The year 2020 was challenging for many industries, construction included. In the immediate future, sites across the UK are allowed to stay open during the current lockdown while many other businesses are forced to close once again. But what does the extended future look like for the sector internationally?
It’s likely that many industry trends will be influenced by the fallout of the pandemic, as well as emerging technologies and environmental concerns. While recent events have shown such predictions can’t always be relied upon, here we explore some of the key considerations shaping the future of construction.
Enhanced safety for builders
Despite having long been a focus for the sector, health and safety has been forcibly taken up a notch by the pandemic. For many businesses the knock-on effects will have included increased union input and added cost and time.
Looking ahead, it’s likely we’ll see a rise of machines and wearable technology on-site to identify and eliminate common hazards. One innovative example is the wearing of work boots connected to Wi-Fi to alert others to falls.
Better tools and technology on the work site
Much of the sector will likely rely on basic essentials like these hand tools for a good while yet. But new tools and technology are emerging year after year to increase efficiency in areas such as contracts, site mapping and project staging.
Blockchain technology is already helping create smarter contracts between separate parties and suppliers, while drones are producing heat and thermal maps of large areas in real-time. Augmented reality meanwhile is increasingly bringing projects to life for buyers and tenants.
Greener building is coming
Growing environmental awareness means green construction is now expected as standard by many residential and commercial property buyers. Sustainable construction practices and building features are only likely to become more mainstream as a result.
This includes using renewable energy sources, reducing the carbon footprint and greenscaping – introducing green spaces to urban developments.
Smart cities for better lifestyles
Much of the world’s leading tech brainpower is currently going into building smart and sustainable cities. Billions are being spent on megaprojects in the likes of the Emirates, South Korea, New York and Mumbai.
The key goals are to boost economies, infrastructure and the environment through more interconnected planning and development.
New career opportunities across the construction sector
Demand for labour in the construction industry has been rocketing in recent years - and the level of skill required on larger projects is increasing too. Tomorrow’s workers will need to be as well versed in technology as they are in construction techniques and project management.
It’s expected that more women will continue to step up in both entry and senior level positions too.
So despite the world’s struggles, the outlook appears to be relatively positive for the construction sector.