The construction industry is booming—particularly heavy/highway projects. At the same time, construction is facing a skilled labor shortage that is requiring projects to be managed more effectively. There are many ways to improve this efficiency through leveraging new technology—including these three ways to enhance operations using project-management software, estimating technology, and more.
Perhaps one of the bigger trends for residential construction that is beginning to generate more interest lately is prefab construction. This form of construction initially emerged in the mid-1900s, with the U.K., France, and Russia being some of the first to jump into a large-scale system. Still, while many manufacturing sectors have moved from industry 3.0 to industry 4.0, construction is only starting to make the transition.
With challenges present on both the demand and supply sides of the equation, the economic outlook for residential construction suggests growth, but growth that’s slow and choppy rather than swift and smooth. On the demand side of the coin, challenges include higher interest rates and rising home prices that are stifling demand. On the supply side of the coin, materials and labor costs have escalated in the past few years, cramping profit margins for homebuilders.
It is well reported that there is a need for federal and state investment in transportation, public buildings, water systems, and other vital infrastructure. Not only does it ensure secure and safe systems, but it is also essential to creating good jobs and economic recovery.
Two big movements are emerging for building owners. The first is that owners are beginning to leverage technology to help streamline many of the outdated processes that currently exist today, ultimately helping to centralize decisionmaking for the business.
Everything from tools to equipment is starting to become more connected with the advent of technologies such as the IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, and more.
Despite the split U.S. Congress, infrastructure historically is one of those issues that gets bi-partisan support. With that in mind, our elected officials are going to have to find ways to work together to accomplish key goals that benefit the American people and that just might mean getting buy-in from both sides of the political aisle—Democrats and Republicans—because an investment in the nation’s infrastructure often equates to an investment in its future economic success. President Trump has made some big promises, but the Federal Government’s next move in infrastructure investment remains to be seen.
M&A (merger and acquisition) activity continues to happen at a fast rate in the construction industry, with many providers proposing integration and transformation for the space.
Homeowner preferences are changing. Buyers want homes that are high-tech, energy-efficient, and relatively affordable, but will they soon also want homes that are able to be easily modified in the future?
With a rise in urbanization and a skilled labor shortage in construction, equipment manufacturers are addressing industry challenges head on, with the development of new, advanced construction equipment.