These are some of the many construction industry trends that people should stay aware of in 2023, and perhaps beyond. They’ll undoubtedly affect current construction projects and those in the pipeline for the months ahead. Some of the topics here might even inspire people to pursue their first construction jobs
Many innovations in the construction industry require people to go outside their comfort zones and use new technologies and tools. Doing things differently often causes anxiety in the beginning. However, when business leaders know their peers have gotten great results with updated methods, they’ll be more open to following suit. Here are some of the most prominent construction industry trends that will shape 2023.
CONTINUED LABOUR SHORTAGE
Anyone reading about trends in construction industry publications knows they’ll often come across content detailing the difficulties of the continued labour shortage. It is a multifaceted issue.
Many construction industry professionals are near retirement or have already left the workforce. It takes significant time for the necessary knowledge transfer to occur between industry veterans and younger new hires. A related problem is that many people who have entered the workforce relatively recently don’t consider construction a viable option.
INCREASED RELIANCE ON WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION
There’s no quick fix to the labour shortage. However, one of the trends in the construction industry that’s getting attention from news outlets is the growing evidence of women entering the sector to help fill employment-related gaps.
Recruitment campaigns targeting women have led to a more than 50% jump in females taking construction roles over the past decade or so. Many such positions don’t require a college degree. Another advantage is that the pay gap between men and women in construction is typically much smaller than in other sectors.
Many women decide it’s time for a career change and ultimately realise the construction industry could give them the new option they seek. Some companies are making changes that could influence long-term construction industry trends. For example, they’re offering parental leave and making other fundamental changes to make construction positions and providers more appealing to females seeking work.
COST OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
As previously mentioned, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted construction projects worldwide. However, researchers suggest the situation is taking a positive turn. An Oxford Economics report revealed a 2.3% increase in the real value of worldwide construction projects finished in 2021. However, the labour shortage, combined with supply chain difficulties, is making it challenging for construction project managers to get the resources they need to proceed smoothly.
One of the prevailing trends in construction industry analyses is the rising costs of critical materials. As people increasingly encounter sourcing difficulties, many have no choice but to pay premium prices. Some also stay tuned to tips in construction industry discussions that could cut costs.
Fortunately, one of the positive construction industry trends of note is that relief is near. Numerous experts agree that 2023 should ease the burdens of high construction material costs. They point to several indicators of construction- related inflation becoming less intense.
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS
Construction leaders are under increased pressure to cut construction material costs and find sustainable materials. These two trends in construction industry efforts have led to many in the sector developing new building materials that meet both of these aims. Some of them involve recycling construction and demolition (C&D) waste to create engineered wood or aggregate.
Such efforts reduce the overall quantities of construction materials ending up in landfills. They also cater to an increasing desire in modern society for people to make more-sustainable choices and reflect on how choices made now could positively or negatively impact future generations for decades.
People are also interested in how alternative construction materials could be kinder to the Earth than some of today’s most popular options. For example, individuals can harvest bamboo in only three to five years. Compare that to timber, which needs decades to grow. The faster growth period makes bamboo more sustainable.
MODULAR AND PREFABRICATED BUILDING
People who follow trends in construction industry building techniques often note that there’s historically a cyclical nature to what becomes popular. In other words, even if something falls out of fashion periodically, that might not be the case forever.
Such is the case with modular and prefabricated construction. Families of the early half of the 1900s heavily relied on those options to realise their homeownership dreams. They ordered home-building kits and enjoyed the convenience of all the supplies arriving ready to assemble.
One of the trends in the construction industry that’s getting attention from news outlets is the growing evidence of women entering the sector to help fill employment-related gaps
Modular construction happens when most of the structure is built offsite before being transferred to the final destination. Prefabrication is similar and involves making or assembling certain components elsewhere and attaching them to the building later. Together, these options target much of the waste and transportation-related emissions typically associated with construction. They also often allow the building process to proceed more efficiently, with fewer errors or budgetary overruns.
THE RISE OF SMART CITIES
Many modern households have several smart devices in their homes. These gadgets do everything from helping people find information more quickly to enabling them to keep their homes clean and energy-efficient with less effort. It’s not surprising that innovations in construction industry companies often also centre on making entire cities “smarter”.
