Construction Technology and Industry Trends to Watch in 2019
Emerging building industry trends to look out for
Builders and contractors who want to keep in touch with the latest construction industry trends always stay ahead of their competition. Here are nine trends that might affect the way you approach new business challenges in 2019.
Advanced construction management software
Improving rapidly over the past few years, construction management software now comes in many affordable packages that bundle together software for bidding and estimating, project management, change orders, human resources, scheduling, accounting, billing, and much more. In 2019 we can hope to see more small and medium construction businesses using integrated software solutions on daily basis.
In 2019 and onwards, every construction project is expected to incorporate green design elements. In its essence, green construction aims to create resource-sustainable and environmentally friendly construction projects, including every aspect of construction, like planning, design, demolition, and clean-up. At a time when aging buildings make new construction essential, green building practices can go to great lengths in supporting the environment, especially if when know that 20% of global emissions can be sourced directly to the construction industry.
Building information modelling
No other single tool is capable of increasing effectiveness and collaboration in the construction industry like BIM. Creating digital representations of buildings, traffic, and utilities, BIM is used by architects and engineers for predicting job costs and simulating material and structural durability over time. Many request-for-proposal and government agencies already make it mandatory, as they often insist on understanding the project entirely before investing. However, BIM not only improves collaboration but also reduces construction costs, allowing for faster and safer building process with fewer accidents.
Although virtual reality has been an emerging trend over the past few years, its usefulness has been shadowed lately by uses and benefits of augmented reality. The ability to see an enhanced picture through a camera lens is something that is guaranteed to open many new horizons for the construction industry. For companies who can afford it at this stage, augmented reality will revolutionize the way they approach projects – planning and plotting new sites before the first ditch is dug.
Sustainable materials and technologies
Often associated with green technology, sustainability is defined as a broader strategy of using methods and business models aimed at achieving much broader goals, some of which include preservation of the natural environment, efficient use of resources and promoting responsible business culture. For example, a sustainably constructed building can be designed in a way that maximizes the natural light, On the other hand, the company you typically order concrete products from may already produce sustainable and recycled construction materials. Driven forward by millennial and forward-thinking clients, sustainable trends are definitely remaining strong in 2019.
Expanded use of drones
A new-old trend of using drones in construction is expected to remain one of the hottest innovation in 2019. Equipped with cameras, FLIR, and other electronics, drones can access remote locations, collect data, complete safety inspections, capture project progress, and many more things. Surveyors, on the other hand, might use them for creating 3D mapping images that can be used to zone an area. Once the Federal Flight Administration begins to refine the regulations concerning drones, their usability will be solidified even further.
Increased uses of GPS
While GPS tracking solutions aren’t anything new, now they’re being used in more resourceful ways. Surveying, for example, has been dramatically improved because ground teams don’t have to use traditional surveying equipment anymore, while data for potential project sites can be collected quickly and accurately. GPS can also be used successfully in fleet management, allowing project managers to ‘see’ where their vehicles are at any given time.
Modular and prefabricated elements
In residential construction, modular building is especially interesting to young professionals and millennials who work from home, and have no trouble seeking new housing outside congested metropolitan areas. Modular homes that are constructed offsite reduce the impact to landscape and provide a much faster way of developing new residential areas. This way, construction of a new home may already begin offsite while permits and finances are being finalized, with no legal interference. In addition, modular homes are less expensive to build, as crews are already familiar with the assembly.
Mobile and cloud technologies
The fact that mobile devices now can store virtually limitless amounts of information and access it anytime has many advantages for the construction industry. Project managers can use this technology to share construction details instantly, which is about one-tenth of what sharing via older technologies cost. Such as speed and effectiveness in information flow can give companies a new competitive edge.
These trends in construction not only directly benefit individual businesses, but can also help move the whole industry forward. If you’re planning improvements for your business this year, consider implementing one of these.