Condo Media - August 2020 - 18

Projects INTERRUPTED
when they are supposed to use only the
freight elevator? "And what do you do if
workers violate the rules?"
As a practical matter, most boards
probably would not terminate a project
because of occasional, or even more
than occasional, infractions. But if the
primary concern is containing virus risks,
one errant elevator ride or one close
encounter with a vulnerable resident
could let the contagion cat out of the bag.
The solution - to the extent that there
is one - industry executives agree, is to
make sure contractors understand the
association's concerns about contagion
risks and make compliance with COVID
protocols a provision of the contract.
Tony Chiarelli, president and CEO
of Landmark Associates General Contracting, Inc., doesn't think compliance
will be an issue for most contractors,
partly because
are acutely
"The [safety standards] don't really focus they
aware of contagion
risks, but also
on the health and safety of residents.
because they are
accustomed to
And that's a bit of an eye-opener."
dealing with safety
requirements.
"Ours is a heavily regulated, safetyHe adds that "you could argue that
driven industry," he says. COVID
protecting workers will also protect
has simply added another layer of
residents," but many people who have
safety protocols to those contractors
the virus are asymptomatic - capable of
spreading the virus to others even though already follow. "Compliance won't be
a huge burden."
they have no symptoms themselves.
But some of the requirements as"Taking their temperature or having
sociations are adding could affect
them self-certify that they are virus-free
the timing and the cost of projects,
won't guarantee that they aren't contaChiarelli emphasizes. Anything that
gious," Moskowitz cautions.
slows the work - shortening the work
day, for example, or impeding their
ENFORCEMENT QUESTIONS
ability of crews to move efficiently
That said, he agrees that requiring conaround the site - will have that effect,
tractors to follow state and local stanhe notes, "and boards need to be aware
dards and to adhere to any additional
of that tradeoff."
protocols associations impose are all
sensible measures that he recommends
COMPETING PRESSURES
to his association clients, but he also
Common area construction projects
notes their limitations. "You can adopt
are creating one set of challenges;
safety requirements, but how are you
projects involving work inside owners'
going to enforce them?" How do you
ensure that workers are wearing masks? units are creating another. Boards and
managers are facing competing and
How do you know if two or three workoften conflicting pressures from owners ride an elevator together instead of
ers who want to resume or begin work
separately or use a passenger elevator
In Massachusetts, the mandatory
pandemic-related safety standards for
construction work are detailed and extensive, including, among other requirements, face masks and gloves for workers,
development of a COVID risk analysis
and safety plan for each project, and the
appointment of a COVID safety officer,
also for each project. The state standards
also require workers to self-certify at the
beginning of each shift that they don't
have the virus or virus symptoms and
have not been exposed to anyone who
has been infected or asked to quarantine
because of their exposure.
The interesting thing about these
requirements, Moskowitz says, is that
they are aimed primarily at protecting
workers. "They don't really focus on the
health and safety of residents. And that's
a bit of an eye-opener."

18

CONDOMEDIA August 2020

in their units and from those who think
non-residents, including contractors,
create unacceptable contagion risks for
the community.
Thayer's clients are approving the
resumption of interior work stalled by
the lockdown but considering requests
for new in-unit projects "on a caseby-case basis." One request that didn't
get the go-ahead was from an owner
insisting that the association address
a low water-pressure problem in his
kitchen. When the board said, "not
now," the owner complained to the
city building department.
"When we explained that the repair
would require demolishing the interior
walls of units on four floors," Thayer
says, "the department agreed that we
should probably hold off."
Keegan says his association clients
haven't gotten a lot of requests from
owners looking to undertake renovation projects in their units, but they
have encountered some glitches as
lockdowns end and owners return
to vacation properties they haven't
been able to visit. One community had
scheduled a plumber to come in and
turn on water in owners' units and
check for leaks beginning in mid-April
so that owners could return on May 1.
However, at least 10 owners decided to
visit before then, despite instructions
not to do so. As a result, those units
didn't have water and weren't habitable on May 1, Keegan notes, because
the plumber wouldn't enter a unit unless it had been vacant for two weeks
and was thus deemed to be contagion
free. "It's more frustrating dealing with
the owners than with the contractors,"
Keegan says.
Ziner's association clients aren't
imposing any restrictions on owners'
projects other than to require that their
contractors follow the same health and
safety protocols that apply to contractors working in common areas. But
most contractors won't enter a unit,
she says, unless the owner signs a waiver agreeing not to hold the contractor
liable should unit occupants contract
the virus.



Condo Media - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - August 2020

Contents
Condo Media - August 2020 - Intro
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - August 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - August 2020 - 2
Condo Media - August 2020 - 3
Condo Media - August 2020 - 4
Condo Media - August 2020 - 5
Condo Media - August 2020 - 6
Condo Media - August 2020 - 7
Condo Media - August 2020 - 8
Condo Media - August 2020 - 9
Condo Media - August 2020 - 10
Condo Media - August 2020 - 11
Condo Media - August 2020 - 12
Condo Media - August 2020 - 13
Condo Media - August 2020 - 14
Condo Media - August 2020 - 15
Condo Media - August 2020 - 16
Condo Media - August 2020 - 17
Condo Media - August 2020 - 18
Condo Media - August 2020 - 19
Condo Media - August 2020 - 20
Condo Media - August 2020 - 21
Condo Media - August 2020 - 22
Condo Media - August 2020 - 23
Condo Media - August 2020 - 24
Condo Media - August 2020 - 25
Condo Media - August 2020 - 26
Condo Media - August 2020 - 27
Condo Media - August 2020 - 28
Condo Media - August 2020 - 29
Condo Media - August 2020 - 30
Condo Media - August 2020 - 31
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Condo Media - August 2020 - 33
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Condo Media - August 2020 - 36
Condo Media - August 2020 - 37
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Condo Media - August 2020 - 40
Condo Media - August 2020 - 41
Condo Media - August 2020 - 42
Condo Media - August 2020 - 43
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Condo Media - August 2020 - 45
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Condo Media - August 2020 - 47
Condo Media - August 2020 - 48
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover4
Condo Media - August 2020 - Cover3
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