By Lynn Pearcey, MBA, Copywriter, AIA Contract Documents
October 12, 2023
Table of Contents
The construction industry is considered one of the true pillars of the global economy. In the eyes of many, as the construction industry goes, so goes the world. Millions of people rely on this segment for employment, and the incomes derived from those jobs cycle through economies across the globe. For this reason and so many others, the condition of the construction industry is always in the crosshairs of financial and economic thought leaders. This segment is that important, but it’s not immune to trends.
Like any other piece of the business world, trends are a part of the construction industry. Managing them is one of the many factors that separate the market leaders from the rest of the pack, still trying to make their mark and find their way in this critical yet ultra-competitive economic space. This piece reviews four of the top trends that construction professionals should remain abreast of for 2024 and beyond.
Adopting the Latest Technologies
In the early stages, when technology began knocking on the doors of the construction industry, professionals were hesitant to infuse it into their mix. Most held fast to the tried-and-true principles and methods that had shaped the industry for centuries. All that has changed as more and more are beginning to see the value technology brings to the table and rapidly adopting it. Several factors are driving this shift, including the increased complexity of projects, the need for efficiency, and recognized improvements in communications lead the way. From CMS systems to BIM, drones, and more, the industry’s race to embrace technology is in full swing.
Being Green and Sustainable
We’ve only got one planet and the responsibility of maintaining rests of every shoulder that calls it home, including those of construction professionals. As the challenge to preserve our world continues to gain momentum, builders, architects, and engineers have become hyper-focused on doing their part. In the coming years, clients will be more apt to partner with and provide lucrative build opportunities to those who mirror their ideals. With that being the case, those who champion green and sustainability ideals stand to gain.
Using Prefabricated Materials
Construction traditionalists are used to building everything on the site by hand, piece by piece. Those methods are still present on some sites, but with each year, the prevalence of prefabricated materials grows. Prefabricated materials increase efficiency, reduce labor costs, and align well with green and sustainability initiatives. As professionals continue realizing the value of this method, more and more will look to infuse it into their production mix during 2024 and the coming years.
Increasing Worker Safety Efforts
It seems intuitive to think the industry would have programs and resources to ensure worker safety. While no one wants to see a worker injured, the race to finish fast and increase the profit margins often overshadows the importance of creating a safe working environment. As the industry continues evolving, worker safety will move to the forefront. Better safety includes improved training, frequent inspections, and more resources allocated to this area. The payoff from these efforts will come in the way of injuries and lives: fewer injuries derailing careers and more lives being saved because proper safety protocols are in place.
Construction is a pillar of the global economy, and there’s no getting around it. It provides jobs, circulates dollars, and fuels various market segments. If the goal of any construction entity is to be a contributing force, it’s crucial to remain abreast of the trends and directions of the market. Technology is here, so market leaders should shun innovation. Leaders should use and embrace the many advancements and position their businesses for growth. The planet should be a priority, so infusing methods that protect the environment, including prefabricated materials, must be a priority. Finally, workplace safety is rising as more firms work to protect their most valued asset: their people. Trends are good things; in many cases, they come and go. Those professionals who show a willingness to adapt to and adopt are likely to be the ones positioned to stay.
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AIA Contract Documents has provided this article for general informational purposes only. The information provided is not legal opinion or legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind. This article is also not intended to provide guidance as to how project parties should interpret their specific contracts or resolve contract disputes, as those decisions will need to be made in consultation with legal counsel, insurance counsel, and other professionals, and based upon a multitude of factors.