17 January 2020
With construction constantly evolving and facing barriers such as the impact from a looming Brexit, poor weather conditions and environmental effects, the construction industry needs to continue to adapt and overcome in order to move forward.
Keeping on top of new and emerging trends is an important factor in business growth for those working in the construction industry. Here, we look at the important trends of 2020 and how they can impact our industry.
A Continued Focus on Health and Safety
Strong health and safety protocol has always been at the forefront of those working in the construction industry, and so whilst it’s not a trend, we will continue to see these safety measures develop in strength, finding new and innovative ways to keep those working out on site as safe as possible.
One of the elements that will see particular growth throughout 2020 is a focus on silica dust; it’s a problem that is only going to cause future health problems if employers and employees don’t take safety measures to prevent ingesting this hazardous substance.
There is also the increase in safer types of plant, such as air digging picks and closed-cab dumpers.
Technologies are already making a huge impact on this industry, from using drones for site inspections, photography and video, drones are incredibly popular in construction. Even in sites where demolishment takes place as drones can access areas that are perhaps not safe to enter for workers.
But, as technology continues to advance, we could see a move towards the use of augmented reality and virtual reality across the industry, too. Whilst some designers may use this already, it’s thought that more and more construction contractors will use these for their clients to explore designs ‘in real life’, before production.
It’s also thought that 3D printing will become a lot bigger in the coming year. 3D printing allows the contractors to manufacture materials directly on site, drastically reducing labour costs and material wastes. Although there has already been a house than was 3D printed in less than 24 hours, this trend is likely to be a slow burner but keep your eyes peeled for anyone using it.
As well as this, robotics have been applauded for their use in the construction industry and are expected to make an even bigger impact this year. From laying bricks and roads to demolishing buildings, robotics have been seen to improve timings and quality of builds thanks to precision technology.
Sustainability and Environmental
For us in the south of England, 2019 saw huge delays to projects and even some being cancelled as developers were hit with a moratorium due to nitrate pollution in the sub-Solent regions. You can read more about the impact of nitrate pollution on the construction industry in our article. Towards the end of the year, and certainly as we go into 2020, we see these developments slowly start or begin again as developers become nitrate neutral in their bid to move forward with development plans.
As a result of this, construction firms and homebuilders in 2020 will need to consider how they impact the ground, more so now than ever before.
In terms of sustainability, we will continue to invest in plant that can recycle the material on site so it can be reused and also reduce our carbon footprint as we remove less muckaway.
Modular homes are pre-made houses that are made up of multiple sections, known as modules. This construction method involves building these sections away from the site and then delivering and assembling to complete the build. This is the quickest way to build a house and drastically reduces cost and waste. Modular homes have been gaining momentous popularity in the last few years thanks to their cost-effective, time-efficient and eco-friendly way in which they are built.
As mentioned, there were many contributing elements to a slower 2019 for many of the construction industry. Much of this is thought to have been caused, amongst other things, by the election at the end of 2019 and Britain’s impending exit from the EU in 2020. Saying this, the conservative government has pledged to significantly increase investment in the UK’s infrastructure but that is a waiting game to see if this comes through.
So whilst 2019 saw sluggish that is set to continue somewhat through 2020 and into 2021 due to a cooling housing market, things are expected to pick up. If you have any questions or opinions on this, let us know in the comments or get involved in the conversation on LinkedIn. In the meantime, take a look at how adverse weather impacts the construction industry.