The scorching temperatures have been lowering productivity at construction companies, Belgium’s Construction Confederation reported on Friday.
The loss of productivity remains limited between 25 and 29 degrees but “turns out to be enormous” beyond 30 degrees, according to the federation, which represents over 16,000 construction businesses.
Many of these companies are taking exceptional measures because of the heat wave, including starting the workday early and taking extra breaks.
According to a survey by the confederation, 65% of construction companies lose around 10% of their productivity when temperatures reach 25 to 29 degrees. At 35 degrees, 20% report a virtual interruption of activities.
“It’s understandable, because obviously the conditions have to remain bearable for our workers, but some materials are absolutely not resistant to this heat. For the construction sector, this heat wave is not good news”, said Niko Demeester, CEO of the Confederation Construction.
“If the number of very hot days remains limited, the impact on construction work schedules will also be quite minimal,” he explained, “but if we are faced with increasingly longer periods of heat, there could be consequences for the final customer.”