• Matt Stuart

Can COVID breed compassion in construction?

By Lynn Barrett

During these uncertain times we’ve all been living in over the past several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have experienced a myriad of feelings—fear, sadness, hopelessness, loss, frustration, anger, etc. However, I realized that people are constantly experiencing these feelings, even when there isn’t a worldwide pandemic underway.

How many of you have a loved one who has contracted a secondary infection after spending time in the hospital? How many of you know someone with a respiratory disease? How many of you have lost a loved one by a fire, hurricane, flood or disease (such as cancer) that was caused by breathing toxic chemicals, working with toxic construction materials, or lost their life due to unsafe construction sites?

Now, this new reality resulting from COVID-19 is an opportunity for change and to make the world a better place in more ways than just limiting the spread of a coronavirus. More than ever before we need to work together, be strong, and be happy that can make a difference in the construction industry while educating people on how to build better for the planet.

Being a woman in the construction industry is no doubt challenging, but I love a challenge and this is the best time for myself and all construction trades to wake up and change the way we have been building for more than 100 years. All of us in the construction industry have historically missed two of the most important qualities that we should all bring to the job site: Compassion and willingness to change human behaviors.

Healthy and safe environments that we live, work, play and learn in are now essential more than ever before and we all have the tools to make changes in the construction industry but too many are unwilling to shift their mindset, lack passion and compassion that it takes to make a difference. What if I told you I have the tools and technology to make this happen? Would you choose to build a safer home for your family? Would you build a safer and healthier hospital for your loved ones? Would you feel better about yourself knowing you were willing to have compassion for people and build better buildings that are healthy and safe?

The pursuit of these values have led me to discover prefabricated construction solutions that offer healthy and safe buildings using fire-rated, non-toxic, low-carbon cementitious building materials and prefabricated panels. In addition, off-site manufacturing provides people with cost certainty, accelerated construction timelines and lower building operating costs.

So today, I challenge you to find compassion, the willingness to adapt to change and embrace the future of construction by building smarter, safer, and better.

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