2020 forced the world to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. We’re still feeling those adaptations in 2021, and they will continue to influence industry trends well into the future — including in construction. As a result, skilled professionals will need to make the most of their options. Individuals looking to learn the craft should be aware of these changes in order to decide how to specialize moving forward.
Here are five top five construction trends for 2021.
1. Protective Equipment and Processes
Protective equipment has always been a priority in the construction industry, but that mindset will continue to increase throughout 2021. Social distancing, mask-wearing and protective processes are of utmost importance, and state and federal regulations are influencing site guidelines.
While these measures are meant to keep everyone safe, they provide an opening for growth in automation. More specifically, there will be an increase in robotic machines filling labor-intensive positions, like material movers and bricklayers.
2. Increased Competition
Reduced capital will continue to cause fierce competition in the industry. Noncommercial buildings like restaurants and hotels will remain below previous demand, but residential and warehouse projects are projected to improve. Smaller contractors and subcontractors may go out of business if they cannot win bids. However, if the government distributes the vaccine quickly, the economy will likely experience a surge that will improve the construction industry.
Despite the competition, demand remains for skilled laborers. While robots have entered the scene, businesses still require craft professionals to interpret and manage the data. There’s a market opening for individuals wishing to enter this industry and fill this highly demanded role.
Experts anticipate that the shipbuilding industry will continue to expand between now and 2025. The U.S. government has a high budget for defense-related vessels, and demand has grown for energy-related ships. Shipbuilders are responsible for construction, repair, conversion and alteration. Employment growth is anticipated for individuals who specialize in this field, as well as marine engineers and land-based maritime careers.
4. Green Materials and Processes
Society is looking for ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, and the construction world has taken notice. The solar industry is expanding, and more companies are switching to green materials and processes. This shift has been on the rise for years and will only continue to grow. Becoming an expert in pro-environment construction methods, systems and materials could set contractors apart in a bustling industry.
This trend is occurring internationally as governments or world leaders press to reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. Therefore, companies looking to have a global presence should pay close attention to this shift in prioritization.
5. Modular Construction
Modular construction fills a gap in the industry by providing consistent, green and inexpensive products very quickly. By building the majority of the structure off-site, companies can reduce waste and control the construction environment. Modular businesses of today are now offering a customization level that could rival traditional stick build houses, breaking the mold of cookie-cutter projects.
This building method was utilized extensively during 2020 to meet the demand for medical centers and testing facilities. While its commercial usage has grown, many homeowners are now considering modular construction because of its speed and low pricing.
Looking Toward the Future
The future has always been uncertain, but these five trends represent a shift toward a more connected and technologically advanced construction industry. To stand apart from competitors, contractors and specialists should stay updated on current trends and adapt to implement these changes into their existing business design. Without change, it will be challenging to progress in this increasingly technological world.