The construction industry has seen some massive changes within the past few years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent supply chain issues. During the pandemic, the cost of building materials at one point increased by almost twenty percent, throwing a wrench in the works for countless building projects.
Private residential projects were particularly affected. But Keith Clarke, senior estimator and project manager for Salisbury, MD construction company Noland Mechanical, has worked through these challenges for the greater benefit of the company and its employees.
Because of the pandemic, many construction jobs were halted or altogether scrapped. Particularly in 2020, companies were forced to close, which caused a massive backlog of work. Some restrictions also required construction job sites to close, putting workers at a disadvantage and delaying construction of buildings that eventually caused major problems for people in virtually every industry.
Companies were also required to spend more time on things like sanitizing tools and figuring out special scheduling that meant staggered shifts for workers to avoid interpersonal contamination and spread of the virus. Overall, this decreased efficiency and therefore brought down profits by a considerable margin. According to Keith D. Clark, Noland Mechanical’s struggle with these issues was minimized because they offer Design-Build services.
What makes Design-Build services so effective? In addition to pandemic difficulties like supply chain issues, decrease in employees, and scheduling problems, the construction industry can face delays because of all kinds of issues, including pending approvals, withheld funds, and conflict between owners, architects, and contractors. With Design-Build services like those offered by Noland Mechanical, everyone (owner, architect, engineers, contractors) works together as a team.
When everyone’s working together on a project, it means greatly increased production because of equal accountability from everyone; there’s much less conflict and finger-pointing between groups. It also means reduced lawsuits because of the shared accountability. In standard construction projects, the architect can withhold payment to contractors if they believe the contractors are underperforming.
“With Design-Build, everyone’s collaborating, which means a lot less back-and-forth between everyone who is working on a project,” says Clark.
In a global economy where supply-chain issues, backlogged projects, increased material costs, and rapidly increasing transportation costs can cause major efficiency issues, the streamlined nature of Design-Build projects leaves everyone happier– and lowers costs, which is particularly important in a rapidly changing economy.
It’s this increased level of efficiency that makes Noland Mechanical stand out from the crowd. When other companies were forced to shutter or lay off employees, Noland was able to keep things running smoothly by shifting focus toward areas of construction that remain more consistent than private residential housing.
For example, while some job sites were forced to close down, other projects, like government-subsidized housing, were accelerated due to increased demand. Noland Mechanical’s shifted focus included government-subsidized and commercial projects, which were less affected by global issues in general.
Keith D. Clark asserts that HVAC design is more important than ever, particularly for commercial projects. It’s always been nice to have well-ventilated and efficiently climate-controlled spaces, but having great ventilation can make a building much safer than it might otherwise be– which has a positive effect on public health and safety.
Even though many industries are still up in the air as a result of global issues, Keith D. Clark and Noland Mechanical are ready to stay afloat. Their diversified approach to the construction industry, as well as the Design-Build services they offer, mean increased productivity, greater efficiency, and therefore increased profits. As the economy slowly recovers, Noland Mechanical is in the perfect position for rapid growth and expansion.
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