Construction companies have to stay abreast of the latest technologies and industry developments to compete successfully in the marketplace. Here are 10 construction trends to watch for in the coming months and years.
1. Smart Contracts
A smart contract contains computer code based on blockchain technology. It executes contracts as they evolve, but only after verifying the new terms satisfy the contractual stipulations provided at the beginning.
Smart contracts could positively impact both the industry and individual businesses. They streamline operations by automatically triggering actions as conditions are met. This process leads to more efficiency and fewer errors, strengthening the relationships between companies and clients. It helps the sector at large by letting parties reach business arrangements without hiccups.
Construction site tasks can be labor-intensive and fatiguing. Exoskeletons are a type of wearable equipment many companies use to help their teams get more done while reducing strain on their bodies. They help construction organizations stay on schedule and achieve consistently high output.
One person who tried an exoskeleton to spread new pavement said she felt powerful without being out of control while wearing it. Some exoskeletons also alter a wearer’s grip strength or torque abilities, which could help them excel in repetitive manual tasks. The exoskeleton features and options vary widely based on the company chosen, but you can see why they could be game-changers for the sector.
3. Construction Management Software
Construction management software platforms typically offer a diverse set of features that allow users to do everything from placing bids for work to estimating budgets and timelines. Most of the leading options function in the cloud, which means an authorized person could log in from anywhere and check the status of a project or update it.
Specialized software for the sector also increases accountability because it creates an ongoing record of each step taken during a project, and the person or company responsible for it. The up-to-date information also enables managers to get accurate overviews that could help them swiftly make changes. These perks help the industry grow because they reduce the chances of delayed or overbudget projects.
A 2019 commercial construction report showed that 45% of construction contractors expect to use drones by 2022. Many companies using them now do so to gather aerial data and get a clearer idea of what’s happening at a jobsite.
Users may also equip drones with thermal imagery cameras that detect leaks or cracks faster and more accurately than other investigative methods. They promote productivity at the company and industry level by offering different, helpful perspectives that can verify progress and prevent problems. A growing number of companies also offer affordable, feature-filled models available to rent or buy. Large upfront investments are not necessary to give drones a try.
5. Virtual Reality
Construction companies are rapidly getting on board with virtual reality (VR) as a new form of training for construction workers. Trainers can load modules into headsets and expose learners to content in safe, interactive and immersive ways. Supporters of using the technology say students are more likely to retain the information when using VR compared to traditional methods.
Construction workers must understand a variety of particulars for effective site outcomes. For example, building support cable assemblies can assist with installations of things like lights and bay windows. Each system has a rating for a maximum number of pounds at a minimum angle. VR training could help construction workers maintain safe, high-quality outcomes, leading to positive changes for the whole industry.
6. Modular Construction
Modular construction involves assembling large sections of a building in the controlled conditions of factories, then delivering the completed pieces to worksites where people put the segments together to complete the full structure. One of the primary advantages of this approach is that construction projects can finish much faster than the time conventional methods require.
Since the majority of the work happens inside manufacturing plants, projects can move forward smoothly without the threat of inclement weather. Modular construction is one of the construction trends that seems set to make a significant impact on the industry moving forward, especially since it allows companies to give more accurate estimates of project completions.
7. Eco-Friendly Construction
Many customers are increasingly interested in construction projects that help them show stakeholders they’re environmentally conscious. Construction brands can maximize their competitiveness by becoming familiar with some of the most popular eco-friendly building materials. Those include reclaimed wood, recycled steel and cellulose insulation.
The construction sector also must collectively research and stay on top of the most effective sustainable building techniques. Which ones cause the highest energy-efficiency gains? How could construction companies help their clients take advantage of natural light in their newly built or remodeled properties? Knowing those specifics will make them better able to meet client needs and expectations.
Robots are not widely used in the sector yet, but this is another one of the construction trends to watch over the months and years to come. These machines could help with tasks that require high levels of accuracy or make people engage in repetitive work.
It’s also a good sign for the industry that today’s robots are often portable, easy to implement and even available on a rental basis. Businesses can investigate the worthiness of robots without making sizable investments on a technology they have not used yet.
9. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) combines virtual elements with real-world ones. A construction business could use an AR app to help clients visualize the proposed location of their home’s living room or kitchen. It could also improve safety or ensure people follow the right steps for procedures. Imagine a scenario where a team member looks at part of a construction site while wearing high-tech glasses and sees a virtualized list of best practice reminders.
AR could move the construction industry forward in ways no one has imagined. Many of these tools and apps are minimally invasive and do not interfere with the workflow.
10. Building Information Modeling
Building information modeling (BIM) is a technology that allows multiple parties to create and manage 3D building or infrastructure data. Having the three-dimension models to refer to in advance makes it easier for the responsible parties to foresee possible problems and work to solve them before they manifest. This trend could save the construction industry time and money.
BIM is also helpful for businesses working with contractors from several companies. They can all refer to the models and use them to coordinate efforts and avoid guesswork or uncertainty.
Construction Trends Worth Considering
There is no magic formula that helps all construction enterprises succeed in the marketplace relative to competitors. The developments here are among those that are rapidly gaining momentum. Companies interested in using them should thoroughly research them first to determine the most likely advantages coming to the business after adoption.