2021 is set to be a better year for construction in comparison to the hobbled the year of 2020. Expect to see 4.1% year over year growth globally.
Overall revenue isn’t the only thing that’s likely to change for the construction industry in the new year. From pricing to safety, we are likely to see wholesale innovations work their way into various companies which will set the table for how construction operates through the decade.
Whether you’re a professional that’s curious to know more about the future of construction industry trends or are a hobbyist economist that’s interested in corporate evolution in a post-COVID marketplace, keep reading.
Below, our team shares a handful of interesting changes you should be on the lookout for.
Fewer Commercial Projects
There will be more new commercial projects in 2021 than there were in 2020. Comparing 2021 to pre-COVID years though, commercial jobs will be underwhelming.
Even as employees start to migrate back towards office spaces, organizations will inevitably keep teams at home as a cost-saving measure permanently. Some organizations that are more open to having people congregate again are likely to give team members an option to work in a hybrid capacity which would still allow organizations to downsize their office spaces.
We don’t see an immediate future where mega brands are going to be investing in sprawling campuses.
Reliance on 3D Printing
The more a construction team can visualize what they’re doing, the better the project they’re working on will turn out. Therein lies the value of 3D modeling/printing
3D printing has become affordable enough to be integrated into construction teams large and small. They allow groups to hire designers to render 3D models on computers which can then be printed out for inspection and inspiration on what construction teams will be working on throughout the day.
3D printing will lower costs associated with mistakes on job sites.
Use of VR
Another means of visualization that we’re seeing larger companies integrate into their construction workflows is virtual reality. Imagine a world where a construction team is building a commercial kitchen for a world-class chef and that chef can walk through the rendering to make notes on counters being too low, hallways being too narrow, etc.
This is already happening across several organizations and is likely something that will spread to smaller construction sites in ’21.
Leaning on Green
From the way products are sourced to the tools that get used on job sites, expect to see signs pop up that the project you’re spectating is a “Green Construction Project”.
The trend of going green will continue to pick up momentum in 2021. We see construction companies hopping on board as associations like the one at https://www.bcaswi.org/ try to find new, exciting ways to market the industry to help it bounce back from government-imposed shutdowns.
Having a construction team operate in an eco-friendly way may actually make jobs cost more, at least in the short term. As green workflows become more popular though, costs will drop and eventually become the norm on job sites.
Video is a great way to document construction projects. It can help keep stakeholders in the loop on where jobs are at and help project managers assess progress so they know how they’re pacing towards milestones.
Rather than having camera operators walk around live construction sites, drones are being increasingly used to capture video footage of jobs. Expect that trend to strengthen in the new year.
In addition to documenting construction progress, safety drones can be deployed over sites to document worker activity which can then create an evidence trail should someone get injured while working.
Among the most dangerous professions you can take on, construction stands head over heels above the rest. This has put site managers in a position where they’re constantly trying to strategize ways to increase safety for their teams.
One of the emerging solutions to this problem is employing the help of robots to do tasks in high-risk areas. For example, rather than having a person walk out onto a beam 10 stories up to drill holes, a robot might be able to wheel down a beam to do the job instead.
Robot integration into job sites will be a future of construction industry trend that’ll be in its infancy in ’21. Expect to see it pick up in popularity through the decade.
Higher Costs in the Short-Term
We don’t think construction will be a cheaper venture for clients to hire on in 2021. We think it’s going to be a lot more expensive.
With losses mounting from a soft 2020 and a decrease in construction projects in 2021 in comparison to 2019, teams will look to bandage some of their damage by passing on mounting debt to consumers. Whether or not residential consumers or a handful of commercial clients will accept that rate hike remains to be seen.
Know though that it’ll likely be presented out of the gate when we head into the second year of the decade.
The Future of the Construction Industry Is Good Overall
If you have a vested interest in the future of construction industry trends boding well for the industry, we think you should be heartened. 2021 will be a much better time to operate any sort of business when compared to 2020.
What can help or hurt construction’s progress will be whether or not governments take their foot off of the economy and enable people to buy and sell goods again. Whether or not that’ll happen remains to be seen.
For more guidance on future trends in construction, check out more of the construction trends 2021 content we have available on our blog.