Industry News: COVID-19 Updates  

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) is Congressionally mandated to assist the built environment, bringing experts to the table to discuss and tackle challenges that face our industry. This responsibility is more critical than ever.

Our team has come together to personally curate and build a resource for those looking for recent developments, financial assistance information, webinars and events, continuing education, and other impacts of the coronavirus on the building sector. This collection of resources will live permanently on the Whole Building Design Guide–WBDG where this new resource hub is regularly updated as new information becomes available.

Our No. 1 priority during this unprecedented time is the safety and health of our workforce. We aim to improve lives through collaboration, and it’s our hope this information will fit the needs of the industry. If you have a news item or information that you would like included, please send it to wbdg@nibs.org.

Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers: Defense Industrial Base, Energy, Dams, Healthcare & Public Health, Chemical, Communications, Government Facilities, Nuclear Reactors, Materials & Waste, Information Technology, Commercial Facilities, Transportation Systems, Financial, Water & Wastewater, Emergency Services, Food & Agriculture, Critical Manufacturing
May 4, 2020
From ASHRAE Task Force: HVAC Systems Should Be Checked Before Buildings Reopen, Due to COVID-19

ACHR NEWS interviewed Dennis Knight, PE, FASHRAE, member of ASHRAE's Epidemic Task Force, and principal/engineer at Whole Building Systems in Charleston, SC, about how contractors can help commercial building owners make sure their HVAC systems are operating safely and efficiently after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and occupants start returning to work. Knight outlines minimum requirements for inspection of HVAC, and refers readers to ASHRAE Standard 180-2018, Standard Practice for the Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • HVAC
Read More:
May 4, 2020
MA High Technology Council Develops Back-to-Workplace Strategy

The Massachusetts High Technology Council has assembled a team of experts to help operationalize the White House "Opening America" framework for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The team has produced a report, "The War on COVID-19," which outlines a framework for the state’s recovery and return to work. The plan centers on sequencing segments of the workforce returning to work, according to risk to lower hospitalization rate; while waiting for a vaccine, implementing effective treatments to curb hospitalization and fatality rates; and implementing policies and procedures to reduce the rate of spread.

Topics
  • COVID-19
May 1, 2020
May Day: Construction Reopens in PA with State Guidance in Place

Construction businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are permitted to open on May 1, with state guidance detailing social distancing, sanitation measures, and the need for a pandemic safety officer on site. State guidelines were developed using guidance created by the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania. Local governments may choose to impose stricter measures. The governor's guidance also permits in-person inspection and appraisals for all construction projects authorized under this guidance to begin on May 1.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Facility Construction
Apr 30, 2020
Gensler Develops An Air Filtration Primer for Building Owners and Developers

Inspired by a recent panel discussion with their firm and three leading mechanical engineering firms, Gensler staff pulled together a collection of tips from MEP experts on how to improve indoor air quality to meet the challenge of viral threats. The primer covers methods to eliminate airborne pathogens in existing buildings, as well as design strategies for new buildings.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Indoor Air Quality
Read More:
Apr 30, 2020
Washington State Builders, Labor Reps, Hammer Out Phase One Reopening Requirements Together

An advisory group in Washington state comprised of the Associated General Contractors of Washington, Building Industry Association of Washington, Association of Washington Business and 3 labor groups: Washington Building Trades and the Operating Engineers' and Carpenters' union, has devised a three-pronged approached toward reopening construction projects, beginning with low-risk commercial, residential, and road projects that already have started. An April 22 article by Benjamin Mennick in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce presents Phase One jobsite requirements in detail.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Facility Construction
Apr 30, 2020
Autodesk Partners with FMI for Industry Survey on Trust

Last year, Autodesk partnered with FMI to survey more than 2,500 construction professionals worldwide. Participants were asked to rank the level of trust within their own organization and between collaborators on projects. The study suggests that businesses and project teams not only can measure trust, but actively improve it. Construction firms can take proactive steps to build stronger relationships, deliver more certain outcomes and, ultimately, improve their profitability. The survey report, "Trust Matters: The High Cost of Low Trust," is available for free download.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Workplace Productivity
Read More:
Apr 29, 2020
Architects Ponder the Future of Work

Dwell magazine's Jennifer Baum Lagdameo penned “Architects and Designers Weigh in on the Future,” from discussions with members of seven firms who predict what work will be like after the COVID-19 crisis, and we adjust to the "new normal." Take a look at designs that promote social distancing, teleworking, and new ways to make workwise connections.

