Covid Recovery: The Impact of Covid-19 and the Future of the Industry


When the pandemic first hit, AC PLC echoed the rest of the world. Projects slowed down and like every industry, there was a massive level of uncertainty. 

Due to the nature of our work and focus on mission critical projects, many of our developments were given the green light to continue working. However, we still learnt a lot from the process. Communication is more important than ever. We had to adapt to the way the world now works. As a global company, we used to fly all over the world to meet clients and manage projects. We were faced with finding a new way to maintain the personal touch we aim for with all clients. 

Many of our data centre projects continued throughout the pandemic as, despite the pandemic, it was critical to hand these projects over on time. We had to factor in isolation periods, flightpath disruptions and the different restrictions most countries put in place into the tender processes. We further developed our pre-fabrication manufacturing capabilities, as this unique method enabled us to reduce the number of on-site staff, congestion and the amount of time needed to complete a project. In the design periods of projects, we also had to ensure that any products used reduced the risk to installation operatives on site. These barriers to international business mean we must be completely clear on compliance and know what restrictions are in place where. We limited travel across Europe by reducing the number of staff rotations on site. Data centre hotspots need local knowledge, so we employ resident management teams to ensure that we stay ahead of the game. We also use local installation teams to further reduce the impact or risk of spreading infections resulting from long-distance travel. This is all backed up by pre-commencement site inspections, staggered start times and the regular disinfectant of touchpoints. The pandemic has forced us to re-examine our processes and protocols. However, this means we are future-proof. We are prepared and know how to adapt quickly and efficiently to crises.

The use of technology during the pandemic has boomed, which means more data is being used than ever. This in turn requires data centres across the whole world. A five-year boom in this industry is predicted. Technology has developed which means how we store this data is evolving too. This spurs on innovation. Currently, data centres use a lot of power and water to keep them running. As this industry blooms, we will be able to adapt construction methods to make these centres more environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long run.

The future looks very bright for AC PLC. We are set to experience exponential growth over the coming years. We are constantly finding new fields that we can strive into and lead the way forward. We are looking to target what we are uniquely able to do. We used to do a lot of work in the interior development side of things, such as the commercial fit-out of coworking spaces. However, this market has been saturated whilst demand has been reduced as a consequence of the lockdowns and working from home. We are currently looking into the lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry. The demand for the construction of battery gigaplants is growing as the world aims to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. These facilities are built in a similar way to data centres and AC is looking to be the top construction partner in the field. The pandemic and resulting mass vaccination capabilities means there is also a growing demand for specialist pharmaceutical facilities. We are always looking forward to what we can do next. People are always going to need something manufactured and built. We are market leaders, so we look at the future and see what people are going to want. Therefore, we are able to provide the full solution. This only goes on to profit our clients.