Every year, there are new trends that appear in the construction industry, and 2019 will be no exception. Many construction company owners have already been looking back at 2018 to try and determine what trends will rise this year. Getting ahead of these trends can be an essential step in beating the competition. Let’s take a look at some of the upcoming trends for 2019.
Technology Will Supplement Your Workforce
While automation and robotics are transforming the workforce of some industries, this isn’t going to be seen as much in construction. Instead, technology will supplement your workforce rather than replace any of your human workers. What construction crews are likely to find is that technology makes tasks easier and reduces the amount of repetitive work that a human has to do.
For example, there is already a robot that can do basic masonry work, but it can’t do anything that requires creativity or problem-solving. Instead, it can merely install bricks over and over, something that can be physically straining for a person to do. That worker can focus on another task that isn’t as exhaustive.
Machines can also do work that’s potentially dangerous or go into small spaces that human workers can’t always fit into. This increases job site safety in addition to saving time and money. Robots may even allow construction workers to continue working longer since their bodies won’t be under as much strain and there’s less risk of injury.
One type of technology that’s already in heavy use on job sites is remote-controlled drones. These drones can be used to get high-quality photo and video images of a work site for minimal cost. Traditionally, these images were taken by helicopters or planes, neither of which was a cheap option. For less than $100, you can purchase a fairly good drone and get a bird’s eye view of the entire area.
Productivity and Efficiency Will Rule
The construction industry and the country as a whole have barely recovered from the 2008 recession, and already experts are predicting another may be on its way. That means companies across the board are looking for ways of increasing productivity, improving efficiency, and reducing waste. The construction industry is no different. If it’s wasteful, you can expect to see it gone. More and more companies will be looking at ways of improving the bottom line without sacrificing quality.
In some cases, that does go back to technology. In other cases, it may involve making use of renewable or recycled materials. Green building techniques are going to become more and more popular since they save money down the line, even if there’s a higher up-front cost. Prefabrication rather than on-site work is also likely to become more of the norm since it does often reduce costs and overhead, and can also help speed up the building process due to inclement weather.
Restore and Re-purpose Rather than Build New
Another trend expected to grow in 2019 is reusing older buildings instead of tearing them down and putting up new construction. By restoring buildings, construction crews will be doing more than just saving historic landmarks; they will also be saving materials and money. Often, these older buildings don’t need a lot of work to make them useful again. Some do need to be brought up to code, of course, or may need be completely gutted and rebuilt from the inside out. In some cases, though, this is actually much more affordable than a new building and takes less time.
The Gender Gap Will Close
If you think of a construction crew, you likely imagine a group of big men. However, more women are entering the construction industry than ever before. There are even some all-female construction crews who are taking on major projects. Don’t expect to see nothing but men on the job site this year, and don’t expect the women you see to be frail or unable to do their job. These women are just as skilled and knowledgeable as their male peers, and they’re ready to get the job done.
Sustainability and Green Building
As we touched on earlier, using recycled and sustainable materials will help with lean construction, but going green is also expected to be a trend itself. More and more homeowners are looking for green homes, and businesses do see the value in working out of energy-efficient spaces. Moving into a building that uses much less energy is certainly attractive to companies that are facing high costs and are concerned about another potential recession. Everyone is going to want energy-efficient spaces, especially if it means they can also include “being eco-friendly” in their marketing.
All in all, 2019 is going to bring some changes to the construction industry, but experts see these changes as being helpful and providing companies with more ways to grow and expand. Embracing some of these trends now is an excellent way of getting ahead of the competition.