There are changes afoot in the construction sector that will affect developers. These are the key trends you need to know about for 2020 and beyond.
The introduction of any new technology has the potential to cause changes in an industry. Many have concerns about sustainability and the rise of robotics. This has led to speculation about the future of several sectors.
Construction is among those that stand to evolve thanks to these technologies.
In fact, there are several trends that we’re likely to see come to the forefront in 2020. These trends will influence the direction that the entire industry goes in. That means they’ll also influence the decisions you make for future projects.
Failure to keep pace with these trends could prove disastrous for developers. As others evolve with the industry, you risk getting left behind.
That makes it all the more important that you understand what’s coming for construction in 2020. This article examines some of the key trends for you to pay attention to. It also details how these trends may influence the industry in the coming years.
Trend #1 – An Even Bigger Focus on Building Up
This is a trend that you’ve likely already encountered in your work as a developer. There’s a definite move towards building up throughout Australia.
The country has seen a high-rise construction boom that’s lasted for several years at this point. There’s also the emerging trend of vertical schools. These high-rise schools pack all that a regular school has into a taller building. Building up means fewer restrictions on space. Plus, it means the school requires less land.
The country’s constant population increases play their part here. At the end of 2017, Australia’s population saw an average annual growth of 1.6% per year. That amounts to tens of thousands of people arriving in the country each year.
The trend for building up accounts for these population increases. This is especially the case in dense urban areas. It also looks unlikely that Australia’s population growth will reverse any time soon. As a result, it’s likely that developers will continue building up for several years to come.
As a side note, this means that builders have to pay closer attention to safety standards. This is especially the case for your windows. They have to meet certain water leakage and wind resistance restrictions. This is due to the increased pressures they face at higher elevations.
As such, building up may call on you to make changes in your supply chain to account for new challenges.
Trend #2 – An Increasing Use of Robotics
This is a trend that’s affected manufacturing for many years. In fact, many of the materials that you use in construction may be the result of robotics in action.
But the trend towards robotics may spread even further into the construction sector.
Several advances in 2018 show how robotics will affect the sector’s future. We’ve seen the introduction of the Semi-Automated Mason (SAM) machine. This bricklaying contraption can lay five bricks for every 1 that a human builder can lay. The efficiency benefits to large construction projects are obvious.
3D printing is also coming into its own. In fact, builders in the Netherland used this technology to print an entire bridge in 2018.
Now, couple that with the rise of other robotics technology. 2018 saw the creation of rebar-tying robots and new welding technology. It’s clear that robotics has become a more workable solution in recent years. It will only become more affordable with time.
It’s likely that 2019 will see many developers pay close attention to these advancements. Robotics has the potential to drive efficiency in large projects. The time saved by technologies like these could lead to cost savings for builders.
That alone is enough to show why it’s likely that 2020 will see a rise in the use of robotics.
Trend #3 – Sustainability Will Take Centre Stage
The push towards sustainability is nothing new for the Australian construction sector. Methodologies like Building Information Modelling make it a key issue. Plus, many of the designs you work from today have sustainability in mind.
Still, it’s likely that the issue will become even more of a hot topic in 2020.
For one, there are the proposals that may affect the National Construction Code (NCC). These look set to place more demands on developers. This is particularly the case for those working in commercial development. The ABCB hopes to strengthen energy efficiency requirements in 2020. This would include an increased focus on issues like glazing and lighting. Plus, air conditioning will become a bigger concern.
The proposals would also add new Verification Methods that focus on sustainability. On the residential side, the ABCB’s proposals will strengthen current provisions.
The key point is that sustainability is a major concern for the industry. If these proposals become legislation, developers will have to adapt. This may mean sourcing new suppliers. You may also have to revisit designs to ensure they meet the new standards.
Beyond this, there’s also an increasing awareness of environmental issues among consumers. Adopting a sustainability-first approach makes you more attractive to potential clients. This makes going green an effective branding tool. It’s likely that we’ll see many firms advertising their green credentials in 2020.
