Meeting Subcontractor Compliance To Work In Hot Construction Sectors: Data Center, Hospital, Government

10 October 2023

The move toward hybrid and remote work is already having an impact on commercial real estate, especially in tech heavy cities such as San Francisco, where the vacancy rate has grown 367 basis points over last year to 21.78%, and Seattle, where the rate grew 565 basis points to 20.9%.

But while the commercial office and interiors construction space looks bearish, three other sectors are strong. The data center market has exploded. The global data center market was worth $213.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% through 2030, according to Grandview Research, and the sector’s growth is primarily constrained only by the amount of power available to support these facilities’ infrastructure. Healthcare facilities, and hospitals in particular, are growing as well. In 2023, hospital project starts are expected to surpass $42 billion, which is 14% more than the prior year. Finally, government construction is expected to grow 6.1% in 2023 over 2022 to $1.4 billion in the US alone, with a 5.2% CAGR through 2027

But if you’re looking to move into these spaces, you’ll need to up your onboarding and data game for your subcontractors. All of these sectors differ significantly from the rest of construction. 

Unique Worker Data Requirements

Their concern is risk. The projects are tech-heavy, and the owners are forward thinking, so they’re prone to using and expecting technology on their jobs. And because the data center’s eventual customers will have high security expectations for the information and workloads that will live there, the construction site is a high-security environment. They’re onerous about who has access to the data center, what security measures are in place. They have access control, turnstiles on jobsites, and other measures that create a significant digital footprint to prove that these folks are authorized to be there. Owners and general contractors need this digital footprint to prove that the workers who are on site are qualified to be there, and they expect that information to be digitally stored in the cloud instead of on paper.

Hospitals have different, but no less stringent concerns. They want to make sure, for instance, that all workers have their flu shots and covid vaccinations. It’s often the case that construction is taking place in a fully operational building with certain floors closed off, so hospital management is strict about making sure everyone on site has proper qualifications. And they want to be able to verify it with just a few clicks to obtain the information they need

Finally, government projects are also security conscious and just as meticulous about records keeping as one would expect. Plus, when the government provides funding for a construction project, one of the aims is often to create jobs locally. If the federal government funds a job in New Mexico and the general contractor flies in a bunch of contractors from Arizona, that’s going to be a problem. The GC needs data points on the zip codes of workers’ place of residence to keep funding and qualify for benefits such as tax write-offs. 

GCs typically have systems that can handle most of these requirements for employees, but for subcontractors it’s a different story. In most cases, subcontractors arrive on site with their documentation, which is copied and stored in a file cabinet in a trailer on site. That’s not going to fly for data center, hospital and government construction projects. These stakeholders want to have access to digital information, and if there’s a disaster – a fire, a flood, a tornado that destroys the file cabinet – that data disappears for good if paper is the only repository for that data.

The GoContractor Solution

GoContractor provides a simple, elegant solution to these challenges. Subcontractors upload all required documentation to the SaaS-based service before arriving on site, so that when workers arrive, they can get started right away. And that data is digitally accessible from any device. GoContractor can track what zip code each subcontractor comes from, identify all vaccinations and store all security qualifications, which makes it simple to provide a report to the GC, owner or other stakeholders. 

In fact, many GoContractor customers print out a QR code for each worker and then turn them into hardhat stickers. It’s helpful in case someone gets hurt, because the supervisor may not personally know who they are, and, if they’re unresponsive, it’s simple to pull up all their info: emergency contact, allergies, and more. But this method also can make it simple to identify an individual’s certifications to prove a worker is qualified to be on the job. 

Want to learn more about how GoContractor can help your organization easily collect critical worker data and make it digitally accessible? Schedule an appointment for a demo today!

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