If you’re a leader in the construction industry, you know that we face a crossroads. Construction work requires attentive and reliable professionals, and it’s often difficult to uncover qualified talent to fill positions. Furthermore, this modern era of technological advancement means new tools and trends emerging, often within months. Keeping up with new methods in the construction industry can be challenging and overwhelming, but we’re here to fill you in on the essentials. These are the ten need-to-know construction industry trends to keep an eye on for the rest of 2017.
Shortage of Talent
The industry is facing a serious crisis. There are not enough applicants for basic laborers and specialized trade positions, and the applicants often don’t measure up to the task. Addressing the lack of talent in the construction agency is key in 2017. Many top organizations are turning to staffing agencies to recruit qualified professionals to be effective and simplify the process.
The lack of qualified talent means labor will be more expensive at the end of 2017. Add this to the rising cost of materials and new technology, and you can see that the price of executing quality construction work is steadily increasing. Maintaining margins will be difficult, so construction companies will have to barter and improvise to make things work. These rising costs can be attributed to inflation as well as the stagnation of the construction agency in recent years, so it’s possible this trend will continue well into 2018.
Shift in Project Delivery Methods
In the past, projects have adhered to a “design-bid-build” model, but new methods may be changing the way projects are executed. Collaborative methods like public-private partnerships, design-build, and integrated project delivery are the new trends in project delivery. This shows an overall trend toward harmonious partnerships that benefit multiple parties.
Changes to the new administration impact the industry as construction firms across the U.S. will feel the pressure if legislation is passed that impact operations. Contractors are being cautious when it comes to large scale projects that could be vulnerable to executive intervention. There is a distinct feeling of uncertainty, as the new president has the authority to affect regulations, change existing tax structures, and impact unions and construction projects.
Potential Infrastructure Investment
Because of the changes in government, the construction industry may have an increase in business. President Trump has made many promises regarding new roads and commercial development, and has vowed to create tax breaks for construction projects. This could be good news for construction professionals! The United States is overdue for new infrastructure, and if the country’s leader makes good on these promises, there will be billions of dollars available for the nation’s infrastructure needs.
The construction industry is under constant scrutiny, so industry leaders should be aware and prepared for legal action. Heightened attention to safety and compliance will be necessary throughout this year. Be sure all ordinances are posted, and that all work is well within the OSHA parameters. Less reputable companies will try to cut corners during construction, but mistakes can add up quickly. The last thing you need is to be facing charges of fraud, negligence, or even manslaughter when something goes wrong.
Trends in Augmented/Virtual Reality
These technological advances enable construction professionals to predict outcomes of a project, and therefore save time and resources. Any work site will benefit from increased job safety. Being able to anticipate mistakes or errors in construction work will revolutionize the industry. The opportunities available through augmented and virtual reality technology will be numerous in 2018 and beyond.
Modular or pre-fab construction is growing more popular this year as well. In an effort to cut costs, offsite construction is a big 2017 trend. This construction method is a great way to save time and money while avoiding potential issues like weather and quality control. Although some object to offsite construction, it is gaining traction in the construction industry due to the benefits: Quicker assembly and reduction of onsite hours.
The Internet of Things
One of the trends revolutionizing the construction industry is the Internet of Things. Tracking, surveillance, and other information technology will be crucial in 2017. These new measures can assist you in maximizing the efficiency of sorting inventory, purchasing materials, and managing labor practices. The Internet of Things can bring your company’s productivity up substantially by informing day-to-day decisions as well as big picture processes. Expect to see a distinct emergence of the IoT in various aspects of construction management.
Improvements in Safety
With OSHA regulations tightening and an increase in fines for unsafe work site behavior, we’ve seen increased pressure on the construction industry to avoid any hazardous methods or behavior this year. A crackdown on OSHA compliance should hopefully ensure less injuries and fatalities, as well as decreases in violations in general.
If you are looking to embrace the latest industry trends, or you want to offset the costly changes that this year may bring, we’ve got the resources you need to have a successful year and beyond. Contact our team of experts today to hire the staff you need so you can focus your energy on industry changes.
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