Cambridge Construction Shutdown

Cambridge has joined Boston in shutting down all nonessential construction sites due to COVID-19. Construction sites have until Saturday, March 21, 2020 to stop all construction activity and transition only to make-safe work. By 5:00 PM on Thursday, March 26, all make-safe work must be completed. Any work continuing beyond the above dates must be deemed “essential” by the Commissioner of Inspectional Services or the Commissioner of Public Works.

Cambridge has additionally stopped the issuance of building permits, trade permits, and licenses from ISD or PWD effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, except for essential work.

The City has defined “essential work” as the following:

  • Emergency work to address leaks or utility failures
  • Utility connections or repairs if stopping work is a health or safety hazard,
  • Essential to maintain life safety systems,
  • Maintaining safety and connectivity of the transportation network,
  • Emergency work to make a building safe or sanitary (repair to failed heat, plumbing, or electrical systems)
  • Work in connection with providing health services related to COVID-19
  • Work directly associated with COVID-19 mitigation such as shelters, temporary health care facilities, or related laboratory research,
  • Maintenance of make-safe measures previously completed at job sites
  • Authorized building or utility work to render occupied buildings habitable,
  • Work determined by the Commissioners of Inspectional Services or Public Works as essential

Any of the above exceptions still need to be authorized by the Commissioners, as the approval is not automatic.

Construction of one-, two-, or three-family residential structures that was already permitted is not impacted by the moratorium.

For additional information on safely securing work sites and/or assistance in modifying your NFPA 241 Plans to represent this intermediary state, please click here.


Application of any information provided, for any use, is at the reader’s risk and without liability to Code Red Consultants. Code Red Consultants does not warrant the accuracy of any information contained in this blog as applicable codes and standards change over time. The application, enforcement and interpretation of codes and standards may vary between Authorities Having Jurisdiction and for this reason, registered design professionals should be consulted to determine the appropriate application of codes and standards to a specific scope of work.