2020 was an incredibly difficult year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many businesses had to close down and millions of people lost their jobs.
2021, on the other hand, has seen significant recovery for the construction sector, especially in residential and infrastructure. GlobalData, a data analytics and consulting firm, expects this particular industry to grow 3.2 percent in 2022.
The construction sector this year, despite bouncing back, remains a year of stringent regulations, labor shortages and higher construction expenses. Staying on top of industry trends in building techniques and technology usage, therefore, is more important than ever.
Here are some must-watch industry trends that can help builders and firms in the construction industry stay competitive in 2022:
Updated Safety Measures in the Construction Site
The wearing of face masks isn’t exactly a new thing at construction sites. After all, many of these sites have respiratory hazards, such as vapor or particulates, which typically require the use of a hazard-specific respirator. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, though, these face coverings are now the standard.
Apart from masks, the pandemic has introduced other safety protocols in construction sites, including stricter workplace cleanliness, physical distancing, regular coronavirus testing and on-site temperature scans.
There’s also an increase in the use of safety-related technology. A few examples include:
- Environmental sensors that can detect wind, heat and noise at construction sites, as well as provide warnings to evacuate construction workers
- Robots that can handle injury-inducing tasks, such as scaffolding construction and bricklaying
- Drones that can assess areas in the job site that are difficult to reach
This form of construction involves producing the modules of a building off-site, such as a factory. Workers then transport these modules to the destination for assembly.
A modular method typically cuts the construction timeline and reduces costs.
One of the companies taking advantage of modular construction is Marriott, an American multinational corporation that licenses, franchises and operates lodging. The company plans to launch the tallest modular hotel in the world. The building will feature 26 stories — and take only 90 days to build.
Construction projects using modular construction allow developers to finish quicker than before. When industry demands change quickly or during boom periods, this approach could prove beneficial.
Heightened Interest in Rented and Used Equipment
Construction companies will continue to purchase used merchandise or renting equipment rather than buy new ones. This is an industry trend for 2022, as both options enable companies to keep pace with tech advancements at lower price points.
What’s more, rented equipment allows construction firms to determine if various machines deliver the expected payoffs. If this is possible, representatives can decide later about purchasing the construction equipment.
Similarly, used equipment on sale is often in good condition and available with the latest software updates. This makes the not-quite-new options attractive to companies looking to stay competitive while managing their expenses.
Some construction tasks can be tough on the body, as it demands workers to do strenuous physical activities that can strain their muscles. These career aspects have encouraged construction businesses to explore using exoskeletons for their employees.
Some workers, for instance, put on power gloves to improve dexterity and grip strength when they perform tasks, such as drilling. Most exoskeletons, however, are more extensive and appear as full-body suits.
An example of this full-body exoskeleton suit is from Sarcos Robotics. The company announced that its suit provides a strength amplification of 20 to 1. This enables construction workers to lift 200 pounds — and still feel as if they are lifting only 10 pounds when they are wearing the suit.
When people hear this term, they often associate this emerging technology with bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency. Blockchain, however, is more than virtual money. This technology uses advanced cryptography to secure recordkeeping that’s virtually unalterable.
Construction companies can look at blockchain as an automated bookkeeping system. If a contractor, for instance, pours 200 yards of concrete at a construction site, a gauge on the truck could signal when the process is complete. This automatically generates an invoice for the work and triggers the payer to deposit payment into the contractor’s account instantly.
Construction firms may also use blockchain as a single source of truth, using it to create smart contracts and track the origin of materials.
This process constructs items layer by layer. 3D printing is typically more affordable and much faster than traditional methods. The construction sector has shown great interest in this type of printing, and individuals working in it will likely continue seeing what is possible in 2022.
These trends are set to change the construction sector for the better in 2022 and beyond. Construction firms should consider embracing these trends to keep their clients happy and help improve their day-to-day operations.