5 Construction Industry Trends to Watch Out For in 2020

02 December 2019

With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to start preparing. 2020 is projected to bring a lot of change and positive advancements in the construction industry – from increased use of prefabrication to new and disruptive technologies.

At Focus, we understand the importance of staying on top of the forthcoming construction industry trends. Here we’ll breakdown the top 2020 construction trends and why they are important for you.

Increased Use of Off-Site Work

Off-site work has been a consistent construction industry trend for the past few years, but 2020 will continue this trend. Contractors will continue to benefit from the advantages of modular and prefabricated construction.

Off-site construction allows for more efficient and faster residential and commercial construction. By 2023, the modular construction industry is projected to be valued at $157 billion. This process is suitable for building repetitive structures and is known to be sustainable. Prefabricated construction is great for increasing sustainability. By reducing structural error, using responsible materials, and more, prefabricated and modular construction are great for sustainable building,

More Regular Use of BIM & Other Technologies

Every year, technology tops the construction trends lists, but this upcoming year, we’ll start to see significant advancement for certain technologies.

Construction companies are adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies. This technology is a 3D model-based program that helps visualize the construction process before it’s complete. BIM creates and manages a construction project info from start to finish. This advanced technology allows for more detailed planning, design, and management. It can also be used to identify areas for energy improvement.

Other technologies, such as VR and AR, can help provide a 360-degree view of the entire project. These technologies and more will dominate 2020.

Labor Shortages & Rising Costs

Unfortunately, increasing materials costs are set to continue into 2020. Profit margins are continuing to slim. This is primarily due to high demand and increased costs from tariffs.

Construction firms are also finding it challenging to recruit laborers. Young workers are choosing tech careers and other fields as opposed to manual labor. In addition to this, the Baby Boomer generation is retiring, further shrinking the workforce.

2020 will bring new initiatives to bring in more skilled laborers into the construction industry.

Advanced Safety Equipment

Construction workers require the best safety equipment possible. 2020 will bring in more advanced safety equipment to keep workers as safe as possible.

For example, smart boots and other technologies in equipment can connect to Wi-Fi and send GPS coordinates to communicate if a worker is harmed. IoT wearables can monitor workers’ heartbeats and other levels to make sure workers are safe at all times.

Other advanced safety equipment consists of cooling vests, moisture-wicking fabric, and exoskeletons, which can improve the safety of constructionsites and increase the load that the average worker can carry.

Continuation of Sustainable Practices

Sustainability has been a continuous trend for the past few years. In the new decade, it will only grow in prominence.

2020 will bring a drive for low carbon emissions. New thermal materials are being introduced for a smaller price than traditional means. We will also see an increase in the utilization of recycled materials and reducing waste in the building process.

Recently, the Willis Tower became the first building of its size to achieve LEED Platinum, and we expect many more to follow suit!

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