The latest construction industry trends are continuing to change, adapt and evolve in order to accommodate the increasing demands of businesses throughout the industry, but what are the key trends to watch out for in 2022?
The Rising of Connected Cities
The Journal of Urban Technology defines smart cities as high-tech intensive urban developments which connects people, data and elements to improve the economy, eco-friendliness and quality of life of the city.
With smart cities being more and more common, construction projects are more likely to be technologically complex (with the likes of pedestrian sensors and Wi-Fi-enabled lighting), which means construction companies will need to increase their technical knowledge.
According to The American Genius, “a more long-term change and a more substantial one, is that the role of construction will shift. Digitalisation has changed what people do across various industries now that movement is coming to the building sector. As smart city development gradually becomes standard, construction companies will start to look more like technology businesses. By its very nature, smart city technology requires a marriage of construction and computer sciences and given this technological metamorphosis in the industry, construction companies will have to embrace collaboration.”
With this being said, the key to preparing for the rise of smart cities is to ensure that all members of the construction team are educated and it may be beneficial that companies conduct training for their employees.
As construction revenues have slowed throughout the year, the net profiles of the industry have remained relatively slim and on average, the construction earnings before tax are around 5.5% of revenue (according to Deloitte), with leaves very little room for unplanned expenses.
As building material prices have risen throughout 2021 due to Covid-19 and Brexit, construction companies need to prepare themselves for finding an alternative in case prices continue to soar.
These construction industry trends can be prepared for by considering how the material prices will affect your budget, estimates and bids. Companies need to bear in mind that shopping around with a strong negotiation plan may be one of the ways going forward, but some costs may have to be passed onto customers.
Decline in Workforce
In accordance with the CITB’s preliminary Construction Skills Network forecasts, released as part of its Strategic Plan for 2021-25, the figures show that there are 2.7m people working in the construction industry in 2019. It was predicted that this number would fall to 2.4m in 2020, before rising to 2.7m by 2025.
The impact of the shortage has posed a significant risk to companies who want to take on new projects, but without the required workforce, meeting demand can become a challenge if project deadlines are missed due to a lack of workers.
To prevent a continual decline, companies must do more with the employees such as:
- Pay competitive wages
- Offer bonuses and performance-based incentives
- Create training and certification programs, as well as introducing apprenticeships
Conducting one or two of the above steps will reduce employee turnover, assist recruiting the very best employees and build strong customer relationships through improved performance.
Technology and Digitalization within Construction
The introduction of new technology in the construction industry promises increased efficiency, productivity and workforce safety. Innovations already in development include:
- Robots performing repetitive tasks, such as brick laying.
- Self-driving construction vehicles.
- Drones for site inspections and land surveying.
Technology has affected every industry and therefore, it is no surprise that the construction industry is now continuing to embrace it more and more.
Overall, these latest construction trends are likely to continue to impact the industry significantly beyond this year and firms need to ensure they are prepared.