How Is the Construction Industry Changing?

Author

Published

Adam Bombini

June 18th 2020

The construction industry is known to change at a snail’s pace. Year after year, construction persists, remaining largely the same. 

However, the sector is already seeing some drastic shifts thanks to cutting-edge technology, rising labour costs, labour shortages, changing mindsets about the environment, and more. A new era is approaching in this booming sector. Keeping up with the latest innovations and trends can help you stay competitive and gain an edge. 

So, what’s in store for the future? 

Sustainable Construction

The construction industry is going green! More and more construction firms are focusing on building more sustainable structures by using environmentally friendly processes, systems, and materials. This is good news considering the construction industry is known to be a significant polluter. 

Construction managers are now implementing strategies to make buildings more energy efficient. They’re using green construction materials like precast concrete. They’re taking steps to reduce material waste, air pollution, noise pollution, and water pollution on the job site.

Expect to see this construction trend flourish in the near future. 

The Rise of BIM Software

One of the biggest factors set to change how construction crews operate is the full-blown adoption of construction software to manage jobs, create efficiencies, improve communication, and empower the construction process. Building information modeling (BIM) software allows construction managers to generate accurate computer representations of their buildings.

While some companies have already adopted BIM software into their operations, many others have not. This will soon change as the use of technology in construction becomes the norm, not the exception. Construction companies will need to get on board or get left behind. 

The effective use of BIM software by project stakeholders can significantly reduce the risk of project delays and budget miscalculations. 

Greater Use of Technology

The use of technology in construction doesn’t stop at BIM, though. More forward-thinking firms are implementing innovative technologies into their processes to gain an edge. For example, blockchain technology is allowing firms to use smart contracts as all-in-one tracking systems with enforceable rules and deadlines. This makes getting contracts from all parties involved and tracking deliverables much more efficient. 

Mobile technology is also rising on site. Many construction professionals consider it to be vital to their projects, allowing for in-site accountability, digital measuring of space with a mobile phone camera, and real-time inspections. 

Taking Construction Processes to the Next Level with AR and VR

While not quite widespread in their use yet due to their cost, augmented reality and virtual reality are set to grow in popularity in the construction industry in the near future. 

These technologies enable construction managers to plan ahead with a detailed virtual projection of the structure’s final form. They’ll know, from the start, exactly what resources will be needed for a project. This can reduce the risks of wasted resources, wasted money, and wasted time, making AR and VR highly valuable additions to construction project management. 

The Next Generation of Tools

Of course, construction workers need the right tools to complete a job, and new tools are constantly hitting the market. The next-generation tools we’re beginning to see, however, are completely changing the game. They’re enabling workers to work smarter and enabling construction firms to gain a competitive edge, too. Think: exoskeletons. These devices allow workers to lift, carry, and pull more, while also increasing the efficiency of every movement. 

Further, some types of next-generation tools (and robots) are integrated with software that makes them capable of machine learning over time. Today, most are still too expensive to make fiscal sense on most job sites. But, eventually, these tools and robots may replace lower-level construction workers once their software proves to be flawless and the prices drop. 

A Changing Workforce

The next generation of tools will bring forth the next generation of workers. Expect the workforce to change to more educated and highly skilled construction workers who are adept at technology. 

Soon, construction is going to be considered a promising career field for tech-savvy young professionals.

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