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The challenges of construction projects in the winter

Posted on 21/10/2015 at 4:19 PM by in Blog

Although British Winters aren’t famous for heavy snow, this year it is very likely, alongside. frozen grounds and cold winds. These are elements that can be a nightmare for us in the construction industry. The cost implication of these can be heavily felt, even without any reported rise in the cost of building materials.

The productivity of the employees is one of the things that construction companies have to grapple with during winter. In most instances, the level of productivity can drop by up to 50 percent, which is a serious challenge to deal with. Workers find it incredibly cumbersome performing their everyday chores when they are faced with hard frost. If the frost penetrates the roadways and other critical areas where construction work is to take place, the employees could find harder doing utility works. In most parts of the UK, frost can get up to 5 feet underground and if it’s to be dug, specialised equipment may be required. In some instances, there may be need to blast. Nevertheless, in extreme cold conditions, important building equipment may take longer than usual to heat up. All these normally translate to extra costs.

Also, concrete that’s used for hydration should be heated to certain temperatures. The water as well as the aggregates will need to be heated. It takes a lot of fuel to get the water or the concrete to the right temperature level. This means that you will need to have an extra facility which you will use when giving the building materials enough time to thaw.

Getting rid of snow will probably take a huge chunk of employee’s productive time. Before starting on the actual construction work, they will have spend several hours shovelling the snow away from the area that’s under construction. Some moisture sensitive building materials may require specialised protection and storage from the harsh weather elements. This does nothing more than pushing the construction costs upwards as you will need more money for handling them and paying for extra storage space. The time it takes to remove snow everyday an also translates to massive operational cost for the contractor.

Construction work during winter requires more investment in the safety and health of employees. There is a high possibility for the staff to slip and get hurt in the process. Also, some get sick more often because of the extreme weather elements. The amount that it takes construction companies to guarantee safety and health of their employees can be double or thrice what’s spend during summer.

Nonetheless, the winter climate makes it a mammoth task managing the construction project. For instance, the frozen junks of frozen ground should not be placed in a fill embankment because this may leave a sinkhole during spring. Also, there isn’t enough vegetative cover during winter and this may require the construction company to spend more money in strategies that help in curbing erosion.

Fortunately, there are solutions to these winter construction challenges in the UK. The builder can plan properly so that by the time winter comes; the construction work will be complete. Also, they can opt to work only on roofed areas. This cuts the cost of cutting down the costs of everyday heating and shoving away of snow.

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