Don’t try to follow every rising crest; identify, assess, and integrate the trends that best complement and help grow your business through better products, delivery or installation methods, or customer service.
For 2016, a variety of trends in construction industry have been identified by any number of sources. Below, we summarize a few that are likely to have the most staying power and impact on your business.
Going Green: Sustainability and environmentally conscious construction remains among the top considerations for builders and their customers. Beyond building code or legal requirements for going green, contractors are finding clients are more conscious of the environmental impact of their structures. Interest is sprouting for smart-homes, zero-energy homes, and energy conservation in all aspects of building—from heating and plumbing to lighting and ventilation. The greatest expected growth is in commercial construction and the focus isn’t just regional, it’s worldwide.
Latest Technology: Beyond improvements in construction management software, on-the-job-site technology is now an integral part of the safety of the work environment and the efficiency with which work is performed. Tablets, apps, interactive computer design, GPS, real-time surveying are just a few of the ways in which technological innovation will change the way construction projects are designed, built and managed.
Higher Wages: A report last fall in The Wall Street Journal indicates that a shortage of construction workers is making it difficult for builders to deliver on time to customers, particularly in the residential market. Expect to pay your employees more if you want to attract and keep quality talent.
Millenials Aren’t Moving Out
The first-time home buyer isn’t a Millenial; they’re still living with mom and dad. To generate new business, builders need to target their marketing at 30-40-somethings who aren’t carrying much debt and are ready to buy a home.
Micro-Living (and Other) Spaces
On the other hand, some Millenials or young couples may be interested in ‘micro-apartments’ or small homes that make highly efficient use of space, lighting, technology and sustainable design. A growing trend since 2013, look for opportunities to renovate an old mill (aka, adaptive use) and turn it into a millennial friendly space for apartments, dining, shopping, or the arts.
Hire a Man in Black
While you may not need to call in an FBI or the NSA agent, you will need to up your security at the worksite and on your computer systems. Cyber-security is imperative for both the safety of business data and protection of customer’s personal information. To keep insurance and personnel costs down, look into work-sight automated surveillance systems. Be on the look-out for phishing scams.
- Construction Monitor – Trends Impacting Construction Industry
- World Street Journal: Labor Shortage Pinches Home Builders
- Construction Trends: Top 6 Construction Trends for 2016
- Better Building Solution Center: Adaptive Use- Reimagining Existing Buidlings (PDF)
- Adaptive Use of Old Buildings Can be Alternative to New Construction
- Construction Executive Stop Jobsite Theft with Remote Interactive Surveillance