Construction Trends to Anticipate in 2020
By Julia Chirichella
A new decade has begun, and the next ten years are sure to bring advancements in the construction industry that we cannot even begin to imagine. On a smaller scale, trends that are already in the works are likely to evolve and become more common in 2020, and along with the emergence of new trends, these advancements will likely shape the construction industry and how it functions moving forward. Increases in efficiency, sustainability, safety, and more are on the horizon. Below are some construction trends to watch out for in 2020.
Sustainability should be considered in all areas of life, and 2020 will likely see an increase in sustainable efforts in the construction industry. In order to complete major construction projects while conserving the environment at the same time, various steps can be taken. “Green construction” considers the impact of the work on our planet during each step of the construction process, from planning to execution. Sustainable construction efforts include switching to LED lighting wherever possible on construction sites, as well as developing more effective thermal performance materials to use for buildings constructed in 2020. Green construction processes often allow for the construction of buildings that are both environmentally and economically friendly, which makes this trend appealing for both those who need structures built and those who are doing the building.
Modular Construction Projects
Trends in every industry often emerge due to the desire to make things simpler and more convenient, and this is evident in construction through the rise of modular construction methods. 2020 will likely bring about an increase in modular projects because they save time, money, and energy—office buildings, hotels, apartments, and more come to life through prefabricated pieces. Since the bulk of these buildings is assembled offsite, construction companies do not have to worry about the weather or other external factors that will significantly slow down the construction process. Waste is also reduced through this process because it allows for the easy recycling of unused materials. This process is ideal for repetitive structures and allows for the construction of these structures at a much faster rate.
More Comprehensive Safety Equipment
It is no secret that there is a higher risk of injury in construction than in other industries. In 2020, it is expected that there will be a push for improved safety equipment on job sites. Wearable technology is likely to play a significant role in this development. For example, the use of cooling vests and moisture-wicking fabric reduces the risk of overheating on a job site. Another major trend to emerge is clothing items (boots, pants, etc.) that integrate GPS technology so workers can be tracked on-site and a manager can be notified immediately if there is a fall or other accident. Similar technology also allows for the monitoring of workers so that operators are aware when another worker is near their equipment.
Robotics in Construction
Rather than replacing the jobs that humans do on construction sites each day, robotics technologies are allowing for increased productivity and accuracy on job sites, which is sure to continue and advance throughout 2020. Robots can be designed to fulfill a number of different construction-based tasks so that workers can place their focus elsewhere. Drone usage is also likely to increase in construction in 2020—aerial drones are ideal for surveying job sites and improving the safety and accuracy of the completion of a job.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Applications for VR and AR in construction increased in 2019, so this is a trend that is sure to continue into the new decade. These technologies allow construction teams to visualize buildings in a more clear way before construction begins, which allows for design optimization and identification of errors before the building comes to life. Virtual designs of buildings also allow clients to review detailed designs before construction begins. Mixed reality can also be used to view the virtual design of the building along with the physical setting where it will be located, which allows for even more detailed planning and successful execution.
More Effective Project Management Solutions
Project management is constantly evolving and will continue to do so in 2020. Project management software allows those working on a project to track and manage the intricacies of construction with ease, aiding with seamless execution. Improvements in software cover even more areas of construction, such as budgeting and scheduling of work that needs to be done. This type of software also helps managers keep track of important documents related to the project.
It is clear that construction is ever-evolving. The trends of 2020 are sure to reshape and improve the industry, along with sparking new ideas for trends that will come into play even further down the line.
Julia Chirichella is a writer working with 360 Industrial Group, a construction company based out of East Rutherford, New Jersey, that specializes in demolition, debris removal, and salvage services. Offering services on both residential and commercial scales, 360 Industrial emphasizes proper project oversight while leaving as little a waste footprint as possible.
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