The New Year is here and rolling. With it comes the question that everyone asks: What will 2014 bring? Since the fall of the construction industry, companies have had to make changes across the board from reducing skilled employees and training existing staff on new technology, to finding ways to reduce waste and increase the use of sustainable materials. So here are just a few of the trends that industry experts are predicting will come in 2014:
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRENDS
We Will See A Rise in Sustainable Construction.
Consumers and businesses both want to impact the environment in a positive way. This means that contractors will have to not only find green building materials but also incorporate lean construction processes. So what does that all mean and what can we expect this year?
The housing and heavy construction markets are rebounding and the numbers are inspiring:
- The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) predicts 826,000 Single-family starts in 2014 and they will pass the 1 million mark in early 2015.
- NAHB expects 326,000 multi-family starts in 2014 and is headed even higher in 2015.
- Non-residential construction will expand into the high single digits due to the acceleration of a 3.6% growth in the global economy.
- These opportunities will come from pipelines, railroads, manufacturing plants, natural gas fueling facilities, as well as warehouse and hotel construction.
Expected to Decline, is Road Construction.
There has been a steady stream of roadwork across the country. But associations like the National Asphalt Paving Association (NAPA) have seen data provided by the government measuring Put-In-Place construction and it shows that public (government) is less than private spending. Why are they diligently working on a case for funding through the government? Road construction is expected to decline due to the expiration of MAP-21:
- If the MAP-21 is not reauthorized, there will not be enough funding to reimburse states for new highway projects beginning in Fiscal Year 2015. The current funds are being used to pay previous projects.
- Preservation and rehabilitation will increase and come from DOTs having funding to invest in modernizing the highway system versus federally funding.
- The NAPA’s annual meeting in February 2014 will cover many of the challenges facing asphalt companies and road construction.
There Will Be A Transition From Prefabrication To Modular Construction.
Sustainable building drives modular, although pre-fabrication has been around for quite some time. Reducing waste along with streamlining the process allows for greener, faster and smarter building practices. So what can we expect?
- Construction will be driven by IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) and various forms of design-build which will allow contractors a seamless way to collaborate on a project.
- Modular provides sustainable construction utilizing lean manufacturing techniques to create Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) and even Relocatable Buildings (RBs).
- Modular aids in repetitive design projects such as multi-unit, hotels and hospital rooms, and schools which are the likely candidates in the near term.
Expect The Use Of Lean Construction To Become A Standard.
- Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) allows for the collaborated alliance of people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that harnesses the talents and insights of all the participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner to reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction. Companies will be embracing lean construction with IPD to generated collaborative methods and better align business interests of all parties.
The Streamlining Of Processes And Online Collaboration Is The Future.
We’ve heard about things like DropBox, Networks, Offsite Data Storage, Citrix systems and mobile apps. For the construction industry trends, technology such as BIM and Cloud will allow teams to collaborate around the globe. Companies will have the ability to share vast amounts of data, digital representations and optimize the project all at the touch of a button. So what can you do with it?
- Building Information Modeling (BIM) will become the standard work process for designers and contractors. Digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places become files that are now exchanged virtually.
- More sophisticated users will be able to tie the model to billing, model safety exposures and protection as well as identify opportunities for design optimization.
- More companies are moving to the Cloud. This will increase collaboration amongst teams and allow contractors to seamlessly share files of any size with virtually unlimited power.
We Have More Openings Than Skilled Laborers.
When the economy crashed in 2007, this created a deficit of construction. Driving skilled labor to find other employment left the industry in a bind. Many of those from construction will not return, creating an even tougher task for companies as construction projects increase. What does this mean for us?
- Skilled labor will be difficult to acquire.
- Skilled carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are at a shortage. While employment rates in the industry are up, the government does not track independents, so those that work “for themselves” are not taken into account.
- Companies will have to combat the shortage of skilled labor while retaining existing employees and training of new staff. Companies will be posting more job openings in hopes of skilled labor returning and others will be looking for ways to streamline positions, train and retain existing employees and utilize seasoned employees to share and document their knowledge.
Watch For a Large Growth in Sustainable Products With A Modest Rise In Other Product Growth.
The material in the construction industry trends has maintained growth but because of limited funds for projects, companies are seeking innovative and sustainable material technologies. What will happen to materials in the industry?
- Material costs will rise modestly in line with the rise in construction. Also, the peaks and troughs will even out as the return of construction continues steadily.
- Sustainable product growth such as reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), recycled shingle mixes, warm mix, Perpetual Pavement and porous asphalt pavement technologies and ground tire rubber will continue to grow for roads/highways/bridges.
- Green construction products will become more popular as the rise in demand for sustainable building continues.
2014 WRAP UP.
So what does all this trending mean exactly? Expect more from the construction industry: more innovative products, more sustainable construction, more jobs and more innovation in the processes. We can also expect more great things in the years to come! Looking for products to streamline your construction project?
Check out our Construction Industry section of our website to learn about how our products can work for you! Our chemicals are certified biodegradable and our sprayers deliver portable power. At Progressive Solutions Corporation, we are always seeking innovative solutions for your industry needs.