None of us can see into the future, much as we may want to! Although crystal ball gazing is not on the cards, it is possible to identify five key trends that will have an impact on the construction industry in 2018. And so if your company wants to stay competitive and ahead of the game, then make sure you’re on top of these important issues.

1.       Technological advances

It goes without saying almost that this trend will continue unabated in 2018. And what you can expect to see is more 3D printing and the growing use of drones, as well as an increase in virtual and augmented reality use. In fact, it’s likely that in time this last trend will change the face of the entire construction industry by allowing us to see and explore projects before they are even built.

2.       Increases in material costs

There was a steady increase in the cost of materials throughout 2017 and prices are expected to stay high into the next calendar year. And so to stay competitive, construction companies will have to be more proactive in finding savings elsewhere in their operations. And one way to do so is through technology. New apps are being developed all the time, including ones that can help you better track employee work patterns to ensure productivity is maximised.

3.       More modular and prefab construction projects

We saw lots of modular and prefab construction happening in 2017 due to its cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency. Material prices are likely to remain high next year and so modular and prefab options seem certain to continue to be attractive options for construction companies into next year.

4.       Increased emphasis on safety

Sadly, the construction industry has a relatively high number of workplace accidents, which has increased the amount of scrutiny faced by the industry. New technology and smartphone safety apps are making healthy and safety a much easier process to manage onsite. The pressure on the industry to improve safety records will continue into 2018 and it’s likely that we’ll see more technological solutions being developed in response.

5.       Growth of green construction

Consumers are becoming increasingly discerning and are demanding more environmentally friendly and sustainable work practices from the construction industry. And so environmental sustainability and a focus on ecological benefits will be apparent next year. Construction companies will increasingly need to ensure their work practices are green, or at least greener than before, if they want to demonstrate their environmental credentials to a more expectant marketplace.

The one thing that is certain for the construction industry is that change is on its way! It’s vital that companies are open to new ideas and different ways of doing things. Use this checklist to check on your readiness to meet the challenges that lie ahead in 2018.