Climate Change: What It Means for the Industry and How Technology Can Help

March 7, 2019 Karli Langner

A recent article on discussed the impact that climate change has on the construction industry. The construction industry has one of the lowest profit margins in comparison to other major industries. Tiny, unexpected weather mishaps can deem some projects unprofitable. Climate change can threaten worker safety, cause delays, and boost materials design, manufacturing, and insurance costs.

Worker Safety Scares

Excessive weather conditions and exposure to these conditions are resulting in increased worker compensation claims and subsequent project delays. It’s also been reported that strong wind conditions have resulted in injury due to falling or being hit by construction debris.

Excessive Delays

The estimated cost of weather-related delays in the United States alone approaches $4 billion. Some specific examples include excessive rains turning mud or shallow water into deep water. Conversely, excessively dry conditions, on many occasions, make it impossible to begin foundation work on the jobsite. In extreme cases, consecutive weather delays of 30 days or longer may result in missing acceptable construction season entirely, which could require shifting completion into the following years.

Extra Materials Costs

Climate change is driving significant change in construction material composition and manufacturing. Increasingly stronger, lighter and more durable materials are required, which drives the cost of materials up.

Spiked Insurance Rates

Lastly, construction companies increasingly find themselves facing increased insurance costs due to project delays, which are related to extreme weather and labor risks. This means construction companies need to increase the cost of the project to cover rising insurance costs or stop pursuing certain construction projects due to an inability to afford insurance.

Since climate change is not something construction companies can control, they are turning their sights to other aspects of construction that can be controlled through the use of technology. Construction companies are starting to utilize construction applications to keep track of time, materials and equipment.

Climate change is easily felt but not easily quantified. Using technology to track delays, additional equipment, and materials needed to mitigate for the inclement weather would provide such quantification. Additional use of technology related to climate change centers on worker safety. Construction companies increasingly use technology for conducting job safety/job hazard briefings ahead of possible weather flare-ups.

Want to discuss how you can safeguard your operation from climate change issues? Schedule a 15-minute conversation with us to discuss how technologies from Command Alkon can help keep your business running in the midst of unfavorable weather conditions.

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