There are many construction industry trends in 2018. Some are adaptations of past years, and some are newer, with technology inclusions necessary in today’s tech-dominated culture we live in. And with the record-breaking hurricane season which saw wide-spread devastation in the US and Caribbean Islands, the opportunity to build has never been greater.
Going Strong with Construction Industry Trends in 2018
According to constructiondive.com, property owners saw a cumulative loss of nearly $400 billion in 2017. The catastrophic damage left in the wake of the hurricanes resulted in scores of homes that were damages beyond repair. So, rather than build a replica of the last home, the thought for 2018 is to go back to the drawing board and build more structurally-sound housing that can withstand natural disasters similar to what we saw last year. The bottom line is, expect more resilient projects being erected especially in the areas that were hit the hardest.
Short on Labor
With Generation Y (Millennials) opting for technology-driven careers, and baby boomers heading into, or already enjoying their retirement, the need to find skilled construction workers is as great as ever. One change to look for to combat the shortage is for the industry to turn to alternative construction. Offsite construction and prefabrication are two of the principle examples of how companies can skirt around a shrinking labor force.
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Offsite Construction Industry Trends
Offsite start-up companies have been the benefactors of millions of dollars in funding. Add to a construction industry that’s starving for more workers, and you have companies like Katerra and FullStack leading the way in offsite construction projects. The idea is to jumpstart construction projects, as well as strengthen communication between general contractors and offsite fabricators.
Big tech companies like Google, Marriott, and Starbucks have embraced the concept enough to invest money in it, as they see an opportunity revolutionize their own workspaces across the globe. In fact, in 2018, Marriott is set to add seven offsite manufacturers to compare to its already existing site-built equivalents. It’s a move that reinforces the trend may stick around a little longer than expected.
Construction Technology Trends
With technology becoming such an essential part of everyday living for most Americans, it only makes sense that the construction industry keeps up with the latest tech innovations and construction technology when building anything from homes to skyscrapers to multi-unit residential complexes.
Solar Roadway Construction Industry Trends
Solar roadways was a concept that originated in 2014 that saw power-generating system of modular solar panels embedded in a roadway surface. But the idea got off to a bumpy start, when it came under heavy scrutiny with various industry professionals citing engineering concerns, and even predicted swift failure before the invention was in full swing. However, in 2017 the Missouri Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration granted Solar Roadways $750,000 for development and testing. So keep an eye on the results, because such an innovation could be popping up all over the country.
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Construction Technology Trends
Surprised? You probably shouldn’t be. Some admit that construction technology like automation that is highlighted by robots could dominate the future of many sectors. The truth of the matter is, autonomous-controlled machines do work, and they have been working for a long time.
Now, though, the construction industry trends are making a sizable leap with the introduction of the bricklayer robot that actually works side-by-side with human masons. It’s meant to be a “semi-automatic mason,” and is used in an effort to increase productivity while reducing the physical stress put on people. Others areas of construction where robot automation is becoming prevalent include dump trucks, as well as self-driving vehicles hauling heavier materials called “mega machines.”
Virtual Reality (VR) in Pre-construction & Construction Technology
No longer are virtual reality experiences limited to video games and training methods. Nope. We’re now seeing a movement in construction where companies are creating virtual mockups for the purpose of user testing to get a somewhat genuine feel of how a facility would operate in real life. In 2017, a company by the name of Layton Construction created 20 virtual mockups that included operating theaters and medical facilities in Florence, Alabama.
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People are excited for a concrete that can fix itself when cracks form is in the pipeline and, believe it or not, they have been for a few thousand years, in fact. That’s right. This was an idea unearthed by the ancient Romans and now modern day scientists are attempting to harness this concept by utilizing limestone-producing fungus called Trichoderma reesei. The hope is that the admixture will mend the finest cracks in the pavement as they form.
Construction Companies to Watch in 2018
Turner Construction has a resume longer than a CVS receipt, and it’s diverse just the same. They’ve undertaken projects including having built Madison Square Garden, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care which is an impressive 12-story, 700,000 square foot ambulatory care center with an adjacent, five-story, 1500-space underground parking garage, and an expanded central utility plant. It’s part of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and features the largest “green roof” in town.
Flynn Construction specializes in estimating and construction management. The company blends their client’s vision along with the latest technological advances in construction to build the most impressive constructs around. They’re also very much committed to using the latest in environmentally sustainable strategies, as it’s become a much higher priority in recent years.
Gilbane Building Company boasts a number of services including construction, disaster recovery and reconstruction, environmental services, virtual design and construction, and much more. And they’ve been doing it for over 145 years and for a slew of markets like the federal government, colleges and universities, sports and entertainment, healthcare and hospitals; the list goes on. The company has 46 locations around the world, and currently oversees over 1,000 projects world-wide. If there’s an award-winning team to accommodate all of your building needs, Gilbane just might be the ticket.
Summation of Construction Trends in 2018
Whatever the location or market in which it will be built in, be assured that the newest wonder breaking ground today will likely feature something we’ve never seen before. And if we have, it’s likely to be bigger or better in some way, because the need for construction companies to outpace one another using the latest construction trends has never been greater.
To learn more about construction trends in 2018, visit the Ezra Digital Homepage.