Building Safely in the Year of COVID-19
Job sites are inherently dangerous. The challenges of residential construction during COVID-19 have called for a heightened commitment to safety. In early February when we saw the oncoming pandemic beginning to emerge, we chose to act early and prepare for impact. This meant pivoting our staff to working from home, re-emphasizing our already strict “safety first” on-site protocols, and introducing new steps for our crew and subcontractors to follow.
By the time the quarantine orders were coming down the pike, we were in position. This preparation proved invaluable. Even with the considerable delays and challenges that were experienced with materials and delivery times, our projects that were underway finished on time.
We attribute this outcome to five key principles
- Our Communication
- Our Process
- 100% Transparency
- Vigilance Enforcing Safety Protocols
R Builders has a communication infrastructure that works because we “go deep”. We utilize state-of-the-art communication platforms that allow all team members to connect with any updates in real time. This dramatically streamlines efficiencies.
We implemented these platforms years ago, and have found that because we were already comfortable, fluent and adept within this communication system, the impact of COVID-19 did not include “the way we work.” We were spared a learning curve in the middle of an industry-wide pivot to using technology.
Many of the homeowners with whom we work have previously built or renovated homes in Austin or Central Texas. They often have learned through experience what can happen if the process flow gets bogged down or interrupted. A key aspect of how we manage our projects is to ensure all team members (design, R Builders, and homeowners) are clear about expectations. We explain the process, and communicate where we are within it throughout the stages of the construction or remodeling. Having a shared understanding of “We are Here” removes a lot of the stress and helps make the process enjoyable for the homeowner. Making the process of building a dream home or remodeling an existing home enjoyable is a primary motivation for the whole R Builders team. Making the experience enjoyable–even when times are challenging–drives us to do our best for our clients from start-to-finish, and beyond.
R Builders considers 100% transparency a bold promise. It is not a common practice within the residential construction industry–and many others. Every penny spent on the project is visible and accessible 24/7 by all parties. Job status is comprehensively updated and shared through photos, videos, verbal and written comments in real-time, and is accessible by all parties 24/7. The trust that 100% transparency creates is the ‘secret sauce’ behind so many successful R Builders new construction and remodel projects.
As a leader in Austin’s residential construction industry, we feel a profound responsibility to ensure that our projects, our team (architects, interior designers, home owner, and subcontractors) and our community are safe. This means constantly, consistently reminding our team members, subcontractors, and any person who visits a job site to follow safety protocols. We take safety seriously, always. This year, it has heightened the measures we already enforce to make job sites safe.
We are diligent. We lead by example. We are masked up, socially distancing, and following the safety protocols.
Safety is a non-negotiable priority. On an ongoing basis, R Builders is committed to ensuring our team is utilizing best practices now and beyond. OSHA training is included as part of our continuing education for our team.
As 2020 becomes a memory it reminds our team that despite the challenges of COVID-19, our projects finished on time, our team remained healthy, and we are profoundly grateful that a new year means we get to continue doing what we love.
If we can answer any questions about on-the-job construction safety, or how we can make building or remodeling your home enjoyable, please reach out! Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.