Five Positive Construction Trends in 2022
A pandemic, material shortages, labor issues, rising costs and supply chain woes have brought special challenges to the construction industry since the decade began. Many are wondering what is ahead for construction in 2022. It turns out there is a lot of good news on the horizon!
With recent challenges have come opportunities for innovation. The pandemic has changed the way the industry does business, from hiring workers to meeting with clients to running projects. New technologies are helping to bridge gaps and increase profit margins. As construction sites are buzzing again, here are some of the new things you can look forward to in 2022.
Rise of the Machines
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a drone? The use of drones in the construction industry is a rapidly growing trend, rising by a whopping 239% year over year.
The construction industry as a whole has been slow to adopt and invest in technology, but the pandemic has forced many to embrace innovations that enhance efficiency. Construction technology is solving some of the industry’s biggest problems relating to safety, productivity and labor shortages.
While drones are great for aerial photography, they’re also an efficient way to map large areas and gather additional data through thermal imaging. They can do site surveys and inspect hard-to-reach structures, like bridges. Sophisticated software helps to streamline the construction process with real-time data that supports quick decision-making.
Drones can also perform certain jobs that are dangerous to human workers by doing tasks that require the scaling of tall structures. Further, they can reduce labor costs and minimize theft when deployed as on-site security tools.
Meanwhile, robotic “mules” are transporting heavy or hazardous materials, and tasked robots are relieving humans from arduous work like tying rebar, laying bricks, constructing scaffolding and hanging drywall.
Like a Lady Boss
The need for skilled labor remains one of the construction industry’s greatest challenges in 2022. But in a space where there have historically been few women, the labor shortage has made way for more women to fill competitive roles. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women occupy only 10.9% of construction industry jobs. However, there was a 94% growth in female-owned construction firms from 2007 to 2018, and industry hiring trends show that 30% of construction companies promoted a woman to a senior position in 2018.
Gen Zers (people born between 1995 and 2010) are also being recruited to the industry in greater numbers. With the pandemic has come a shift in attitudes toward alternative education, and this has created new interest in trade schools. Construction firms are showcasing the sector’s career growth potential, and new industry technologies are a lure for many young people considering the construction trades.
Green construction is becoming the standard in all building sectors, and over the next decade, sustainable construction is expected to become ever more mainstream. Since buildings are responsible for 40% of U.S. energy consumption and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, the greening of construction is essential to the future health of the planet. Green buildings are also favorable to occupants, providing healthier indoor environments and positive psychological benefits.
A growing trend is that of “greenscaping,” or equipping urban rooftops with plants, gardens and parks. A shining example is Google’s new London headquarters. Developers call it a “landscraper,” meaning that its dimensions are similar to a skyscraper, but built horizontally. The structure is rigorously greenscaped, offsetting carbon emissions and making it less vulnerable to severe storms.
In a word, modular and prefab construction are booming. The modular construction market is expected to reach nearly $110 billion by 2025, due to a decline in skilled labor and an increase in money-saving technology.
New technology is allowing modular buildings to go bigger than ever before. In 2019, the 21-story CitizenM Bowery Hotel opened in downtown Manhattan. It is now the tallest modular construction project in the U.S. Further, the New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development is in the process of developing affordable modular housing in East New York.
On the international front, builders are planning to reduce on-site construction activity to just 25% by 2025 in favor of prefab construction. Modular construction offers many advantages to workers, with safer, climate-controlled, well-ventilated environments.
COVID-19 has generated a greater emphasis on health and safety. State regulations have been updated to increase cleanliness and safety protocols on job sites.
This is with good cause, since the construction industry generally ranks above all other industries for the highest fatal injury rates. Many of the technologies mentioned above are instrumental in improving worker safety and reducing costs to builders.
It is also notable that since the pandemic, many companies are providing greater resources toward the mental health and well-being of their employees. Mental health benefits are increasingly in demand by workers, and innovative mental health offerings position companies to attract top talent.
As the construction industry continues to evolve, keeping up with trends will help you remain competitive in 2022 and beyond.
An industry leader in California and Nevada since 2015, 20/20 Plumbing & Heating, Inc. delivers reliable, state-of-the-art service. Our skilled tradespeople have the training and resources to handle the most challenging projects — on-time and in-budget. Learn more about 20/20 Plumbing & Heating at https://2020ph.com/.