The construction industry is always changing and evolving. Every year new trends appear within the industry, from technological advancements to a stronger focus on sustainability. If you run a construction company and you want to make sure you stay ahead of the game, it can be useful to be aware of emerging trends that could prepare you for the future.
After all, many of the trends make construction work easier and more efficient, so if you aren’t aware of them, you may find it hard to keep up with your competitors. While it can be difficult to know which trends will be more popular than others, there are a few important trends already starting to emerge. Here are seven major trends that will impact the construction industry over the next year.
1. More Technological Integration
Technology is one of the main factors pushing change in nearly every industry, but in some ways, the construction industry has managed to partially avoid this. However, recent advancements have resulted in technology that is specifically suited to construction; with more drone usage and 3D printing than ever before, it is likely the construction industry will embrace both these forms of technology.
After all, both will make construction work safer and easier; drones can be used to ensure materials are placed exactly how they should be, and 3D printing can be used to make sure every material is the perfect size. Self-driving vehicles may also become more popular within the construction industry, as well as mobile and cloud applications that make the whole construction process more straightforward.
Another form of technology that people can expect to see more of is Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM will make the collaboration aspect of construction easier. Most construction projects require tens (or even hundreds) of people to come up with essential aspects of the plan, but it can be difficult for all these people to stay in communication.
Many construction companies are already starting to use BIM technology, and it isn’t hard to see why. There are lots of benefits to using BIM; it makes resource management easier, it helps people to stay in touch throughout the project, and it enables enhanced collaboration. In fact, the National BIM report of 2017 by the NBS found that people are having a very positive response to the technology. The report found that nearly 80% of the participants believe BIM is the future of project management, and a further 60% believe the technology has the ability to make projects more time efficient.
2. Increase in Prefabrication and Modular Construction Projects
Prefabrication and modular construction have both become more popular over the last year or so, and it isn’t hard to see why. Both trends are energy efficient and cost-effective, which is ideal at a time when most material prices are rising, or high already! This popularity is likely to increase even more over the next few months, especially for construction companies looking to cut overall costs. And with the help of effective hot melt adhesives and the overall ease of design, the actual construction of the homes is quite quick. So, you can expect to see a lot more permanent modular buildings in the future, as well as pop-up buildings and prefabricated homes.
3. Additional Focus on Sustainability
Increasingly, people are focused on sustainability, so the most successful companies are also focusing on sustainability. This is a terrific way to appeal to the Millennials, and of course, it is also much better for the world as a whole. For this reason, it is very likely that most, if not all, construction companies will place a strong focus on sustainability. While it is still important to find the best product for the job, it is likely managers will look for products that have a focus on ecological benefits, such as living walls that provide an area with fresh oxygen.
4. Improved Safety Procedures
Most people understand construction isn’t the safest job in the world, especially when compared with an office job. After all, the industry suffers far more workplace accidents and fatalities, and this knowledge has resulted in an increased level of scrutiny on the industry. This scrutiny has resulted in the development of technology designed to make construction sites safer. New mobile apps and computer programmers make it easier for employees to adhere to safety measurements when they are working.
5. A Rise in the Popularity of Project Management Software
Many industries are now embracing project management software, and this includes the construction industry. Project management software has been improved significantly over the last few years, and now there are lots of specialized programs to suit different jobs; from designing a building to running a construction site.
The software provides construction companies with three major advantages; transparency, accountability, and efficiency. As many people will be using the same software, it is easier for people to understand their role, which could also help to make construction sites safer.
Currently, project management software offers real-time communication, trackability, and a project overview. This could result in an increase in IT spending within the construction industry, which is interesting since most construction managers only spend around 2% of their budget on IT.
6. Slow Growth
While the demand for construction is likely to continue growing, the growth will be slower than many people expect. This is due to limited spending in both residential and non-residential sectors, which could result in an increase in competition.
7. Rising Material Costs
The last few years have seen rising material costs within the construction industry, and sadly this trend is sticking around. Due to the rising cost of skilled labor and supplies, construction companies have been forced to fork out more if they want to keep the company going – and prices are expected to stay just as high in 2018. This is why many construction companies are looking for ways to cut overall costs – and if you are doing this, one of the best things you can do is embrace new construction technologies that can make your workforce more efficient. It can also be useful to bulk buy materials to lower costs.
The overall outlook for construction is positive. The construction industry is an essential part of any successful city, although rising costs can make it harder for smaller companies to compete. However modern technologies are set to make the world of construction safer, more efficient, and more effective, which could help to lower overall costs.