10 Construction Industry Trends to Watch in 2018
The new year has just begun, which means it’s the perfect time to take a look at what’s ahead in the newest construction industry trends. Being up-to-date with the current construction industry in London, Ontario, can guarantee your home and business will work for you, not against you. While it might be a little hard to predict everything that 2018 will bring, there are several construction industry trends to watch out for.
One of the rising construction industry trends in 2018 is the implementation of green construction. Green building or green construction is an industry term directed at both the structure and the specific purpose of a building. If a building is made in a sustainable and efficient manner over the whole life-term from design, build, use, maintenance, renovation, and eventually demolition — it’s considered green construction. Although it started several years ago every year climate change and sustainability becomes more pressing more and more legislation will come into play to enforce a greener approach for the construction industry.
The Construction Technology Revolution
Deployable digital and resource technology applications in construction have increased exponentially for years, and in 2018, it looks like we will jump even further ahead. In larger industrial builds 3D modeling, as well as virtual reality suites, can literally allow you to see completed projects before you even break ground. Every year new and unpredictable construction industry trends are being launched which is why the rapid integration of technology on job sites in general, or the “revolution”, is itself the highest on our list.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones are among the hottest trends for construction in 2018. Construction drones are deployed in planning, surveying, 3D data analysis, client progress presentations, security of job sites and most importantly inspecting structures. As cities become more populated and building construction moves skywards, drone inspection is the safest viable option.
The Building Information Model
The Building Information Model or BIM is now becoming a huge tool and construction industry trend that helps increase the collaboration and effectiveness of construction projects. BIMs are digital proprietary file formats which can be quickly referenced, traded or shared with collaborators to make project management more efficient than ever. Agencies like CANBIM, the Institute for BIM in Canada and buildingSMART Canada help consolidate and improve BIM formatting and lead the way in technological innovation for project planning.
Modular Buildings and Prefabrication Construction
Modular buildings and prefab structures are here to grace the construction industry this year. They serve as radical innovations for lowering the construction costs on projects. Typically, prefabs are computer designed customized buildings or building segments produced away from the job site under very controlled conditions. They are moved to the job site in parts and are deployed rapidly as needed in different stages of construction.
Internet of Things
Our whole lives have literally been consumed by the Internet, online data transfer and processing. This has spread to the digitization of everyday items from toasters and ovens, to home security systems and HVAC. If items become digitized it means they are manufactured with a MAC address allowing them to communicate efficiently and run on both home networks and internet protocols. This ability for everyday household objects to have the ability to communicate on a network is the basis for an Internet of Things.
Improved Safety Practices
The construction industry has been a hazardous place for workers, but recent technology is undertaking the challenge head-on. Wearables from companies like Human Condition monitor and protect worker locations and vitals and can be combined with smart clothing and e-textiles. Site Sensors from companies like SmartSite and Pillar to monitor and regulate work conditions. On some job sites, we’re seeing a glimpse of what was once considered the “far-future technology” in things like exoskeletons and self-driving trucks. Unpowered exoskeletons from Ekso and StrongArm can ensure ergonomics and prevent injuries while powered exos from Panasonic and Daewoo can allow workers to lift and manipulate objects way heavier than human strength allows.
Project Management Software
Construction is among the many industries that realized the benefits of project management software, and this will be a craze in 2018. For DIYers or seasoned professionals, there is a growing list of apps that can take your contracting game to the next level. Some of the best include Bid City, Aconex, Plan Grid, Fieldwire, or Build Calc.
Virtual reality is another one of the useful tools making an appearance in modern construction though it is often grouped in the same category as BIM. Virtual reality simulators can now be used to train construction workers for entry-level or advanced on-site work. Even more importantly, workers are able to get virtually exposed to the hazards and complexities of job sites that change from project to project.
Automation and robotics have changed various industries for the better and construction businesses are now embracing the same products. There are many awesome autonomous truck technologies available for larger job sites. The most well known of these are called TMAs or driverless crash trucks which use GPS data to create a safe driving convoy. Other equipment companies like CAT or Komatsu produce autonomous or remote-controlled machines to increase building productivity.
In 2018, there will be quite a lot of tech modifications, innovations and excitement for the industry — we’ve really only scratched the surface! We’ve just provided a quick mention of the top construction industry trends that even the average person watching the news this year will get to see. Check out our other articles if this got you excited about construction and you want to learn more.