The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the construction industry as much as anyone. Many construction projects not deemed essential were shut down. Those that continued needed to work within government mandates for social distancing. This new normal dealt a serious blow to construction companies, increasing bankruptcy filings. How can the construction sector address these challenges? A new paper in the Journal of Management in Engineering provides some guidance.

Guidelines for Responding to COVID-19 Pandemic: Best Practices, Impacts, and Future Research Directions”, by Rayan Assaad, and Islam H. El-adaway, offers a proactive discussion of the new normal for the construction industry. Learn more about its findings and recommendations in the abstract below, then by reading the full paper in the ASCE Library.


Due to the novelty of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the lack of measurable data, not enough research studies have been conducted to provide guidelines for responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This paper addresses this critical knowledge gap through a methodology comprising two main steps. The first step involved reviewing the updated industry best practices developed by various organizations and government entities. The second step involved investigating the impacts of the coronavirus based on the available resources and expert opinions, which also were used to develop a synopsis of emerging research topics. This paper provided various beneficial outcomes and findings. First, the paper presents a concise and integrated resource of COVID-19–related best practices for the construction industry. Second, the paper determined that the pandemic is perceived to have short- and long-term impacts—including negative and positive consequences—on four main facets: (1) workforce-related issues; (2) project and workplace considerations; (3) procurement and supply chain implications; and (4) contractual, legal, and insurance aspects. Third, the paper provides future research streams and directions that could be examined by future studies to help in the transition toward the new normal. Ultimately, this paper adds to the body of knowledge by offering practitioners and researchers guidelines for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the construction sector.

Read the full paper in the ASCE Library: