Effects of pandemic drive what clients look for in design features, how builders procure supplies


Lueder Construction has remained busy, most recently, with the completion of larger multi-family complexes, an expanded senior living facility, church expansions, and several retail and office renovations and additions.

“We are currently seeing far more general contractors bidding smaller projects more frequently in addition to less variety in projects,” said President Greg Key. “That said, CMR [Construction Manager at-Risk], design assist and hard bids continue as usual, as does work in the field.”

As tradesmen fill and diversify pipelines, Key’s team has seen an uptick in new trade partner relationships.

“While procurement of certain materials coming from heavily-quarantined states and countries has caused disruptions, it is refreshing to hear emphasis placed on procurement of American-made materials moving forward,” he said “Conversely, we’ve seen declines in cost for certain materials due to excess supply.”

Key anticipates jobsite hygiene practices will persist, and technology such as live video feeds to limit face-to-face contact will ramp up, as the industry no longer has the option to be “slow-to-adopt” to powerful tech.

The supply chain will play a larger part of planning, but Key anticipates U.S. reshoring will eventually have a positive impact.

“It seems reasonable to anticipate additional costs with potential shortening of delivery times,” he said.

By Michelle Leach, Midlands Business Journal