Topics
  • Architecture
  • COVID-19
Read More:
Apr 29, 2020
Gensler Architect Depicts "A Day in the Life" After Returning to the Office in China

Architect Francois Chimier gives us a compelling, diarylike account of the security and cleaning/disinfecting gauntlets he encounters when putting in a day at his office in Beijing. Personal tracking, a gamut of phone apps, and toothpicks for touching elevator buttons—along with the "usual" hand sanitizers and masks and social distancing rules—all have become de rigueur.

Topics
  • Architecture
  • COVID-19
Read More:
Apr 28, 2020
BOMA Offers Post-Covid-19 Building Preparation Guidelines

BOMA International recently released its Getting Back to Work: Preparing Buildings for Re-Entry Amid COVID-19 report to offer guidance to building owners for preparing commercial properties for the safe return of office tenants, building personnel, visitors, vendors, and contractors. The report identifies planning, operational, and safety procedures as well as protocols that should be implemented, updated, or enhanced for the post-COVID-19 world. The guidance document provides a framework for phased development of individual property or portfolio plans.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Facility Management
Read More:
Apr 27, 2020
CISA Guidelines Detail Measures to Protect Critical Personnel and Equipment

The Office of the Interagency Security Committee recently led the development of Critical Infrastructure Operations Centers and Control Rooms Guide for Pandemic Response on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This document, geared toward all 16 critical infrastructure sectors, provides considerations and mitigation measures for operations centers and control rooms, but can be applied further to any critical node that is required to continue functioning in a pandemic environment.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Infrastructure
  • Security
Read More:
Apr 26, 2020
Construction Dive Interprets New Normal

Construction Dive electronic newsletter has taken a "deep dive" look at what the new normal will be for construction in the post-COVID-19 world. The feature outlines 8 major changes to construction in this new world, including predictions on union influence, change in project-type demand, and what will happen with modular construction.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Facility Construction
Read More:
Apr 24, 2020
Dodge Study Indicates Contractors Expect Worst COVID-19 Effects to Hit in the Next Three Months

To better understand the degree of impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry, Dodge Data & Analytics conducted a survey of 172 contractors across the U.S. from March 19 to March 31. The results of that study, published in the Keeping Business Going in a Time of Crisis: Findings from the Dodge Contractor Panel Study on Contractors’ State of Business During the COVID-19 Outbreak white paper, reveals that most contractors are feeling at least some impact. Dodge has also made a suite of tools for contractors and other construction industry professionals available on its website.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Economics
Apr 24, 2020
Continually Updated in ARCHITECT magazine: Here's How Architects, Designers, and Makers Can Help and Volunteer in the Coronavirus Era

ARCHITECT magazine Editor Wanda Lau presents the many ways architecture firms are giving back, from designing emergency health-care facilities to 3D-printing masks to teaching classes for their colleagues. And there’s ice cream involved.

Topics
  • Architecture
  • COVID-19
Read More:
Apr 23, 2020
UL COVID-19 Support Center Highlights Real-Time Regulatory Changes and Updates to Enable Remote Audits

UL is offering a new COVID-19 Support and Service Center that’s designed to provide emergency response services to help businesses respond to the pandemic. The support center also offers UL updates related to the pandemic, including changes to enable remote audits and witnessed testing, resources to manage UL projects and follow-up service, and tools to highlight real-time regulatory changes and aid searches for alternative materials or components. Additionally, Underwriters Laboratories, UL's nonprofit affiliate, identified 23 of its standards that can help to fight COVID-19 Learn more—including how to access the documents for free—at UL.org

Topics
  • Code Compliance
  • COVID-19
Read More:
Apr 23, 2020
AIA Billings Index Indicates COVID-19's Serious Impacts on Firms' Businesses

Billings at architecture firms plummeted in March as the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) fell by 20.1 points to a score of 33.3 for the month (a score over 50 indicates increasing billings, a score below 50 indicates declining billings). This is by far the largest single month decline the index has seen in its nearly 25-year history, far surpassing the declines of 9.4 points seen at the start of the 2001 recession and 8.3 points seen at the start of the Great Recession. It reflects just how quickly and fundamentally business conditions have changed across the country and around the world in the last month as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ABI also indicated staggering drops in future work. Also of interest are ways that firms surveyed say they are "belt tightening" in wake of the downturn.

