2019, has been an amazing year for the construction industry, with many changes to supply routes and technology.
But in 2021, the global pandemic had caused unpredicted disruption. For the construction industry, trends like social distancing, teleworking, breaks in the supply chain, and cash flow disruption spell change at every level. There are some trends that keep you on top of the construction industry, it not only keep your company from falling behind, but it helps you prepare for the future.
Here are some construction industry trends we see on the horizon for 2021.
Trends in Construction
- Modular Construction & Prefabrication : Modular construction and prefabricated building, which was already steadily on the rise, and should see a huge boost in the post-pandemic era.
Prefabricated buildings are built in a way that promotes low workers. The manufacturing is done in air buildings, with social distancing. And the equipment used are ceiling cranes, conveyor belts, and lifts are specifically designed to let fewer workers move larger components, reducing labor costs. This construction trend isn’t going anywhere.
- Safety : Safety has always been a concern, but after covid-19 the dynamics have been fully changed and safety rises to the top of the list. Adjustments to mitigate the spread of covid-19 will focus on the separation of workers, enhanced equipment, and cleanliness protocols.
Separation is a bit difficult on a Jobsite, so anticipate smaller crews and work in shifts to keep job sites less crowded. Enhanced protocols will include the expected things, like masks and hand sanitizers, and things specific to construction. Also, use only protective equipment.
- Green Technology : As more companies are adopting sustainability, green construction is a growing field in construction. Green construction refers to the building of projects in an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient way.
The construction industry accounts for about 20% of global emissions. By constructing environmentally friendly buildings and focusing on longevity and sustainability, a building can be both economically and environmentally efficient.
- Remote Technology : Anything that promises that a task can be completed remotely is going to grow quickly. This is true for both building tasks and administrative tasks.
This technology is becoming simpler to use and is being rapidly adopted in large-scale work, with inroads now being made even on smaller jobs.
- Design Technology - BIM & VIC : Design technology was already a very popular trend before the pandemic, and there’s simply no stopping or disrupting it. The construction of the building in virtual space before building it in real life is just too great to be ignored by either designers or contractors.
In fact, there are no drawings at all in BIM i.e. Building Information Modeling, only a model of the buildings in virtual space that you take images of to make the drawings set. It allows the designer to actually construct the building in the virtual world as practice runs for it being built in the real world.
For builders, this is even more valuable. Generally, referred to by contractors as VDC i.e. Virtual Design and Construction, the principle is that the same. Imagine finding all the pitfalls of a project- the coordination issues, the difficult connections, the required but unaccounted for components. The cost savings are often incredible within the field and within the office.
- Supply Chain Diversification : The disruption to supply chains has forced contractors to find alternative suppliers or to pay higher prices for materials than before.
This construction trend will mean reevaluating long-term business relationships and brand loyalties and taking risks on new alliances. Obviously, this risk will come at a cost, and it will take intense coordination from suppliers, generals, and owners to make timely, and informed decisions on alternates.
New contracts will likely put more emphasis to cover unforeseen cost increases, and current contracts may need to be similarly revised. But it’s also an opportunity for suppliers and contractors to move into areas and clients that might have previously been difficult to access.
Takeaways for Construction in 2021
Though it’s impossible to predict the future, we can make calculated guesses and look to history. Throughout 2019, there has been an increase in several new trends within the industry. Some of these will play an instrumental part in construction throughout 2020. As the construction industry is constantly evolving, it is very essential to stay up to date with these trends to stay competitive.