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Research Article |

Mitigating Construction Delays: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic on Material Supply Disruptions

The COVID-19 pandemic affected all urban and rural areas across the globe. Particularly, the pandemic disrupted the material supply impacting all project schedules and project decisions. The purpose of this study is to analyze the materials delay impact due to COVID-19 pandemic on construction projects in terms of their schedule decisions. This study used an online questionnaire survey to collect the data from executive members of the construction companies within the United States. The survey focused on material supply and delivery delay questions organized in two subgroups using the Construction Specifications Institute MasterFormat divisions: (1) Facility Services and (2) Site and Infrastructure. Thirty-two responses from diverse company executive members were analyzed using t-test. The findings indicated that most of the projects were delayed due to either “Material and Labor” or “Material, Labor, and Equipment.” Thus, the two groups were analyzed in depth. The analysis shows that the mean delays were significantly higher for the “Material, Labor, and Equipment” group than the “Material and Labor” group. This is an important finding, suggesting that if similar situations arise, the project managers and/or the decision-makers should consider dedicating their time to the equipment required for those divisions and therefore mitigate delays. The study identifies crucial insights for successful project management during the pandemic, emphasizing the necessity of collaborating with subcontractors to secure essential equipment and address delays. It suggests expediting contract buyouts and submittals in vulnerable divisions to enhance resilience against material supply disruptions. Timely material procurement following project approvals for various durations is vital for minimizing pandemic-induced delays. Additionally, the study recommends adjusting lead times for materials with extended delivery timelines to mitigate construction delays associated with the pandemic. The lesson learned and recommendations from this study contributes to the body of knowledge in project management and project decision making by helping project managers and engineers to understand the impact and awareness of the challenges in material supply disruption during COVID-19 pandemic that could assist managers formulate appropriate strategies on future potential outbreaks.

Material Supply Disruption, Construction Delays, COVID-19 Impact, Project Management

APA Style

Kisi, K., Sulbaran, T. (2023). Mitigating Construction Delays: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic on Material Supply Disruptions. Science, Technology & Public Policy, 7(2), 75-84.

ACS Style

Kisi, K.; Sulbaran, T. Mitigating Construction Delays: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic on Material Supply Disruptions. Sci. Technol. Public Policy 2023, 7(2), 75-84. doi: 10.11648/j.stpp.20230702.14

AMA Style

Kisi K, Sulbaran T. Mitigating Construction Delays: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic on Material Supply Disruptions. Sci Technol Public Policy. 2023;7(2):75-84. doi: 10.11648/j.stpp.20230702.14

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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