is doing.
Brighter times are coming. Let’s look at a few of the ways that construction will play a key role in rebuilding our economy.
Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Demand Innovation
This is one area in which construction will grow no matter what happens with COVID-19 and the economy. Climate change is one of the biggest looming issues of the future, and that means homeowners and businesses alike are sharing the burden of retrofitting homes and commercial properties to be more energy efficient. Energy efficiency improvements are also in high demand simply because they save money. Modern innovation means homeowners and property managers can slash utility bills—and that makes the cost of retrofits and green buildings extremely worthwhile.
Demand for green building will surge in part because people want to save money and in part because this lowers the carbon emissions contributing to climate change. The construction sector definitely has room to grow here—and that growth will help revitalize the economy.
Reduced Traffic Means Now is the Time to Make Transit Improvements
This is one way that the construction industry can keep working—and help keep the economy moving. Right now, we’re seeing a worldwide reduction in traffic with all the stay at home orders in place, and that’s likely something that will continue for quite some time as governments continue quarantines and as cautious citizens stay home to protect themselves.
For the construction industry, this is a blessing in disguise. Reduced traffic makes it much easier to work on transit projects, be they roads, parking facilities, airports, or bus and rail lines.
Look for Construction to Expand in the Healthcare Sector
If COVID-19 has underscored one thing, it’s the need for more healthcare facilities, not only to tend the population during a pandemic, but to handle normal operating conditions, too. In fact, in Boston, we’ve seen healthcare as one of the key construction sectors that never shut down despite the pandemic. Because healthcare projects are considered crucial, work has been ongoing, which has helped construction businesses stay afloat. Expect growth in this sector as we move forward.
An Affordable Housing Boom on the Horizon?
Before the pandemic struck, Boston was already facing a serious housing shortage. Rents and housing costs have been on the rise as the population grows and strains the supply of available housing units. Even with COVID-19, that hasn’t changed. Housing is still in high demand in Boston and homeowners are still facing high costs and limited availability.
This means that at some point, the construction industry within the city will be tasked with tending to this housing shortage. As of right now, construction is still shut down on residential projects, but Boston’s Mayor Walsh is hopeful that work will resume on these projects soon.
COVID-19 has certainly caused a lot of challenges, but nothing that we can’t overcome in the coming weeks, months and years. If there’s one thing that we can all count on, it’s that the construction industry will be one of the key players involved in the revitalization of the American economy. Even though times may be tight right now, if you’re involved in this industry, then there’s a bright and busy future coming!