Redefining Resilience in Construction: How Resilient Do Our Buildings and Businesses Need to Be in Today's World? | Construction Podcasts

Listen to a discussion of the Spotlight Article from the Q3 2019 USG/USCC Commercial Construction Index (CCI) report, focused on resilience in construction, both in the buildings we create and in the businesses themselves. Below is a transcription of this construction podcast.

                                     Ben Johnson:

Hello and welcome to a short episode of "A Podcast That Builds". Today's topic is about resilience in construction and we're joined by resident expert, Donna Laquidara-Carr. Welcome, Donna.

 

Donna Laquidara-Carr:

Thank you, Ben.

 

Ben Johnson:

So, this quarter the spotlight is on resilience in construction. Why do you think contractors’ perspectives are relevant on this issue?

 

Donna Laquidara-Carr: 

Well, how contractors build, the materials they choose, and the other decisions they make. This clearly has an impact on how resilient the final building is going to be. And yet very little attention has been paid to contractors. Concern about resiliency and ironically is the survey actually ended up showing this quarter that even the contractors themselves largely regard the owners and we know to a lesser degree the architects as the most influential on how resilient the project is. They don't regard their peers or themselves as terribly influential in how resilient a project is at all.

 

Ben Johnson:                    

So, what else did contractors report about the resilience of their projects?

 

Donna Laquidara-Carr: 

Well, they think that owners really do care about resilience in construction, but less than a quarter of them think that that interest is actually increasing. So I think it seems like it's more about wanting good durable buildings, something that owners have always wanted rather than a specific reaction to climate change and severe weather concerns. And we see about two, you know most of the contractors, about two thirds think that the resilient building codes are necessary. There really are very positive about the need for those and the highest percentage that the existing codes are at least moderately effective, far more than those who think that they're highly effective. So really does suggest that they see room for improvement in in the codes in this country.

 

Ben Johnson:                    

So, were there any other particularly interesting findings on resilience in construction?

 

Donna Laquidara-Carr: 

So now the most interesting finding in my opinion was when we asked them about the resiliency of their own businesses, 75% of general contractors said that they had experienced scheduled delays due to extreme weather events. So this is very common now. It doesn't happen on all projects. Most of them said it happened, you've just done a few projects. But nonetheless to have 75% of the industry having to deal with it on at least one project is a pretty notable number. Um, on the other hand we asked them about how they deal with this and only 61% consider what the impact of whether when they calculate their bids and only 45% have project risk meant a mitigation plans for natural disasters. Even though only a small percentage of those projects were affected with severe weather events, these are events are happening much more frequently. Um, that's pretty much been documented and they're likely to increase in the near future even more. So it's clearly something the industry needs to consider.

 

Ben Johnson:                    

So that's very interesting and a worth checking out the report, which is linked in the show notes for some more information on resiliency, but, what do you have planned for next quarter, Q4 2019's topic?

 

Donna Laquidara-Carr: 

Well, we're going to look again at the attitudes about advanced technology. We looked at those last year. I'm at the end of the year and we're going to pick that one up again because things are changing so rapidly in that area that we want to be able to see a, you know, what's new and what, what people are thinking about right now. We actually are going to split it a little bit though. We're going to actually also ask a few question about women in construction and how we can draw more women into the industry.

 

Ben Johnson:                    

Well, that sounds great. I look forward to talking to you about that in a few months’ time.

 

Donna Laquidara-Carr: 

All right. Thank you for always having me.

 

Ben Johnson:                    

Thanks for listening to "A Podcast That Builds". The CCI report on which the show is based as available for free at construction.com or you can follow the link in the show notes. You can reach Dodge at construction.com or at 877-784-9556 that's all for this one. We'll see you next time.