COVID-19 precautions continue to impact construction by delaying material shipments and reducing labor availability, as well as governmental orders to halt many construction projects. Some ongoing or planned construction projects are at risk of being suspended or terminated because of reduced demand in various sectors, such as hospitality or oil and gas, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many engineering and construction companies have shifted tasks to remote working arrangements and must invest in IT infrastructure and training to limit efficiency losses. Some companies have been forced to lay off employees because of delayed and canceled construction projects.
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On March 2, 2011, the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) announced its Model Schools Program, an initiative to implement a standardized design for SDA school facilities. As part of this initiative, SDA planned on implementing standardized systems and materials in three phases.
Consistent with this plan, the SDA recently completed its first phase, and, has released two new manuals titled: Materials and Systems Standards Manual and Construction Details Manual. These manuals, which apply to Public School Facilities Projects in the State of New Jersey that are managed by the SDA, set forth the model systems and components to be used during construction of new facilities including standards for roofing, HVAC systems, flooring, finishes and more.
The remaining two phases of the NJSDA Model Schools Program standardization plan, the “Kit of Parts” which will provide uniform designs for classrooms and other school facility areas and the “2011 Design Manual” which will be the first design update since 2007, are expected to be released by the SDA in the near future.