The outbreak of COVID-19 took quite a heavy toll on the entire business sector, especially on the sectors sensitive to economic cycles such as the construction industry. And truly, according to recent surveys, as many as 40% of construction companies had to lay off workers as a result of the pandemic with the entire sector hitting the historic low somewhere around April 2020.
Fortunately, since then things have slowly turned around and the construction sector is now back in shape. But, the industry we have now is not really the one we left back in 2020. Check out this industrial supply store for your company needs.
Yes, the global pandemic has either put a lot of new trends into motion or decontextualized and sped up the changes already taking place. Knowing these trends may determine the future of your company in this new environment. So, let us take a look at some of the most notable mentions.
Higher level of process automation
The construction industry has for a very long time been moving in the direction of automation and higher utilization of technologies like robotics, IoT, and Augmented Reality. Naturally, all these processes took stronger roots when the pandemic closed the worksites and continues to be very potent now that the United States is experiencing one of the worst labor shortages in recent history. What’s interesting is that these changes are also changing the labor structure since the present-day highly automated construction industry requires a greater influx of IT experts, data engineers, and similar professionals.
The industry leans more heavily in the female direction
One of the reasons behind this welcome change comes in the fact that digital technologies present a far more egalitarian environment for female professionals than traditionally male-dominated construction sites. Even if we bring things down to these most basic construction activities we can see a growing presence of female workers. This can also be clearly observed through ancillary industries like, for example, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) oriented toward women. Such developments, in turn, make the construction industry even more inclusive and call for even deeper and far-reaching changes.
The growing relevance of civil engineering
Even though this construction subsector is not discussed so frequently it still makes a massive part of the present-day construction world. The majority of infrastructure projects in the civil sector like bridges, driveways, roads, base slabs, and footpaths you can see around you were produced by professional civil concrete construction services. Since this sector has proved to be much more resilient to various market disruptions like the ones we have experienced lately and was used to fuel the economy we can expect civil engineering to, once again, pick up the pieces and become one of the driving forces in the industry.
The rise of 3D printing
Of course, 3D printing was discussed as one of the promising construction trends for quite some time now but it looks like we needed a global pandemic to finally realize the full potential of this new technology. This development is largely helped by the fact that the very 3D printing tech has become much more streamlined, affordable, and efficient. All these factors, combined with the clean production and affordable prices helped 3D printed houses to earn quite a lot of popularity. According to a recent survey, 66% of consumers would consider living in a 3D-printed home. A free market is there to provide.
Stronger focus on sustainability
Sustainability and green policies have in recent years become some of the main focal points of the entire business world. The construction industry is not an exception. What’s important to note here is that in the current economy various green incentives and added taxes for the constructions that are not seen as sustainable will effectively turn sustainability from one of the favorable options to an absolute industry prerequisite. Rising public interest in fighting climate change will be not only limited to the overall construction projects but also spill over to construction materials and other ancillary industries.
BIM becomes a foundation of the industry
If you are unfamiliar with the term, BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and it represents a very comprehensive virtual modeling technology that allows participation of various parties and sets up the foundations for seamless collaboration in the project. As this technology evolved, we have moved from simple 3D virtual basics to detailed models that are now able to take into account factors like cost and time overlays as well as sustainability and energy budgeting. All these bits of data are kept in the same place which makes the project management clean, efficient, and as streamlined as possible.
We hope these few examples gave you a general idea about the direction in which the construction industry will be heading by the end of 2022 so you can use these insights to keep your company safe from any eventual turmoil in the following period. As we can see, the construction industry is going through a massive internal overhaul aimed at making the entire sector leaner, more sustainable, and more inclusive. The companies that fail to realize these things in time will be forced to play a catch-up game with the rest of the industry. In this game, there will be no safety nets to fall onto.