1. Improved Safety Measures in Construction Sites
Safety has always been a problem in construction sites, where hazards are quite numerous. According to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration study, 21% of the recorded workplace fatalities occur in construction sites. One of the ten most frequently violated OSHA standards is the Eye and Face Protection category, and wearing a face mask is the most effective way to prevent this.
Wearing face masks is not exactly a groundbreaking event at construction sites. With all the respiratory hazards present on-site, such as particulates or vapor, hazard-specific respirators are typically required for the workers to work. However, with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, these face gears are now the new standard.
Additionally, the pandemic has introduced new mandated safety protocols, such as physical distancing, stricter workplace cleanliness, regular RT-PCR testing, and temperature scans when entering the site.
There has also been a rise in other construction safety-related technology. Some of the examples include the following:
- Drones that can travel to and assess areas that are hard to reach
- Robots that can handle tasks that are prone to accidents and injuries, such as bricklaying, cutting of steel rods, and assembling of scaffolding
- Environmental sensors that are able to detect heat, wind, and noise at job sites, as well as provide warnings for construction workers if evacuation is necessary
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices and wearables that can measure workers’ biometric environment and conditions
- RFID tags on workers’ personal protective equipment (PPE) like hard hats and safety vests for better monitoring and seamless updating on the construction daily log
Apart from safety, one of the prevalent issues in the construction industry is the inclusivity of women. With the popularity of construction in women in the past few years, we can expect more number and increased safety options for the said gender. Because of this, more suitable PPE for women will be introduced since the generic size of PPE are usually not fit or too baggy for their body types.
2. Prefabricated or Modular Construction
Prefabricated or modular construction, where building components are constructed off-site, under controlled conditions, using similar materials and methods, and then assembled on-site- is seeing increased popularity. The companies who are experts in this field are able to complete construction projects 40% faster than conventional methods, thus making them a more convenient and more affordable option overall.
One of the companies utilizing modular construction is Marriott, an American multinational corporation that franchises, licenses, and operates lodging. The company plans to launch the tallest modular hotel globally, which will feature 26 stories. But here’s the catch – the whole construction will only take up 90 days to be completed.
While some researchers estimate that the prefabricated and modular construction market will significantly increase in the years to come, this trend is already becoming popular, and professionals in the industry have been considering it a brilliant prospect as an investment for 2022 beyond. Lastly, it was predicted that by 2023, this trend would reach as high as 157 billion in dollars.
3. Modern and Smarter Cities
Smart cities are described as high-tech and intensive developments that connect people, dates, and city elements to improve a city’s eco-friendliness, economy, and overall quality of life. As smart cities gain more popularity, it’s safe to assume that the nature of managing construction projects will also be more complex in the future.
As modern times requires new solutions, smart cities have become more sought-after than ever. With the goal of strengthening the economy, focusing on sustainability, and improving the quality of life, high-tech cities are bound to change the game of the construction industry, making it more intricate and connected than the current norm. Knowing this, construction firms will have to expand their knowledge about technology in any way in an effort to keep up with the new trends and improvements in construction, or even outside of it.
With two-thirds of the global population will live in cities by the year 2050, as predicted by United Nations, the need for smart and sustainable cities become evident. A few instances of how sustainability plays a huge part in this industry trend is through the following:
- Connected sensors through the internet of things (IoT) technology that measures traffic flow, air quality, noise levels, and energy usage to help make smart cities more efficient for their inhabitants.
- Smart roads aim to reduce road vibrations and, in return, emissions and fuel costs. Additionally, smart roads will focus on pedestrian and traffic sensors.
- Enhanced focus on public transportation, using real-time data and sensors to monitor higher passenger volumes and possible road accidents to optimize bus and train schedules.
- Better waste management, such as using smart bins for collecting data for less consumption of fossil fuel and more efficient garbage collection.
However, this significant change in the traditional construction industry cannot happen overnight; preparations must be set in place. In order to bring this into reality, construction firms must first evaluate the skills and the tools that smart city development needs and make a detailed plan for the transition and on how these cities are to be built.
4. Digital Transformation and Automation
Digitization is reaching new heights in the construction industry like never before, together with the rising trend of automation. Significant boost in efficiency and shorter construction timeline are only some of the key benefits of digitization. Ultimately, the goal of digital transformation across all industries is to improve the quality of life, even in the workplace, whether on the project site or office setting.
There are various ways digital solutions can be implemented in project management for construction. Since the options are flexible and highly scalable, any organization of any size can find the option that would best suit its current needs. One of the most popular digital trends today in the construction industry is shifting to a paperless system. Going paperless involves moving all files and documents to a digital database- where data entry and record-tracking systems can be easily automated- and providing project information and all necessary data to all construction stakeholders through accessible formats.
Part of widespread digital transformation in construction is ‘automation’ set to boost efficiency on job sites. Drones and self-driving vehicles capable of performing repetitive tasks automatically can significantly fast track processes and enhance accuracy and output without displacing jobs. Moreover, automation can leave construction workers free to focus on more specialized tasks while robots and drones take care of the mundane tasks, decreasing waste and overhead costs.
Connected construction technology makes it effortless to share data with all the team members who make decisions regarding the project. As many firms discovered during the COVID-19 pandemic, paperless technology and seamless collaboration across the entire team have been evolving faster than ever before. Collaboration and project management systems can help everyone keep track and work toward the same goals and milestones if the planning team is assigned across different job sites in various states.
Products like Pro Crew Schedule have been adapting to these unprecedented times, and it’s constantly evolving and enhancing its service offerings. From paperless ecosystem to remote communication, inventory and scheduling tracking to construction crew management, this digital solution is designed to improve your company’s processes at all points. There is no better time to step up your game than the upcoming year.
5. Innovative Building Materials
The urgent need for sustainability in our world today, combined with the recent inefficiency in the construction industry, spark new solutions that might fix both issues simultaneously. Innovative building materials are slowly emerging in the industry, mainly as recycled materials, cementitious composites, engineered timber, as well as modular and 3D-printed solutions. These new options offer an opportunity to reduce material and shipping costs and allow construction companies to increase profitability while being environment-conscious, which is why this trend will likely rise even further in the years to come.
Some of the building materials that are predicted to get popular next year are the following:
- Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC) — ECC can be bent without causing breakage. ECC is composed of tiny, polymer-derived fibers that make it crack-resistant and stronger than traditional concrete.
- Engineered timber — these are timber products made by bonding several types of softwood together, resulting in a lumber material that is strong enough as a replacement for concrete or steel.
- Recycled materials —considering the issues facing construction companies right now, recycled materials are now being used to construct the entirety of small building projects.
- 3D printed building materials — this includes walls, concrete, floors, and other materials needed in construction.
Changing the Game of Construction in the Future
The construction industry is in a moment of incredible technological transformation and growth. These industry trends mentioned above for the upcoming year are gearing the construction industry into the future with safer working conditions, more sustainable projects, smarter cities, and modernized building materials and digitized tools.