Topics
  • Architecture
  • COVID-19
  • Economics
Read More:
Apr 22, 2020
NECA Hosts Safety Stand-Down for the COVID-19 Pandemic

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) will host a nationwide Safety Stand Down for COVID-19 on April 29. Electrical contractors across the country will invite employees, subcontractors, owners, architects, and engineers to join the event to review company protocols and jobsite conditions, and ask questions, bringing focus to health and safety guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Electrical
Read More:
Apr 21, 2020
ESRI Invites Industry to Share COVID-19 "Maps and Apps"

ESRI, constructor of ArcGIS mapping and spatial analytics software, invites members of the building industry to help and inspire others around the world by sharing maps and apps related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The group invites sharing of Apps, ArcGIS Story Maps, and ArcGIS Hub Sites. Visit the ESRI website to contribute and view submissions.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Geotechnical
Read More:
Apr 20, 2020
BOMA International Establishes Coronavirus Resource Center

BOMA International has established a continually updated website, designed especially to provide commercial real estate professionals with credible information on how to mitigate the potential health and business impacts of COVID-19. The site contains a series of guidance papers and links to a number of recorded webinars. Also of interest is a detailed analysis of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and its potential effect on businesses, employees, and tenants.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Facility Management
Read More:
Apr 20, 2020
On-Demand Webinar: Is Your Firm Prepared? Business Continuity Planning for Architects

Floods, cyber attacks, pandemics, and unexpected staff absences are just a few of the risks that can prevent architecture firms from remaining open and profitable during disaster and disruption. And yet only 22% of firms with 1–19 employees have a business continuity plan. This on-demand offering of AIA's exclusive live course explores the business impacts of common and timely hazard events and reviews the essentials of business continuity planning. It also will introduce AIA's newest free member resource, The Architect's Guide to Business Continuity, which, when implemented, will leave firms with the confidence to weather any storm. The webinar is free for AIA members; $10 for non-members.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Project Management
Read More:
Apr 17, 2020
BD&C Website Offers "Must Read" Updates on How Industry is Affected by the Virus

Building Design & Construction (BD&C) for the past month has been collecting articles from around the industry to share how AEC firms are coping with the crisis. Additionally, BD&C, in conjunction with the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), is conducting a survey of the effect of the virus on the ability of AEC professionals to gain and conduct projects. The survey will be distributed biweekly to measure changes in business conditions. The current version will close on Tuesday, April 28, at midnight ET. Findings are published biweekly on the BD&C website, as well through SMPS channels.

Topics
  • Architecture
  • COVID-19
Apr 16, 2020
Gensler’s "Dialog" Website Explores Design for a Healthier World

AE firm Gensler has created a webspace that explores ideas for creating workplaces and other environments for the post-shelter-in-place era. Topics include "Understanding the Touchless Workplace,," "What Happens When We Return to the Workplace," and "Designing Health Care for Surge Capacity."

Topics
  • Architecture
  • COVID-19
  • Workplace Productivity
Read More:
Apr 15, 2020
USGBC Provides Learning Lab Resources; K-12 Lessons for Kids Learning at Home

USGBC's Learning Lab online education platform offers lessons and activities that are well-suited for distance learning and many that are ideal for implementing at home, while being academically rigorous and fostering sustainability literacy. Many of these lessons are free; an annual subscription is $40. Additionally, many of USGBC's Learning Lab Partners have mobilized to provide training and experiences that can help educators and parents succeed for the sake of students. USGBC offers a wealth of additional educational resources, including a summer high school toolkit, lessons for educators to use for distance learning, at-home lessons, and even 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) at home.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Sustainable
Read More:
Apr 15, 2020
AGCS Offers Insurance and Risk Mitigation Guidance

The Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), a global corporate insurance carrier, offers a series of articles providing guidance on topics pertaining to COVID-19. Topics covered include underwriting impact, claims handling, and risk mitigation and loss prevention.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Risk Management
Read More:
Apr 14, 2020
ICC Continues Ongoing Free Webinar Series

The building safety industry is adapting to ensure that it can continue to perform its public safety mission while addressing concerns over COVID-19. To offer support at this time, the International Code Council (ICC) has compiled pertinent informative webinars for all to think about as they navigate these uncharted waters. All these webinars are free. After each event takes place, its recording is made available on the ICC web site. See the WBDG Industry Events calendar for upcoming webinars.

Topics
  • Code Compliance
  • COVID-19
Apr 14, 2020
Futurist Sees an Economy with Resilience Equity

Architect and Futurist Gregory S. Knoop, AIA, tells us that like it or not, the months of sequestration from the COVID-19 crisis will change the way we work, the way we view purchasing, and what we need. He outlines how it will change the way the economy of the future takes shape that can be both resilient and sustainable.

Topics
  • COVID-19
  • Sustainable
Read More:

Pages