Trends For Construction Firms In 2021
The construction industry is changing at an ever-increasing speed and 2021 aims to be a year filled with re-emergence and growth. Despite the unprecedented disruption of the global Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the industry is continually striving to innovate competitive new ideas and to reduce the margin for waste and error. As the industry becomes more competitive, harnessing these six construction trends will prove valuable to construction firms.
- The Use of Remote Technology
The construction industry is the fastest-growing adopter of commercial drones. These drones are showing their full potential over a myriad of industries. Their cameras are used to peer down at a project from above to provide contractors with valuable information. It gives a quick and efficient overview of a site, provides an accurate assessment of materials, the work progress, and identifies any area that needs to be adjusted.
Modular construction has become increasingly important, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic period. Since these buildings are designed off-site, there is greater quality assurance and it takes a shorter period for the project to be completed. These buildings can also be added to existing buildings, such as hospitals, schools, business sites, and homes. This was particularly useful last year when the NHS was facing capacity issues due to Covid-19. These prefabricated buildings are a custom-made solution for handling changing and soaring pressures.
- Building Information Modelling (BIM) meets Virtual Reality (VR)
Since 2016 when the UK Government mandated that all public sector construction projects complied with BIM Level 2, there has been a significant rise in BIM usage. The 2020 BIM Report shows BIM adoption has risen to the highest level to date with 73% reporting they are currently aware and using BIM. This has significantly increased from 2011 where only 13% were using and 43% were completely unaware of BIM compared with 1% in 2020. The latest pioneering trend is the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to bring to life design processes and stakeholder consultations using VR based on a 3D building model. The VR experience places the design in its real-world context giving viewers the opportunity to interact with the development and understand how the building would be perceived by neighbouring properties. This could begin to form part of a successful planning application.
- 3D Printing
3D printing is among the fastest-growing technological trends, making the manufacture of custom pieces more affordable. It’s one of the top technologies to reduce job site worker density. This method is already in commercial use around the workplace, with an expectation of rapid growth. These three-dimensional objects can be created to exact specifications with a click and can be produced on or off-site with immediate use. This trend is advantageous, as it helps to reduce waste, saves time, and improves sustainability in the production process.
- Living Materials
Living materials are built and made of fungi and bacteria, making them stronger, lighter, and portable. These biological components grow themselves and are poised to be used in full-scale production in the near future. Self-mending concrete and mycelium composite are samples of living materials. The self-mending concrete is saturated concrete with bacterial that bind materials around them into new structural material. These materials can grow in the pores of the concrete, meaning they can grow into fissures and cracks, filling and repairing them. These are self-repair materials, that can be developed as building materials unto themselves. The mycelium composite is slightly different from the self-mending concrete. Mycelium composites are components of a fungus instead of bacterial. One benefit of a mycelium composite is that properties can be altered depending on the fabrication process with the use of different fungus.
- Social Distancing & Job Site Safety
Construction is teamwork, with multiple groups working together to accomplish tasks quickly. But with the current Covid-19 pandemic, social distancing is crucial. The adjustments to mitigate the spread of these diseases going forward will focus on the separation of workers and enhanced equipment and cleanliness protocols. Workers are now managed in smaller groups with set breaks to avoid overcrowding on the site.
Construction companies will need to invest more in change and programme management practices as they relate to new technology implementations, roll-outs, and ongoing adaptation trends. By adapting to these trends, both the contractor and client will enjoy great benefits such as reduced risk and cost, long-lasting infrastructure, more business and increased profitability.
If you are planning a construction project of any kind, from commercial to residential, Jerram Falkus is eager to work with you. We have more than 135 years of experience and are happy to help. Get in touch today for more information!