As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead and ready your business for the market demands of 2017. We’ve identified five key construction industry trends set to shape the market next year. Advancements in technology and an increased focus on sustainability play a vital role here, pushing construction companies to consider different construction methods and technologies that are smarter and greener than ever before.
1. Smart buildings
As technology rapidly progresses and becomes more affordable, our buildings are becoming more intelligent. Innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), are being incorporated into modern building designs to automate certain functions such as energy and water consumption. This use of technology can improve sustainability, efficiency, safety, personalisation, interactivity, and comfort for those who use the facility.
2. Prefabricated buildings
Architects are experimenting with the prefabricated building technique and enjoying some surprising results. This simple, safe and cost effective form doesn’t trade aesthetics for function and its visually appealing designs are attracting private homeowners and the public sector alike.
With new technologies in the construction tool-kit, the modern-day prefabricated home can be built in 24 hours – and built well. This has even reached the attention of the British government as a possible solution to the UK’s housing crisis.
3. 3D printing and BIM modelling
Today’s architectural models are no longer outlined in 2D or made up of cardboard and glue. 3D computer designs that use Building Information Modelling (BIM) are the new standard. These drawings provide a truly visual experience that gives the whole picture from every angle.
As construction industry trends go, it’s becoming an increasingly popular method to view the architectural designs with the specific building systems in place. This way, builders can make sure that the electrical system doesn’t clash with the plumbing and the plumbing won’t clash with the steel work. When all potential problems have been addressed before the foundations have been poured, the jobsite will be easier to manage, field coordination will be simpler and construction can be done faster, safer, cheaper and to a higher standard.
4. Mobile technology for on-site construction management
A construction site that runs like a well-oiled machine will save developers time and money. To help foremen manage their site operations more effectively, mobile-operated, cloud-powered software systems and apps are now available to facilitate easier administration. All field coordination as well as individual people management processes such as timesheets, performance reports and task allocation can be assigned, reviewed, tracked and stored on the go. This means managers can get on with overseeing the critical requirements of the build, rather than getting bogged down in administrative staff management.
5. Going green
‘Green’ buildings use less energy and are thus cheaper to run. This, combined with growing concern for the environment, is driving the trend for more environmentally-friendly buildings. In response, new building regulations have come into effect to harness the power of renewable energy. Earlier this year, San Francisco adopted a law stating that any new buildings under 10 storeys must be built with solar panels. The British government aims to have 4 million solar-powered homes up and running by 2020. Renewable energies are gaining ground in the construction industry for good reason: between April and September this year, solar power generated more electricity than coal power.
Of course, these are just a couple of the construction industry trends already influencing the sector. Urban migration, labour shortages, safety and security are more factors that are set to influence the direction of the industry, and the equipment needs of construction companies.
Interested in knowing how BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions can help you to capitalise on new opportunities in the construction sector? Contact us today for an informal chat to see how our finance options can help you to secure a stronger future.