items. This allows us to keep routine items in stock, which limits down times when unplanned events happen.
What kind of conversations are you having about the “new normal?”
All contractors are required to agree to our university COVID-19 procedures. In addition, we discuss site specific COVID-19 plans, which include topics such as phasing lunch breaks, limiting the numbers of workers in confined areas, routine cleaning of high touch areas and reporting of COVID-19 positive incidents. During owner/architect/contractor meetings, there is continued review all reports and procedures, including wearing masks and keeping up with cleaning high-touch surfaces.
With everything going on today, what’s your short-term strategy? Long-term?
Short-term – Masks are required by all contractors, max elevator capacities, added sanitation dispensers around campus, high touch surfaces wiped down often, online OAC meetings versus in person. Long-term – This is still in development, but it is likely that the sanitation dispensers will become routine fixtures on campus, along with increased wiping of high touch surfaces.
What’s the best piece of advice you can offer on how to deal with what’s happening right now? It is best to see what your local jurisdiction is doing, and at least follow these standards for a minimum. If it is feasible to make additional adjustments, that is in the best interest of your employees and business.
Give us a rundown of what you’re seeing out there.
We have noticed a slowdown in some requests for projects, but we are working on bringing our UTHealth footprint back on campus with less lease space. This is due to many employees now working remotely.
Today, there are various construction projects happening around the UTHealth campus.
Lab research projects continue to come up, which means our researchers are continuing to receive grants and need to adjust their spaces with the changing times in research, or their new project has different needs than before.
What’s the biggest issue today related to the construction side of the business?
We have noticed a slowdown in some materials that are coming from overseas due
to COVID-19, but this has not had a great impact on most of our projects to date.
Talk about the continued importance of sustainability today. What are you doing?
UTHealth Facilities, Planning & Engineering has established an Energy Conservation Opportunity team. This team meets monthly to review and discuss energy savings opportunities on campus. We have implemented measures such as zone presence sensors
DECEMBER 2020 — COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION