The top construction industry trends to look out for in 2022 [Column] – the online report
The challenges of rising construction costs and labor shortages require the construction industry to innovate with new competitive ideas. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the construction industry does business. Many industry trends continue to emerge from the pandemic and are changing the roles of industry professionals and frontline workers.
Here are 9 major construction industry trends to look out for in 2022:
A very noticeable trend in construction is a considerable increase in the demand for labour. Quality labor is expensive and competitive. More educated workers will be needed to manage and interpret the data produced by new technologies.
Remote sites and mobile access
Mobile apps for construction permits and easy access to the construction site, including real-time inspections, on-site accounting and precise measurements taken from a mobile phone camera.
Modular and off-site construction
Modular and pre-engineered construction is experiencing rapid multi-year growth that is not slowing down. The modular construction market, led by the residential sector, is expected to grow significantly to nearly $110 billion by 2025, driven by a shortage of skilled labor and an increase in cost reduction technologies.
Increased material costs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the producer price index for construction goods rose 17% year-over-year in 2021. Rising interest rates are likely to aggravate all types of costs, which will cause additional pressure on total construction costs. Technologies such as drones, AR and BIM will be essential to help maintain project volume and combat this cost pressure.
Site management software
Comprehensive construction management software is an essential tool for staying competitive, building valuable business, and mastering operational efficiency. The best software meets requirements ranging from RFIs to data compilation, file sharing with mobile teams, budgeting, document storage, payroll and HR, and inventory monitoring.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the construction industry by affecting construction site guidelines with updated national regulations emphasizing cleanliness and strict safety protocols.
There is a growth of new devices capable of identifying common security issues. For example: wearable items like work boots are connected to Wi-Fi to alert others if someone has fallen; the “mules” transporting materials transport heavy or dangerous materials; specialized robots build scaffolding or lay bricks autonomously; helmets actively reduce noise pollution and environmental sensors detect noise, heat and wind on construction sites to warn construction workers of emergencies or natural disasters.
Green building is the expected standard for homebuyers, tenants and commercial tenants. Unfortunately, many sustainable and eco-friendly features remain out of reach, despite their long-term savings. This could change over the next decade as eco-technology and sustainable construction become more acceptable and affordable.
Focus on residential projects
Demand for residential housing continues to grow and residential construction spending increased by nearly 25% in 2021. Residential housing starts are expected to increase by 7% in 2022.
These cities are more complex and interconnected than most megaprojects and require intense planning and development before they start. The global smart city market is expected to grow by 20.5% to reach $2.5 trillion by 2025.
These industry trends are rapidly changing the market, and the construction industry must adopt new practices, take advantage of new technologies, and invest in new projects to reduce risk, win more contracts, and enjoy profitability.
Glenn Ebersole is a Chartered Professional Engineer and Director of Business Development at JL Architects, a West Chester-based architectural firm serving clients locally, regionally and nationally. He can be reached at [email protected] or 717-575-8572.