5 Construction Industry Trends to Expect in 2018

2018 Construction Industry Trends
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2018 is already underway, and it’s setting itself up to be a year of advancement and change for the construction industry. While there is no crystal ball we can use to guarantee the future, there are a few trends in the industry that we feel confident will unfold this year.

Staying informed on what changes may come helps those in the construction industry improve and advance their business goals as well as prepare for any potential challenges and obstacles they may face. Knowledge and educated foresight give businesses the advantage they need to succeed and prosper, as the better prepared they are, the more strategically and efficiently they can plan.

That being said, here are five probable construction industry trends to look forward to in 2018:

More Use of Real-Time Project Management Software

Like many industries, construction firms are starting to realize that the way of the future is through technology. While there is talk about robots and self-driving cars making a larger impact in the coming years, not all of the new developments are so jarring.

One of the easiest ways construction firms can streamline their project development this year is through real-time project management software. Many firms already see the benefit of using a modernized method to keep projects organized, but there are still some that have stuck with the traditional methods.

As more professionals in the industry start to notice the benefit of digital management, it makes sense that this trend will only escalate in 2018 and will eventually become the standard protocol. Here are a few of the main benefits of using construction project management software:

  • Real-time updates allow construction project managers to instantly evaluate and track progress, improving productivity and project supervision.
  • The risk of important data being lost is minimized when everything is stored in the same location. Insufficient data collection is extremely common in the construction industry, making this feature a huge asset.
  • Real-time project management software allows multiple users to collaborate and communicate in an immediate, straightforward manner.
  • Clients can track their project’s progress in a transparent fashion.
  • Tracking expenses, budget allocation, and other accounting details will be easy and accessible.

Heightened Focus on Eco-Conscious Building Practices

In many industries, emphasizing green-friendly practices has become a large priority, and the world of construction is no different. With greater awareness of climate change concerns, the public and federal and state governments are demanding more energy-efficient and eco-friendly building options.

As an example, multiple cities have passed laws requiring newly built, large buildings to be constructed with green roofs, and it seems that the trend is only growing. In recent years, green construction has been projected to be one of the fastest-growing facets of the industry, and the conversations surrounding the importance of eco-consciousness have not slowed down. It feels safe to say that both the mandates and preferences for green building practices will most likely rise in 2018 and beyond.

Increased Use of Drones

Drones are becoming more widely used in construction, and their use is expected to amplify this year. It’s estimated that in commercial industries like construction, drone usage will climb over 50% by 2021 from the 102,600 used in 2016. They are reshaping the industry in a variety of ways, making multiple areas of a project much more streamlined. Here are a few of the key areas where drones can impact the construction industry:

  • Drones make surveying land and gathering data significantly more efficient and accurate. The amount of time, money, and equipment it takes to precisely map projects will be greatly reduced.
  • Construction project managers who are overseeing multiple projects can get real-time feedback on project progress, making their jobs immensely easier.
  • Drones help provide improved surveillance over construction sites.
  • Drones are able to survey high-risk areas that previously required human involvement, therefore reducing work-related injuries.

Enhanced Focus On Prefabricated Construction

The benefits of prefabricated, or modular, construction are starting to be widely recognized. Prefabricated buildings can be completed at a much faster rate with fewer workers than those that are built on-site because the majority of their construction occurs in factory-like settings. This helps reduce workplace accidents, and it also prevents delays and damage that stem from weather-related and on-site setbacks.

As the labor shortage continues (more on that below), it seems that utilizing modular construction is a smart way the industry can manage to keep up with demand and continue to build quality structures, so it won’t be a surprise if this starts to become a more go-to option in the coming year.

Continued Labor Shortages

The demand for construction is expected to grow in 2018, but the wave of new projects will be met with a significant shortage of qualified workers. In a recent survey by the Associated General Contractors of America, 75% of the construction firms surveyed stated that they expect the need for construction services to expand in 2018, but despite the anticipated growth, 82% stated that they expect it will be arduous to find the construction talent they need to fill important positions.

Finding top talent in the construction industry has been particularly difficult in recent years, as the baby boomers who have the experience to fill executive roles are heading towards retirement while few millennials are entering the construction trade.

Construction business owners are trying to combat this shortage by paying higher wages and salaries, offering more bonuses and benefits, and creating incentives/mentorship programs to attract younger workers. They are also turning towards alternative building methods, such as prefabricated construction, that require fewer laborers.

Happy 2018!

As you can see, 2018 looks like it will be an exciting time for the construction world. Technological advancements and green building practices will pave the way towards a more efficient and eco-conscious industry, shaping the world into a healthier, more convenient place.

While the industry itself is poised for growth, the only downside is that the labor shortage will continue. The good news is that we can help. With over 41 years of experience and a history of over 9,000 successful placements, we know how to find and recruit only the most qualified of talent.

Contact us today to find out how we can be a partner in your success and help make this year your best one yet.

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