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This Week in Construction (and Other) News | 21 June 2020

Beijing Deals another COVID19 outbreak

Just as it seemed China was successfully moving away from the threat of COVID19, Beijing reported a spike in cases that has seen many parts of the city largely shut-down and daily life for its residents affected once again. The BBC reports that the virus was detected on chopping boards at a food market that supplies 80% of the city's meat and vegetables.

Since the latest outbreak was discovered, more than thousands of flights and rail journeys have been cancelled, along with the closure of schools and public spaces.

More than 1,200 flights have been cancelled to and from the city and railway services have been reduced until at least 9 July.
Primary school, middle school, and college classes are suspended, sports teams cannot play, and swimming pools and gyms are closed.

Although businesses and factories remain open, it would seem that the case remains for a future with less reliance on the need for companies to conduct their business in centralised offices.

McKinsey Report that the Construction Industry is Headed for a Revolution

From the outside looking in, it would seem that the construction industry has long been overdue modernisation. Public projects around the world rarely finish on time or on budget, and many high-profile projects end in messy disputes.

Yet those who work within the industry will know only too well that construction has traditionally been a sector resistant to change, leaving production efficiency and cost savings left unclaimed. But a recent report published by high-profile management consultants McKinsey and Company, change is finally coming.

Even the lead authors of McKinsey’s new construction report were surprised by the findings. The scale and speed of the disruption predicted by the global consultant is unprecedented.

Construction News his week broke down the McKinsey report, listing 9 shifts that we can expect to see as the industry is disrupted for the better. These include:

  1. A product-based approach

  2. More specialisation

  3. Value-chain control and integration with industrial-grade supply chains

  4. Consolidation

  5. Customer-centricity and branding

  6. Investment in technology and facilities

  7. Investment in human resources

  8. Internationalisation

  9. Sustainability

One of the bigger changes driving this shift is, reports CN, the fact that construction technology is impacting both blue and white collar staff now.

A Bad Case of Wind

And finally, a construction worker in Pennsylvania was caught short at an inopportune moment. While attending to a call of nature in a site portable toilet, the unfortunate gentleman found his porta-potty blown sideways by a storm and, in the process, unwittingly became the star of a viral video that was viewed by millions online.

This rather embarrassing episode has a happy ending though, as his site-mates started a GoFundMe campaign to fund a holiday for their unlucky colleague.

Check out the video here.

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