Four 2019 Commercial Construction Trends
As commercial construction needs evolve, the industry evolves with them. With new technologies becoming integrated into job sites, changing customer needs, and exciting new methods for increasing efficiency, 2019 is an exciting year for commercial construction. `
The use of technology on the jobsite continues to advance. While construction tends to be an industry resistant to change, more and more modern technological solutions are being employed, especially in commercial construction.
The integration of technology begins in the pre-construction stage with Building Information Management (BIM) software and other tools being used to reduce waste and speed up the process. By reducing inefficiencies, we are seeing a decrease in overall project costs.
Drones on Commercial Construction Sites
Technology plays an important role during the actual construction phase of a project. For example, the use of drones and high-tech camera systems are becoming commonplace on commercial sites. Not only do these additional tools allow the commercial contractor to monitor job sites, but they provide clients with greater insight into how the project is progressing, letting them access images or even video to remotely monitor the project.
Drones allow for aerial photos without the high cost of an airplane. According to a report by DroneDeploy, drone use in construction has increased by over 200 percent year over year. This speaks to the flexibility and usefulness of drone photography. In addition to stunning aerial images, drones are also used for thermal readings, safety inspections, and other tasks.
Increased Efficiency Lowering Construction Costs
For years, commercial construction has suffered from stagnant productivity. This speaks to a lack of industry adoption of technology and of large amounts of waste. According to a study by McKinsey & Co, construction productivity only improves around 1 percent per year compared to a global manufacturing average of over 3.5 percent.
By implementing technology to manage supplies more efficiently, commercial contractors are able to reduce material cost, increasing efficiency and saving the client money. Other factors such as smarter scheduling and a greater reliance on prefabricated materials are helping move the needle to a higher level of efficiency.
Shifting Worker Demographics
For many years, young people avoided the construction industry, choosing other career paths instead. However, as fears of rising college loan debt has pushed young people to look for alternate paths, it is becoming more and more common every year for young Millenials and Gen Zers to consider construction. This is driving a new generation of young decision makers in construction who are more familiar with and excited to use technology.
This trend is not going anywhere either. While Millennials were largely uninterested in construction or other skilled trades, Gen Zers are showing considerably more interest. And as older generations begin to retire, this new generation of workers will become key decision makers in commercial construction very quickly.
But it’s not just about a younger construction workforce. It’s about shifting staffing needs as well. As commercial construction races to adopt and implement technology, there is an increasing need for IT staff and technicians.