You don’t need to be an industry expert to know that we are on the cusp of a historic era for the construction industry.
The White House has announced a record $220 billion for American infrastructure, while homebuilding and industrial construction rates are also rising at historic levels.
So, how can you make the most of this construction boom time?
The first step is to be in the know and prepared for the future. With that in mind, here are the essential construction trends that will reshape the industry for the decade ahead and beyond.
Construction Industry Growth Will Be Uneven
One of the most important construction industry trends concerns the uneven rate of growth.
While activity is growing rapidly, much of this growth is driven by a few key states, such as Tennessee, Florida, and Texas, which rank among the fastest-growing in terms of jobs and population.
If you’re thinking strategically, it might be wise to concentrate on states where demand is highest, and ensuring that you have the right credentials to operate freely in those states.
For example, you can read about contractors’ license rules in Tennessee to see what you need to grab a slice of construction in one of America’s fastest-growing states.
Materials of the Future
In the past, construction was almost entirely a matter of glass, steel, and concrete. In the future, this will no longer be the case.
Changing regulations, climate, and cost pressure all mean that new materials are rapidly emerging as the core materials of buildings in America.
A textbook example is graphene. This lightweight material is durable, malleable, and is an excellent thermal conductor. This makes it perfect for energy-efficient construction.
This is why graphene has rapidly emerged as one of the most popular exterior materials for new residential buildings across much of the country.
Better Connected Construction Sites
Much of the innovation in construction right now is centered on communication. Across a building site, when the whole team is connected and up-to-date, safety improves and jobs get done quicker and to a higher standard.
That’s why we’re seeing the rollout of digital technologies and communications devices that allow for real-time communication, monitoring, and analysis of every person and component on the construction site.
Core to this is the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) systems in construction. This allows all people present on a site to make use of sensors to stay up-to-date on any and all errors and changes across the site ecosystem.
A better-connected site is a better-functioning one. Ontario Real Estate
The bulk of Federal initiatives and funding for construction is designed to incentivize greener, climate-friendly construction. According to the US Green Building Council, a full 40% of emissions come from buildings. This makes them a top priority in the race to net zero.
As such, green materials, methods, and technologies are now dominant across the industry. While eco-materials such as wood and bamboo play a role, it’s often simply about building in a way that reduces waste.
Buildings of the future will be energy efficient and retain heat in the winter. They will use less water. They will generate less pollution, and use more recycled materials.
It’s all about building in a way that helps the planet, rather than harming it.
Product Passports Are the Future
One of the most promising pathways to sustainable construction is through the circular economy. This means using resources that can be reused again and again.
The only way to do this is to know the origin and history of the materials you are using. For this, so-called “digital product passports” are likely to become a mainstay of construction technology.
These are already going to be rolled out across the EU next year, and will likely arise in some form in the US soon after. These allow builders and auditors to scan building materials and products to see their exact composition and origins.
This is also handy in an industry that increasingly prioritizes ethical and sustainable supply chains. With product passports, you can see a snapshot of the value chain that built your building. This could be a game-changer in driving a more ethical construction industry.
Modular Construction Boom
Modular construction has been gaining popularity for decades now, and it shows no signs of going away.
Modular construction is where a building’s components are built off-site, often on an assembly line. All of the parts can then be shipped to where they are needed, and the building can be quickly put together.
This is a cheap way to construct buildings of consistent quality very quickly, making it ideal for answering America’s housing shortage. It is also increasingly valuable at a time when the construction industry is facing a shortage of skilled laborers.
With modular construction, relatively little skill is needed on the site itself. In the tight labor market of the future, this will be a godsend.
It might sound like something far-off in the future, but robots are already here. In construction sites across America, robots are helping to build, lay foundations, text structures, and more.
Robots are, to put it simply, less likely to make the routine mistakes that humans do.
They are better suited to the more dangerous construction jobs, reducing the chances of an on-site accident. Robots can provide analytics, so you get a much better picture of productivity on a site.
While robots are unlikely to replace human construction workers any time soon, they are rapidly becoming ubiquitous across the sector.
Stay One Step Ahead
The construction industry is changing. While huge opportunities are up for grabs, only those with one foot in the future will be well-placed to seize them.
By being aware of the financial, human, legislative, and technological pressures on the industry, your company can thrive.