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2. Open communication and collaboration

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Return to July 2020 Update

Length:2 min read; 474 words

Note: The following paragraphs summarize the category of Open communication and collaboration observed in July. More information about the specific category from July (and previous months) can be found in the downloaded report(s).The number in square brackets (e.g., [150]) refers to a reference where the reader can find more information about a specific statement.  The references can be found in the References list below, Systematized References page or in the downloaded report.

In general, the communication has decreased in July from the peak in June, but the businesses continue to take advantage of the situation (we believe this trend will stay post-pandemic). A mention of Open communication and collaboration decreased 28% since June (6.4% vs. 8.9% in June), but still remained 12% up in comparison to the May levels. The overall decline of the communication in July contributes to this decrease, and we estimate that the community is “less talking and more doing”. We assess that the industry is communicating and collaborating less openly in July than in previous months (70%; down from 80% in June; from 90% in May; and 100% in April), based on the contradictory information coming from different parts of the world.

Webinar speakers provide honest transparent information about the challenges and solutions in the crisis, but as in June the practitioners continue to be more cautious and protective of their businesses given the countless challenges, such as backlog and cashflow issues, reports of owners going to competition, issues with contracting and potential litigations, etc. Overall, the trend we suggested in May that the industry accepted open communication and collaboration as a new normal, continues in July. It is additionally supported by the fact that most of the teams are still working remotely and communicate virtually.

In July we identified that acquisitions [135] and collaborative contracts are on the rise in AEC [218]. We can expect more mergers and partnerships as they lead to more control and better margins. It will be interesting to see how the AEC response in this crisis correlates to the response during the recession 2006-2011.

Examples of open communication and collaboration in July follow. The experts from RESET@ standard [272] are working together with scientists to develop an assessment method for sensor-driven index optimizing indoor environments against airborne viral infections. [273] The RESET team is “compiling and comparing research studies, and their work will be made public after further peer review, with the goal of creating a feedback loop between scientists and building operators.” Impact Sourcing as a collaborative method between local communities and companies is gaining momentum due to current social movement. “Building is not limited to buildings but to companies, communities, collaboration.” [222][223]Hospital CEOs realized we were chasing each other around the supply chains [hunting for PPE]. So, we began to coordinate. It became almost a daily call.”— Kate Walsh, CEO, Boston Medical Center [283] Challenges in commercial real estate globally has created a unique opportunity for greater collaboration among commercial and corporate real estate peers. [219] To provide transparency and share progress with the community on a specific public project (such as Denver airport) AEC practitioners use an online feature - a project dashboard that will help officials keep the public updated on construction progress and its budget. [293] Multidisciplinary collaborations and related websites.

Previous June Category Summary


[135] “Autodesk completes Pype acquisition,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 26, 2020).

[218] “4 things to know before taking on an infrastructure project,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 26, 2020).

[219] “European CIOs Respond to COVID-19.” (accessed Aug. 24, 2020).

[222] “2020 Online Salon Series: Innovation on the Horizon- Quang Truong,” website, Jul. 10, 2020. (accessed Jul. 17, 2020).

[223] “CIDCI Online Salon: Impact Sourcing: The Next IPD - Zoom.” (accessed Aug. 31, 2020).

[272] “RESET® Standard.” (accessed Aug. 21, 2020).

[273] “RESET advances sensor-driven index optimizing indoor environments against airborne viral infections | RESET®.” (accessed Aug. 21, 2020).

[283] “CEO leadership for a new era | McKinsey.” (accessed Aug. 18, 2020).

[293] “Denver airport unveils Great Hall project online dashboard to boost transparency,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 25, 2020).