Four Predictions for the Future of Construction
By Andy Lambert, Director of Applied Construction Technology
Posted October 24, 2019
The Construction Industry is facing many headwinds as it attempts to tackle an aging workforce, increased safety regulations, higher demand in production and uncontrolled material costs. In response, a wave of disruption and innovation is sweeping through to aggressively change the built landscape like never before. Those that fail to adapt will not survive the next five years. So, what will construction of the future look like?
If you’re worried about the labor shortage, you won’t need to worry much longer. Unions, trade associations, recruiters, government agencies and institutions are aggressively working to attract the next generation of labor. Increased collaboration between all parties will benefit both contractors and recruits in providing attractive career paths. The skills gap will be closed by utilizing technology and mentorship programs to both retain aging workers and train the next generation.
Advancements in tools and technology will change the way we work. Drones and sensors will police job sites and notify stakeholders of unsafe conditions. Wearables and virtual reality will track and manage the labor force enabling them to be proactive and smart in executing their work. Advanced smart tools and equipment will lessen the toll of hard work on the body.
For the first time in over four decades, productivity will be on the rise as construction adopts lean methodologies, pre-fabrication, 5D BIM modeling, collaboration, and big data to drive real-time decisions. With connected job sites, the field will be reporting real-time labor, equipment and productivity data that will go directly into the BIM model for both advanced planning and cost/resource management. Modular construction and just-in-time supply chain management will keep job sites cleaner, safer and more efficient.
Material costs will continue to fluctuate as an inconvenient variable in construction management. However, smart contractors will forge partnerships with fewer suppliers to lock in pricing. Escalation clauses in contracts will be more prevalent. By adopting modular construction practices alongside BIM planning, future contractors will economize materials and reduce the amount of scrap, rework and delays found in historical construction practices.
The future of construction will favor progressive contractors that have strategically aligned their business with technological innovation, lean methodologies and strategic partnerships. Adoption and adaptation will be a challenge for most construction firms, but can be overcome with progressive leadership and the right technology partners. Those who fail to adapt will become a history lesson.
About Andy Lambert
Director of Applied Construction Technology
Andy is responsible for driving product and solutions that solve industry challenges, and getting those solutions into the hands of the end user. He is also an industry thought leader, collaborator, and speaker.
Prior to joining Penta Technologies, Andy worked for various Electrical Contractors as a member of the IBEW. Andy holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, a degree in Electrical Construction, and Lean certifications.
Andy has over 17 years’ experience in the Construction and Construction Technology industry. He has vast experience delivering solutions to over 100 large construction firms throughout the United States and Canada by bringing together people, process, and technology. He is a passionate, high-energy, results driven professional with a diverse skill set that has contributed value and ROI to customers and stakeholders. As a product and solution champion, his motivation and energy stem from a strong belief in teamwork, relationship building, customer/stakeholder interaction, and leveraging the latest technology to meet the tough business challenges facing construction today and in the future.