5 Construction Trends on the Rise
On the surface, a commercial construction site may look as it did a few years ago with many construction workers, heavy equipment and materials moving around. But deep down, there are subtle changes that are shifting the direction of the industry. From improving productivity to reducing the carbon footprint to shorter delivery times, these 5 trends are forever changing the construction industry.
With an emphasis on sustainability, green building is one area which is making significant advancements in both design and construction. For instance, sustainable design practices are being deployed to reduce the waste of raw materials, energy, water and other resources. Some construction materials are even manufactured from salvaged and recycled items. Non-toxic materials have also replaced materials with volatile organic compounds that were previously used in insulation, roofing, windows, paints, flooring, etc.
To ensure that commercial buildings are comfortable and productive, architects are also considering the efficient use of space along with improvements to traffic and workflow for the commercial building and surrounding neighborhood.
The labor shortages that have been plaguing the industry is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. The labor shortage may be due to two factors. First, it has been hard to find skilled workers who can work efficiently and effectively. Second, young people have chosen to venture into other careers apart from building and construction. Project managers can tackle this problem by offering on-site training and increasing wages, to attract a new generation of workers to the industry. Also, technological advancements are allowing contractors to build more efficiently and safely with less workers.
All commercial clients would love to see their projects come to life before a shovel hits the ground. Augmented reality (AR) produces computer-generated images that give commercial property owners and project managers a realistic view of their project, while the building is still under construction. This technology transforms 2D models such as photos and blueprints into interactive 3D objects. Also, viewers can change the color, room sizes, furniture and other objects based on their vision of the completed design.
Many commercial contractors are taking advantage of modular offsite construction to shorten delivery times. Prefabricated structures are made in a factory, then transported to the site for assembly and installation. Office buildings, schools and other commercial projects can be built using modular construction methods. Offsite construction can help minimize the effects of labor shortages while still maintaining a cost advantage. Another advantage is that these modular buildings are permanent and have the same lifetime expectancies as a traditional stick-built commercial building.
There has been a tremendous effort to increase safety in construction sites. Autonomous construction equipment is being used with good results to reduce the risks, especially in dangerous job sites. Autonomous equipment greatly reduces the number of workers required for a construction project to be completed on time. As a result, project managers are starting to adapt to the use of autonomous construction vehicles, robots, and drones to increase safety, productivity, and efficiency at commercial construction sites.