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May 2020 Construction Advisory

The latest news on Texas construction trends impacting your projects.

Q2 2020 Summary: Our world today is full of uncertainties; however, you can overcome the economic impact of the pandemic and keep projects moving forward by taking advantage of market conditions and using virtual technology.

Keeping Project Momentum During a Pandemic

Many project teams are keeping projects moving forward while maintaining social distance by shifting to virtual technologies at every phase of a project. Following are some of the ways you can maintain momentum so projects finish on time.


  • During crucial design document reviews, use virtual meetings in conjunction with web-based applications like Bluebeam Revu to allow your staff, the design team, and the contractor to simultaneously review and comment on design documents in real-time.
  • Live stream a video tour of the proposed site using a smartphone.

Precon Bluebeam photoVirtual schematic design meeting for the University of Houston-Downtown, Student Wellness and Success Center.


  • Use drone photography to capture percent of work complete and verify projects are staying on schedule before processing contractors’ monthly pay applications.
  • Host a virtual meeting and live-stream the job site to resolve construction issues faster. Instead of meeting on site to resolve construction issues, virtual meetings can occur sooner and eliminate travel time, with the potential to reach a solution faster.

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Drone photograph with close-ups capturing the percent of work complete on the parkway extension and utility work for the RELLIS Campus, New Campus Infrastructure project.

Substantial Completion

  • Conduct preliminary inspections virtually with the aid of live streaming video.
    • Suitable for preliminary remote inspections such as in-wall, above-ceiling and pre-pours.
    • Contributes to project safety, productivity, and quality.

Vaughn has recently started executing virtual inspections with our clients. Click here for insight into how we do it.

virtual inspection

Virtual inspection taking place at the Texas A&M University, Global Health Research Complex project.


Construction Cost Impacts

We recommend Owners not delay projects and push through the preconstruction phase now so projects are “shovel ready.” We predict projects designed and poised to begin procurement will benefit from favorable market conditions in the near future.

  • Labor costs. Because of the high unemployment rate, we anticipate a decrease in labor costs.
  • Material costs. We expect material pricing to drop due to factors such as a reduction in demand for materials as well as a surplus of oil.
  • Slow backlog. Some trade contractors are beginning to worry about their backlog, leading to more competition and lower pricing.

By proceeding with the preconstruction process now, your project will be ready to benefit from the upcoming drop in material costs, labor costs, and good trade bidding climate ahead.


About Vaughn Construction

Vaughn Construction is a Texas-based construction company that specializes in new construction, renovations and additions to civic, healthcare, education and research facilities. The privately-held company has offices in Austin, Bryan/College Station, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Galveston, Houston, Lubbock, San Antonio, and the Texas Medical Center (Houston).