Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the construction sector: a systemized review

Muhammad Ayat, Malikah, Chang Wook Kang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought profound changes to all sectors of society including the construction sector. The main purpose of this study is to explore and provide insights into the impact and changes that have occurred in the construction sector due to COVID-19 and to present a mitigation framework to minimize the effects.

The scope of this study is limited to peer-reviewed articles in Scopus or Web of Science indexed journals. A systemized review was performed with bibliometric and content analyses of articles related to the impact of COVID-19 on the construction sector.

Through content analysis, the main topics discussed in the selected articles were grouped into 10 categories. Most of these studies were found to have focused on the challenges, impact, and health and safety at construction sites resulting from the pandemic. The study further identified 39 subtopics through detailed content analysis and organizes them into the categories of negative impacts, positive impacts and opportunities and barriers to COVID-19 safety guidelines in the construction sector. Moreover, the study developed a systematic mitigation strategy based on the recommendations of the literature review to reduce the impact of the current pandemic on the construction sector. The mitigation strategy presents separate set of measures regarding safety guidelines, process improvements, government intervention, psychological support and technology adoption.

The research insights provided in this study are useful for practitioners in guiding them to design effective strategies for addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and future crises. Furthermore, a systematic presentation of the impacts, challenges and mitigation measures in this study will help researchers to identify existing gaps in the literature and explore other aspects of the impact of the pandemic on the construction sector.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • challenges
  • construction sector
  • covid-19 pandemic
  • health and safety guidelines
  • systemized review


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