Just as fashion designers stay on top of clothing trends, construction firms should be aware of building trends and innovations. While construction doesn’t change as quickly as fashion, it is an ever-evolving field heavily impacted by new technologies. Here are four of the biggest trends all construction companies should be aware of for 2018.
Expect to continue seeing more construction projects focus on environmentally-friendly construction and trying to fulfill LEED certifications. LEED certifications determine how “green” a building is regarding energy usage, water usage, air quality and building materials. LEED certification can boost the public opinion of your company.
Technology and automation
The rise of technology also appears in the construction industry as well. Instead of robots taking jobs from trained construction professionals, the rise of technology is aiding construction workers. Machines are now able to handle jobs that are dangerous for humans, like this teleoperated humanoid robot RoboMiner.
Throughout 2017, many large companies began to invest in offsite construction. Expect to see this trend continue to rise in 2018. The move towards offsite construction is caused in-part by supply-side challenges and a need to increase productivity. Supplies are even beginning to create lines specifically for offsite construction to help streamline operations.
Given the many instances of extreme weather disasters in 2017, expect buildings in 2018 to have an increased focus on resilience and infrastructure. Last year, property owners took a financial hit totaling at least $306 billion. The U.S. Green Building Council has even adopted RELi resilience construction standards. The standard gives points in categories such as access to emergency supplies, communications and first aid; and adaptive design for extreme weather and associated hazards.
Overall, construction firm owners expect growth for all types of construction services in 2018, both in the private and public sectors. Market trends predict the dollar volume of projects for which they compete for in 2018 to be higher than the dollar volume available in 2017.
The projects construction owners are most positive about include retail, private offices, transportation, warehouse, water, lodging, sewer and manufacturing. Each of these sectors is reporting a net positive of 20 percent growth or more. On the other hand, categories for which construction owners are less optimistic about include higher education, multifamily, power and public building. Schools and hospitals currently fall in the middle, with an 18 and a 17 percent net positive respectively.
Growth in the number of construction projects available means a need to expand the workforce, the greatest challenge identified by construction company owners. 50 percent of construction companies plan to increase headcount by an average of 10 -12% this year.