ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Sharareh Kermanshachi


The construction industry, renowned for its dynamic nature, encountered unprecedented uncertainties throughout its history. However, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic served as a powerful catalyst, underscoring the urgent need for a deeper comprehension of the challenges it introduced and their potential implications for the industry's future. While numerous studies have explored this topic, a comprehensive understanding of the specific factors that disrupted the construction sector during the pandemic remains elusive. To bridge this knowledge gap, this study identifies, categorizes, and ranks these challenges, while also proposing effective management strategies to mitigate their detrimental impact on construction projects. To lay the groundwork for analysis, a rigorous systematic literature review was conducted, scrutinizing 97 pertinent publications carefully. This comprehensive review revealed 26 distinct challenges that the construction industry grappled with during the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, issues such as labor scarcity, project suspensions or slowdowns, force majeure confusion, and workplace safety concerns featured prominently as recurring themes in the reviewed literature. In response to these challenges, a range of carefully curated management strategies is presented, encompassing workforce investment, streamlined supplier management, prudent legal consultation, and transparent communication practices. Moreover, the impact of the pandemic extended beyond immediate challenges, as it also led to a surge in cost overruns and project schedule delays, impacting construction projects across diverse sectors, organizations, and scales. Curiously, existing literature offered limited insights into the interplay of variables such as industry size, project type, and organization category on the extent of these delays. To address this crucial gap in knowledge, a four-step approach was devised, comprising a comprehensive literature search, the development and distribution of an online survey, and a meticulous quantitative analysis of responses. The results of this analysis revealed distinct differences in factors contributing to schedule overruns based on these variables, providing a more nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by different segments of the construction industry during the pandemic. Furthermore, in addition to analyzing challenges and existing factors, this study takes a step further by developing a predictive model using an ordinal logistic regression framework. This pioneering model seeks to assess the level of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on construction cost overruns and project schedule delays. Leveraging the valuable insights garnered from construction industry professionals via the survey, it was possible to predict that small-scale industries and contractor-type organizations were disproportionately affected compared to medium and larger firms, and consultant and owner-type organizations, respectively. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic exerted a profound and far-reaching impact on the construction industry, disrupting supply chains, exacerbating labor shortages, and necessitating the implementation of new safety protocols. This study not only elucidates the challenges faced by the construction sector but also arms stakeholders and project managers with practical strategies to effectively manage the pandemic-induced adversities. By heeding the insights and recommendations provided in this research, the construction industry can fortify its resilience and navigate future crises more adeptly, thus ensuring continued economic growth, employment, and infrastructure development. The development of predictive models further enhances the understanding and preparedness for potential future challenges


Construction, COVID-19, Cost overruns, Schedule overruns, Prediction, Analysis


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2024