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Industry Updates

‘Out-of-the-Box Thinking’ Helps Builders Stay Safe and Save Time


COVID-19 has forced builders to make many changes in their work, including what materials they choose for their projects. Although some may balk at having to change their processes, these methods can help contractors better guarantee safety and even finish their projects early.

Jim Madrid, the executive vice president for the Southern California region of McCarthy Building Cos. Inc., told East Bay Times that firms are looking at materials that can be cleaned more easily and do not absorb bacteria and viruses. “There are products which work like a shrink wrap that you can put on door handles that are anti-microbial and will last six months,” he noted. “They kill germs on contact. That’s a relatively inexpensive retrofit.”

He also predicted that the industry could see with an increase in the offsite production of building components, including bathrooms. “It’s less expensive and you can do it in a more controlled environment,” he told East Bay Times.

“Bathrooms could be prefabricated and then delivered and slid into place,” Madrid said. “There is also some out-of-the-box thinking in regard to school projects in Malibu. Shipping cargo containers are being retrofitted as classrooms. It’s very quick and they are mobile if they need to be moved.”

In addition, East Bay Times reports, McCarthy Holdings is at work on a three-story building for Kaiser Permanente that utilizes prefab interior and exterior walls. McCarthy Project Director David Alford noted that the prefab will help the company deliver the project two to three months earlier. 

“Trades that are typically coordinated later in the process have had integrations with prefab components, which made it necessary to bring them into the design forefront earlier than expected,” he told East Bay Times.


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