To paraphrase famous evolutionary scientist Charles Darwin, "Adapt or die". No one is saying that those who work in construction management are following the path of the dodo bird. But there's no denying that the industry has been slow to adopt new technologies, digital and otherwise. But that's changing, especially with digital technology, which is used more and more in the keeping of daily logs and project management. As construction software is becoming more nimble, this construction industry forecast predicts it'll be used for more and more construction applications, ranging from mapping to reporting to building plans. And as construction firm CEOS and site workers alike learn to embrace these new technologies, these products themselves continue to evolve and create new changes within the industry. Below are a few of the bigger construction industry trends of 2016 experts feel are worth keeping an eye on.
1. Digital Is More FunPaperwork required in construction won't ever be "fun". But daily reporting software applications like Raken certainly make such work faster and more accurate. Users of Raken for example, estimate that they save up to ninety minutes a day completing reports on this software's industry compliant forms. And because Raken and other reporting apps can be used on a variety of devices like smartphones, the keeping of many daily logs can now be done directly in the field. With more administrative software coming out all the time, this doesn't appear to be a trend whose end is near.
2. Worker Shortages ContinueAs construction projects pick up, these projects are having great difficulty in finding qualified laborers, especially for so-called "custom specialties". The Bureau of Labor reports tens of thousands of vacant construction jobs went unfilled in 2015. This may have led to delayed or cancelled projects in as many as 22 states. Despite pledges from industry leaders and the federal government for more aggressive training and recruiting practices, industry labor shortages are expected to continue well into this century.
3. Spotlight On SafetyDeaths and serious injury have always been a part of construction work. But a series of fatal 2015 accidents have had everyone from OSHA to juries leveling fines and jail time to at-fault firms. Expect to see a much greater emphasis on safety training for workers at all levels with topics ranging from cranes to accurately keeping daily logs.
4. Smaller And GreenerIt's partly because micro or "tiny houses" are now reality T.V. stars. It's partly because they're increasingly popular with both older and younger buyers. Expect to see the demand for them continue. And more and more contractors and homeowners will become LEED certified, especially after an encouraging recent report on the attempts to slow down global warming and push for more construction sustainability.
5. Mergers and AcquisitionsIt's not just for airlines anymore. Several prominent builders joined forces to improve firm value and increase operating efficiency this year. In light of this and ongoing labor shortages, experts think these construction industry trends will continue well beyond 2016.