German construction continues through crisis

25 March 2020

The three largest contractor associations in Germany – ZDB, HDB and BVMB - have jointly welcomed a German government decision for construction to continue despite the COVID-19 crisis.

“We very much welcome the decree issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Construction and Home Affairs (BMI) and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) on the continuation of construction work in building construction, road construction and hydraulic engineering”, said Reinhard Quast, President of the Central Association of the German Building Industry (ZDB).

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A Hochtief construction site in Germany. (Photo: Hochtief.)

“The continuation and new tendering of infrastructure construction sites is an essential pillar of the domestic economy, which must be maintained.”

The associations said they agreed with Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer – the Minister for transport and digital infrastructure - on the necessity to continue construction work and that it would support a rapid economic recovery when the crisis is over.

“This is the only way for us to be able to ensure that system-relevant areas such as telecommunications, transport or power generation as well as supply and disposal continue to function in such difficult times,” said Peter Hübner, President of the Federation of the German Construction Industry (HDB).

The third association is BVMB, the association for medium sized construction companies.

The joint statement said Minister Scheuer had assured the associations that there will be talks about the fair distribution of additional costs incurred by construction sites. This includes costs for increased health protection of workers during transport to sites and during their work.

The three associations said financial resources must not be taken from current and future budgets for infrastructure, but must be provided from federal funds to combat the crisis.

“Our construction companies are currently making great efforts to maintain construction site operations. The construction industry has the necessary capacities and can continue to push ahead with the construction projects despite the current challenge,” said Martin Steinbrecher, President of the Federal Association of Medium-Sized Construction Companies (BVMB).

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