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COVID-19 & AEC Update: March 20, 2020

DBIA’s mission is to provide the best resources available to help inform and empower our industry. In these uncertain times, that mission is even more important. As our communities fight the Coronavirus, we are working to find the best information available to help design-build teams navigate the unknown. This daily newsletter will provide the latest COVID-19 news for the AEC community.

Design-builders deliver in times of crisis and we will again.

If you have COVID-19 news impacting the AEC industry from your organization, state or community please email us.

March 20th


FEMA Asks Army Corps to Help Build Emergency Health Facilities-ENR. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to plan the addition of medical facilities needed to boost capacity requirements stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak, but the Corps says it has not yet received a mission request.

A Torrent of Job Losses Threatens to Overwhelm the U.S. Economy-New York Times. New filings for unemployment benefits rose 30 percent last week amid cutbacks and shutdowns over the coronavirus crisis.

State News

Governments Look to Convert Empty College Dorms Into Temporary Medical Centers-Route Fifty. Leaders in several states say they are working with universities to see if dorms could be temporarily converted into medical centers for those who test positive for coronavirus and need treatment, but are not so acutely ill that they must be in a hospital setting.

Mapping high-impact construction projects across the US-Construction Dive. Interactive map tracks projects or cities that have halted construction due to the pandemic.


Gov. Gavin Newsom orders all Californians to stay at home-Los Angeles Times. The mandatory order allows Californians to continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats.


Construction sites still open – but Coronavirus slowing some projectsMiami Herald. Capping the number of people on-site and following government guidelines on sanitizing and social distancing, companies in Florida are maintaining construction sites as best they can.

New York

Building Trades Employers Association Calls for Mayor de Blasio to Keep Construction Sites Open-BTEA News Release. “If construction shuts down, then maintenance and repair of all critical transportation infrastructure – which is essential for health emergencies – shuts down with it.”

Why Is Construction Still Happening During the COVID-19 Outbreak?-Gothamist. “There is a lot of uncertainty around construction workers right now…we know that in times of crisis like these, the last people that get to receive support or are the most affected workers … are the low-wage, immigrant workers and communities as a whole.”


Wolf orders 1000s of ‘non-life-sustaining’ businesses to close-Times Leader. Gov. Tom Wolf issued a sweeping shutdown order to tens of thousands of “non-life-sustaining” businesses Thursday, decreeing they must close their physical locations by 8 p.m. to slow the spread of the coronavirus or face enforcement by state police and other government agencies. The list includes construction.


Construction Firms Respond to Mask Donation Need-ENR. Construction firms have begun responding to Vice President Mike Pence’s March 17 call for facemask donations to health care facilities.

How contractors are responding to the COVID-19 crisis-Construction Dive. The growing COVID-19 crisis has roiled the U.S. construction industry from coast to coast, with contractors large and small mired in uncertainty and wondering what their next steps should be.

Force Majeure and COVID-19 in construction contracts – What you need to knowBD+C. While most construction contracts contain these provisions, they are often not understood in relation to the implications they may have on construction projects. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all taking a closer look at many portions of our contracts.

New Berlin construction company donates excess N-95 masks for local healthcare workers amid shortage-WDJT. Brian Fisher, Vice President of Operations at Anderson Ashton Design-Build, says he’s responding to that call, even with his construction crew still needing masks themselves.

Contact our editors if you have COVID-19 news impacting the AEC industry to share.