Contractors and the owners who hire them have always looked for ways to shorten construction timelines and shave costs off their budgets. But with the health and safety of their workforce top of mind, construction professionals have another priority: reducing the number of laborers who actually need to be on-site at one time.
While masks and temperature checks can help, reducing the human density of a construction site is perhaps the most effective tool for preventing viral transmission. To lower the amount of labor they need, contractors and owners are now enlisting the aid of scientifically advanced construction materials.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in inquiries as a result of the shutdowns and site requirements,” said Tim Yeiser, president of Dricrete, a construction materials company. “Contractors are trying to get as much work done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we’ve known for decades that one of the best ways to do that is to rely on chemistry.”
Yeiser’s flagship product is Dricrete, a concrete additive that forms an impermeable chemical lattice to keep water out. The product is mainly used in underground parking structures in multifamily and mixed-use buildings to keep out groundwater that could otherwise seep in and damage the structure.
To build underground parking facilities, contractors would typically need to painstakingly deploy a waterproof plastic membrane across the entire job site before they could begin pouring concrete. Depending on the size of the site, that process can require 10 to 15 people, Yeiser said. On sites that use more advanced materials, the need for labor is far lower.
“When contractors use Dricrete, the waterproofing material gets mixed in at the plant, so there’s no need to do any more work on-site, it’s a totally hands-off process,” Yeiser said. “We’ve poured entire parking garages with just one