The construction industry is constantly changing and is seeing significant developments that will improve efficiency. However, the industry as a whole is slightly hesitant when it comes to adopting these new and innovative processes. Many of these new technologies and developments can help construction companies accomplish some of their most important business objectives including safety, efficiency and sustainability. With that being said, here are 5 major trends that construction companies should keep an eye out for in 2020.
Technology innovation is one of the biggest trends in almost every industry, and the construction industry is no exception. Technology in construction is a powerful tool that allows companies to streamline their processes while also improving safety, productivity and overall efficiency. Some up and coming technology that has made its way into the construction industry include:
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Mobile Technology
- 3D Printing
- Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Environmental sustainability is an extremely important topic is our world today, meaning that many industries are adopting processes to reduce their ecological footprint. The construction industry has definitely taken part in these changes and has seen much innovation surrounding environmental sustainability, although many of these eco-friendly features can be expensive and inaccessible for some companies.
This could potentially be due to the demand from customer, or also due to compliance with regulations. The main ways the construction companies are looking to become more sustainable is by limiting the carbon pollution and overuse of resources for a project, which can likely be accomplished with newer technologies.
Improved Safety Equipment & Procedures
The construction industry as a whole suffers from a significant number of workplace accidents and fatalities, meaning that safety equipment and procedures are vital to the well-being of workers. Some examples of innovations that have been designed to improve jobsite and worker safety include:
- Machines that can identify safety issues and eliminate threats
- Health and safety software’s to improve compliance
- Innovative construction gear to improve individual worker safety
Increased Material Costs
Another key trend that has affected the construction industry is the increasing costs of materials. The Association of General Contractors roughly estimates a 7.4% increase of material costs from year to year. There are many factors that could lead to this increase, such as increasing interest rates or higher production costs of newly innovative materials.
With material costs increasing there will be a higher price tag on construction contracts, causing clients to protentional reconsider getting work done until they are able to afford it. Experts say that some forms of technology will be extremely important to combat the pressure that materials costs have caused, and will be able to help maintain project efficiency and volume.
One critical trend that continues to impact the construction industry is shortage of labour. The current state of the construction cycle shows that labor is both expensive and competitive, however the number of skilled workers needed to meet demand within the industry has decreased. With the limited amount of workers available to construction companies, important projects are taking much longer to be completed leading to lower productivity overall.
The first evidence of labor shortages occurred during the recession in 2008-2009, however companies have found it difficult to hire skilled workers since then. Companies are looking to eliminate some negative perceptions surrounding careers in the trades, and want to target Gen Z (people born between 1995-2010) to pursue this career path. Their goal is to emphasize the career growth potential, the opportunities to experiment within the industry and the value of the working in the skilled trades.
As we all know, it is so important to keep up with trends within the industry so that your construction company can be prepared and improve their business practices. Whether it be positive changes that move the industry forward or somewhat negative trends that challenge the construction cycle, you and your team should be aware of them all.