Trend #4 – New Building Materials Will Surface
A range of exciting emerging materials looks set to make their marks in 2020.
Self-healing concrete may be the most important of these. Using special bacteria, this material has the ability to “heal” itself if it cracks. This extends the concrete’s lifespan.
Again, this is important from a sustainability standpoint. Apart from water, concrete is the world’s most used material. In fact, the industry expects to use about 5 billion metric tons of the stuff by 2030. A report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows the issues this causes. It says that concrete production causes 8% of global emissions. Self-healing concrete will reduce these production numbers, which lowers emissions in the process. It also increases building lifespan, which again ties into the sustainability trend.
Beyond this, 2018 saw the development of several more exciting technologies. Light-generating cement uses the environment to create light in areas that don’t have access to electricity. Again, the sustainability trend comes into play here. The industry has also seen the development of more energy-efficient bricks.
The introduction of translucent wood also offers plenty of possibilities. The solar and lightweight building sectors may start using this technology.
Many of these emerging materials focus on sustainability. This ties them into another key trend for the industry. As such, it’s likely that they’ll see further development and wider adoption through 2020 and beyond.
Trend #5 – New Tech Will Transform Compliance and Safety
Developments in drone and wearable technology have the potential to transform the industry.
We’ve already seen wearable technologies have this effect on the fitness industry. For example, Fitbit’s wearable devices allow people to track their heart rates and other key metrics. The idea is that such technologies give you a better idea of what’s happening with your body.
Yet, their potential has yet to be completely explored. Wearable tech could have massive implications for the construction industry.
Take the SmartBoots as an example. Developed by Sole Power, these boots incorporate motion sensors and GPS technology. They’re also Wi-Fi enabled and have their own lighting.
The boots track worker movement throughout the day. This allows project managers to track their people. They can also ensure their work doesn’t breach compliance requirements. Plus, features like inbuilt lighting may improve safety standards on sites.
Drones have more obvious benefits. Their use in large construction sites allows site managers to track everything. They ensure sites don’t have blind spots. And their ability to record footage proves useful. Drones may also help developers get a better idea of what sites have to offer.
2018 saw an increase in construction workforce. These technologies ensure that safety stays at the forefront of project management. They also make it easier to keep track of an ever-expanding workforce.
The Final Word
Understanding the trends that affect the industry is the key to success for builders.
The push towards high-rise construction is a key issue. Builders have to track more compliance issues to build safer high-rise buildings. That’s especially the case as vertical schools become more popular.
New technologies also look set to change the industry. The introduction of various robotics technologies look set to improve efficiency. This has obvious cost benefits that builders may be able to use to secure more contracts. Wearable technologies allow for greater on-site safety. Plus, they help project managers keep track of their people. Plus, materials like self-healing cement promise far-reaching changes in the industry.
But it may be the continued drive to sustainability that’s the most important trend for you to keep track of. Proposed legislative changes may make sustainable design more important in 2020.
That’s where Safetyline Jalousie may be able to help. Our louvre windows are suitable for high-rise construction. Plus, we’re members of the Window Energy Rating Scheme. That means we focus on energy-efficiency in window design.
With our louvre windows, you can keep up with the trends that will affect the industry in 2020. Get in touch today to speak to one of our Business Managers and learn more about what we offer.
7 Exciting Building and Construction Trends – Latham Australia
Top 10 Construction Technology Trends – LetsBuild.com
10 Construction Industry Trends – eSUB
10 Statistics Defining the Australian Construction Industry – BuildSoft
Proposed Energy Efficiency Changes for NCC 2019 – ABCB Connect
The Self Healing Concrete That Can Fix Its Own Cracks – The Guardian
This Cement Generates Light – Arch Daily
Optically Transparent Wood from a Nanoporous Cellulosic Template: Combining Functional and Structural Performance – ACS Publications