5 Construction Trends to Know About in 2019
Last year, there was notable growth across many sectors of the industry. Private construction projects grew to over $951 billion, the workplace became more diverse than ever, and companies experimented with new solutions.
Still, the industry isn’t without its challenges. Shortages for skilled workers and rising costs of tariffs and raw materials increase construction spending while threatening productivity. However, new construction techniques and technologies offer a promising future for the industry. In this blog post, we’ll reveal some of the most important construction trends that your business should be aware of in 2019.
Is Your Business Aware of these Upcoming Construction Trends?
1. Rising Construction Costs and Projects
Construction is a very stable and lucrative market of the U.S. economy. While most people would associate construction with commercial projects, private construction such as single-family households and home improvement projects account for 77 percent of construction spending last year, according to Statista.
In 2017, $1.23 trillion was spent on construction in the U.S., accounting for 7 percent of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While manufacturing, power, and energy construction fell, amusement and recreation, conversation, and transportation sectors experienced around 5 percent growth. Individual households’ spending on home improvement projects also increased by 14 percent in 2017.
As costs continue to rise 4.3 percent next year, it be will important for your construction business to pursue the growing industries that will best position you for growth. Firms should strive to focus on long-term health while embracing the opportunities of the “now.” For example, rather than being a general contracting firm, you may want to consider building green-certified hotels or smart homes, both of which are proving to be more efficient markets. Specializing in a niche field will set you apart from your competitors, keep your team agile in a changing industry, and allow you to reap the benefits.
2. Greater Representation
There were around 10.6 million people working in the construction industry in 2017, with 15 percent of construction firms having a workforce of over 1,000 people. Construction has long been a heavily male-dominated industry, with a 91 percent male and only a 9 percent female workforce. However, there’s been a recent 15 percent growth of women in the industry, as more and more companies are recruiting women and promoting them to senior roles.
In addition, construction workers are predominantly white – 81 percent – while Hispanic or Latino workers comprise 30 percent of the workforce, African Americans comprise 6 percent, and Asians make up 2 percent of the workforce.
While the industry is still behind on its path to equal representation, you can set your business apart by making efforts to increase diversity and bring new perspectives to your operations.
3. New Technology Trends
The current trends in construction technology seek to harness the best available high-tech tools to minimize workers’ injury and promote safety on the work site. These trends include the use of digital devices, such as drones and wearable technology. In fact, 37 percent of construction firms are experimenting with drones to streamline the construction process and help survey construction sites.
Wearable technology is also used by 11 percent of general contractors. Over half of construction companies are considering job-site employee tracking to be able to better locate and communicate with employees.
With safety and productivity being major concerns, your business can experiment with wearables such as safety vests, smart glasses, exoskeleton suits, and drones to help lower the rate of accidents on the construction site and improve your business’s overall efficiency.
4. Emerging IT
Another major challenge is the lack of a sufficient IT infrastructure. 39 percent of companies cite a “lack of IT staff” as a hindrance to their ability to adopt new technology. As construction firms seek to increase their resources, the next few years in construction technology could usher in a new workforce. A fully-supported IT infrastructure for your business would help improve your ability to utilize the newest high-tech devices and technology to streamline the construction process.
5. Areas of Construction Growth
Construction is concentrated in major markets within the U.S. According to BuiltWorlds, 20 percent of construction occurs in major cities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Dallas, and Houston alone. The most expensive city to build in is New York City, where it costs $3,900 per square meter.
Businesses are also looking to rent equipment instead of purchasing, with rental sales expected to reach $59 million by 2021. Renting equipment provides construction firms with many benefits, including lowered upfront investment, saving on maintenance costs, greater convenience, and meeting on-demand project needs. This allows for small and medium-sized construction companies to better allocate their finances while working with new technology and specialized equipment. To develop an effective renting strategy, it’s important for your business to know your project timelines, needs, and proximity to the job site.
Finally, construction companies are experimenting with new building methods. 91 percent of off-site construction last year was prefabrication, followed by modular construction at 78 percent. Effective use of prefabrication calls for a strategy across your company culture. Construction companies need to invest the time to plan a prefab project upfront and pinpoint all the areas that will bring the most value and efficiency to the team.
Are You Ready to Implement Trends in Your Construction Business?
As this industry approaches 2019, it’ll continue to find solutions to solve modern construction problems. With firms incorporating high-tech devices and new methods to streamline the process and improve their work output, it’s crucial for your business to adapt to these movements to thrive in the industry.
Are you up to speed with the latest construction trends? Use this handy infographic from BigRentz to learn more about some important statistics and facts you need to know.
Please include attribution to BigRentz with this graphic.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.