Shrink-wrap coverings, prefab bathrooms and portable shipping containers — these are all part of the new normal as the construction industry adapts to safety protocols in a COVID-19 world.

Builders have faced a host of challenges, ranging from a slowdown in available supplies and labor to project cancellations.The health crisis has also taken a big bite out of the industry’s employment base. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the nation’s construction sector added 158,000 jobs in June, but employment was still down by 472,000 jobs since February.

New materials, off-site production

Jim Madrid, executive vice president for the Southern California region of McCarthy Building Companies Inc., said construction firms are exploring the use of materials that can be cleaned more easily and don’t absorb bacteria and viruses.

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