These projects often result in destinations that are safer and let residents live better, happier lives. They also give engineers, designers and other professionals exciting opportunities to push the boundaries of what’s possible and be directly responsible for long-term progress.
When planned correctly, smart cities facilitate continual improvement. That’s because they collect real-time and historical data to optimise decision-making. The statistics could prevent traffic jams, promote eco-friendly development and more. Some of the largest smart city projects cost more than $100 billion. However, the people financing them believe they’ll facilitate long-term positive changes in construction and society at large.
Eco-friendly practises encompass some of the prevailing trends in construction industry discussions. Efforts could include putting solar panels on the roofs of residential and commercial buildings. Doing so is good for the planet and often saves money. Another option is to recycle as many construction materials as possible during and after a project.
Construction company employees are also working hard to reach a status of net-zero emissions by 2050. That will occur if there is a correlation between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and removed from the atmosphere.
There’s no single way to reach that goal. Some leaders will explore innovations in construction industry processes. Others will use bamboo and other sustainable materials more frequently. Some options are unconventional but exciting. For example, research is underway to use the mycelium fungus to make natural bricks. It will take time for such possibilities to become mainstream. However, they give hope for the future.
3D printing has been a game-changer in the manufacturing sector. Many companies opt to print the spare parts and other essentials they need for their equipment rather than reordering them. However, 3D printing has also become one of the technology trends in construction industry methods. It reduces building time and promotes sustainability.
3D printing is also one of the top trends in construction industry circles because of how it could help tackle the housing shortage. Widespread usage of the technology could make houses more available to people who are unable to buy them now.
Numerous experts agree that 2023 should ease the burdens of high construction material costs. They point to several indicators of construction-related inflation becoming less intense
This construction method extends beyond homes. People have experimented with it to build schools and refugee shelters, finding it suitable for those more-specific needs. Some individuals caution that this way of building could have unknown consequences that become apparent after people use the structures for years. For now, though, many people are excited about the possibilities 3D printing offers.
TECH AND DIGITALISATION
The construction industry has not been on the cutting edge of technology. However, that’s changing in significant ways. Some site managers use drones to monitor for safety risks or check measurements. Analysts have also pointed out that the move towards connected construction will unlock new capabilities.
People no longer need paper documents that could get lost or damaged. Instead, they can pull up the required information on a cloud platform that lets them see a digital version on demand. This improvement enhances collaboration and leads to faster problem resolution. Team members can also see digital models of buildings before construction begins.
It takes time and effort for construction company leaders to figure out the best ways to embrace digital technologies in their businesses. However, one way to do that is to stay abreast of trends in construction industry improvements. They can then learn more about how peers achieved meaningful gains.
ROBOTICS AND IoT
Any thorough coverage of construction industry trends cannot overlook the influence of robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) Both those industries also influence other sectors. A robot called Moxie helps kids learn social skills and other vital capabilities. Many manufacturers use IoT sensors to monitor the condition of equipment.
One notable trend in construction industry management is the use of IoT sensors and geofencing technology. Site leaders can then ensure employees only use machines and tools at approved times and in the right places. This approach also thwarts attempted theft by sending alerts when assets leave designated locations.
Many robotics applications in the sector reduce risks or assist with primarily manual tasks, such as bricklaying. Humans can thus often do the work faster with reduced risk of injuries. The use of construction robots is becoming more commonplace.
SUPPLY CHAIN TECHNOLOGIES
Many trends in the construction industry focus on reducing weaknesses. Doing so gives the affected individuals a stronger competitive advantage. Today’s leaders in the sector face increased bottom line pressure. Some pursue supply chain technologies to reduce extra expenses associated with stockouts or surplus items.
Some high-tech supply chain platforms also have forecasting features. They allow people to react to possibly detrimental construction industry trends in time. The associated companies are then more likely to remain stable, rather than experiencing major ramifications. Smart sensors let people track parcel statuses and locations in real-time.
Supply chain technologies also often have features that let people cut down on or eliminate manual tasks. They might automatically send out or fill in the fields of invoices. Other options capture digital necessities, such as weigh station receipts. This makes it easier for people in the construction industry and elsewhere to track goods moving to their destinations.