Residential Construction Guidelines

for Operating During COVID-19

Last update to this document April 3, 2020


While the association is not a health authority and is therefore not in a position to make definitive recommendations, given the circumstances CHBA has put together this document for its members based on the recommendations of Canada’s health agencies. These are the minimum requirements, and owners and management must lead by example and be actively enforcing them, as most are.

 

On the Jobsite

Social Distancing

Health authorities are currently recommending social distancing as much as possible.

• Anyone with symptoms or who has been exposed to the virus should not come to work and should alert their supervisor.

• Anyone who has been out of the country (or inter-provincially if applicable) must self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether or not they’re showing symptoms.

• Avoid carpooling to travel to/from work. If unavoidable, sit as far apart as possible and wear masks and gloves.

• Stagger shifts, breaks, and lunch breaks to minimize the number of people in one area. Have multiple break areas with limits to how many people can be in them at one time, or allow everyone on the jobsite to take their breaks (alone) in their cars.

• Limit how many people are on the site at one time.

• Keep crews/trades physically separated from one another.

• Spread people out so that they are working 6 feet apart whenever possible, including during meetings, which should have the minimum people required attending.

• Have clearly identified designated delivery zones. When possible, have shipments and deliveries dropped off, avoiding personal contact. If a signature is needed, whoever accepts the delivery should use their own pen.

• For residential renovations where homeowners are still occupying the home, whenever possible having clear space boundaries (dedicated washroom, crew does not enter certain areas, homeowners stay out of renovation zone even after hours, etc.).

 

Health and Sanitation
Health and sanitation measures should be increased during this time.

• Provide more handwashing stations and encourage frequent hand washing. Sanitize handwashing stations frequently.

• Don’t share personal protective equipment (PPE) and limit sharing of tools and equipment when possible. Sanitize PPE and personal tools frequently.

• Wear gloves as often as possible, but continue to minimize unnecessary touching of anything (including the user’s face). • Sanitize equipment and vehicles (personal and shared), washrooms, and other shared facilities often, especially areas that are most likely to be handled.

• Post signage on proper handwashing techniques and reminders to sanitize tools and working areas.

• Ensure waste bins and garbage receptacles are emptied regularly and safely.

• For home renovations, all of the above actions should also be followed. Ensure sanitation of work surfaces and shared facilities before leaving for the day.

 

In the Office

Social/Physical Distancing

Most provinces and municipalities now have stated that any employees who can work from home should do so.

• Those who can work from home should.

• Anyone with symptoms or who has been exposed to the virus should not come to work.

• Avoid carpooling to travel to/from work. If unavoidable, sit as far apart as possible and wear masks and gloves.

• Anyone who has been out of the country (or interprovincially if applicable) must self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether or not they’re showing symptoms.

• Stagger shifts, breaks and lunch breaks to minimize the number of people who may be using communal facilities at one time.

• Workstations should be spread out as much as possible.

• Lunch breaks staggered or taken at the employees’ workspace rather than in a communal lunchroom.

 

Health and Sanitation

Health and sanitation measures should be increased during this time.

• Office equipment such as phones, keyboards, and desks should be sanitized often.

• Communal areas (kitchens, bathrooms, hallways) should be sanitized regularly, including door handles and faucets.

• Make hand sanitizer and cleaning products widely available.

• Consider temporarily stopping nonessential mail and deliveries, or have a drop-off location for shipments to avoid contact with delivery personnel as much as possible.

 

On the Jobsite – Multi-Family Construction

In addition to the other jobsite actions listed, the following apply to multi-family (mid- and high-rise) construction.

• Limit access to shared devices within trailers (coffee machines, microwaves, fridges, etc.) Make sure there are cleaning supplies are reminders to sanitize each area after use.

• Where possible, remove doors or door handles to limit people touching those surfaces. Provide paper towels at points where doors remain so that users avoid skin contact, and garbage cans to dispose of the paper towels.

• Modify communal washrooms where possible: install more sinks and/or physical separation between sinks, and change taps, paper towel dispensers and garbage cans to hands-free models.

• Use one-way staircases where possible.

• Freight elevators should be operated/occupies by only one individual at a time whenever feasible.

With the Public (If Open)

Some areas of Canada have mandated the closure of non-essential public spaces. Check your municipality or province to see if sales and design centers, show homes, etc. can stay open at this time. If you are still allowed to operate and wish to, implement the following measures.. 

 

Social/Physical Distancing

Health authorities are currently recommending social distancing as much as possible.

• Limit the number of staff and visitors who can enter at one time; consider by-appointment-only visits.

• Post signage reminding people to stay six feet apart and ensure sales staff are keeping a safe distance.

• Anyone with symptoms or who has been exposed to the virus should not come to work.

• Anyone who has been out of the country (or interprovincially if applicable) must self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether or not they’re showing symptoms.

• Stagger staff shifts, breaks and lunch breaks to minimize the number of people who may be using communal facilities at one time.

• Limit person-to-person exchange of items like brochures.

• Limit handling credit cards; use tap when available

 

Health and Sanitation

Health and sanitation measures should be increased during this time.

• Equipment such as phones, keyboards, and desks should be sanitized regularly.

• Communal areas (kitchens, bathrooms, hallways) should be sanitized regularly, including door handles and faucets.

• Make hand sanitizer widely available, especially at entrances as people come in.

• If you use touch displays, limit their use during this time and sanitize regularly.

• Consider sharing the sanitation measures you’re taking as a company (to your website, social media, onsite at the show home, etc.

COVID-19: For Homeowners

Approval, Permits & Inspection Processes for New Homes & Adjustments during COVID-19

New home construction can be divided into three stages.

Each stage has checkpoints along the way for a third-party to verify that your home is being built properly.

These checkpoints are normally conducted by your municipality. For example, typically a building inspector will need to come check the insulation and air/vapour barrier before your builder can install drywall. And city hall will need to provide a certificate of occupancy for you to be able to move in.

If there is a delay at any of these checkpoints, the construction process can’t proceed.

CONSTRUCTION DURING COVID-19

Builders are taking extra measures to ensure the health and safety of their crews and inspectors/building officials, and most municipalities are doing their best to continue the residential construction approvals, permits, and inspection processes.

That said, most companies and municipalities are going through an adjustment
period right now. If you’re concerned about the status of your new home’s construction, contact your builder.

You can also contact your municipality to see the status of the municipality’s approvals, permits, and inspection processes.

For PDF version,download here.

CONTACT

Susanna Henderson, Executive Officer

info@seatoskychba.com

 

604-902-2110

Box 337, Whistler, BC, V0N 1B0

© 2020 Sea to Sky CHBA