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These trends in the construction industry will make a big impact in 2023. Find out what you need to know about them now.
Staying abreast of the trends in construction industry discussions can help decision-makers more effectively respond to changes and limit the associated disruptions of major shifts. Keeping informed of what’s new is also an excellent way to maintain competitiveness in an ever-challenging industry.
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.
1. Continued Labor Shortage
Anyone reading about trends in construction industry publications knows they’ll often come across content detailing the difficulties of the continued labor 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.
Nick Grandy, a senior analyst of construction and real estate at RSM US, said there are approximately 25% more empty construction positions than people coming on board to fill needs. A compounding matter is that people reevaluated their work-life balances during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many left their roles in search of better opportunities. That phenomenon affected construction industry trends, too. After all, the public health crisis halted or canceled many planned builds.
2. Increased Reliance on Women in Construction
There’s no quick fix to the labor shortage. However, one of the trends in the construction industry that’s getting attention from other 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 realize the construction industry could give them the new option they seek. Some companies are making changes that could affect 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 looking for work.
3. Cost of Construction Materials
As previously mentioned, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted construction projects worldwide. However, researchers suggest the situation is making 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 labor 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 realize their homeownership dreams. They ordered home-building kits and enjoyed the convenience of all the supplies arriving ready to assemble.
Modular construction happens when most of the structure gets 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.
6. 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 center on making entire cities “smarter,” too.
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 optimize 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.
7. Green Building
Eco-friendly practices 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 net-zero emissions status by 2050. That will occur if the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and those removed from the atmosphere match.
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.
8. 3D Printing
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 unable to buy them now.
This construction method goes 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.
9. Tech and Digitalization
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 toward 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. Then, they can learn more about how peers achieved meaningful gains.
10. 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 affect other sectors, too. 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 of the notable trends in construction industry management is to use IoT sensors and geofencing technology. Then, site leaders can ensure employees only use machines and tools at approved times and in the right places. This approach also thwarts theft attempts by alerting people when assets leave designated locations.
Many robotics applications in the sector reduce risks or assist with primarily manual tasks, such as bricklaying. Then, humans can often get the work done faster with a reduced risk of injuries. The use of construction robots is becoming more common, especially as leaders in the sector attempt real-life use cases.
11. Supply Chain Technologies
Many trends in the construction industry focus on reducing weaknesses. Doing that gives the affected individuals a stronger competitive advantage. Today’s leaders in the sector face increased pressure on the bottom line. 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. Then, the associated companies are more likely to remain stable rather than experience 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. Then, it’s easier for people in the construction industry and elsewhere to track goods moving to their destinations.
12. Focus on the Bottom Line
The need to keep construction projects well-managed is one of the trends in construction industry priorities that will remain for the foreseeable future. It’s not enough for site managers to finish their projects on time and with no major mishaps. They also must stay mindful of the budget.
Pursuing optimization by improving cost-savings and efficiency will help people get the desired results. It’s also useful for individuals to choose metrics and set associated goals. They can then see how things change over time. The outcomes will help them determine whether things are going in the right direction or require further tweaks.
Paying attention to the bottom line gives people more flexibility, letting them respond confidently to changing circumstances. Maybe they need to temporarily pay more for material not as widely available as before. Perhaps they’ll spend significant amounts on a creative hiring campaign. Monitoring the bottom line gives leaders more freedom to spend on those necessities.
How Will You Respond to These Trends in Construction Industry Priorities?
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.
Visit Revolutionized often to get the latest news on innovations in construction industry methods and preferences. This is a fast-changing sector, but keeping pace with it is a great way to maintain knowledge and feel competent when participating in discussions about the industry or giving recommendations to peers.
Revolutionized is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn more here.