Looking Ahead: Construction Industry Trends 2021

As we are all aware, the global COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruption across all areas of the construction industry. With March marking a year since the Prime Minister sent the UK into National Lockdown, we take a look into the future at the industry trends for the rest of 2021, as we finally see the light at the end of tunnel with restrictions to begin easing as of next week.

Here are just a few trends that we will see featured within the Construction Industry 2021:

Safety

Safety is always a top concern for the construction industry, but it cannot always be guaranteed. Now more than ever adjustments have had to be made to accommodate to stop the spread of Covid-19 among co-workers on sites and it doesn’t seem like these will be going away anytime soon. In an attempt to mitigate the spread of disease sites have safety measures in place such as separation of workers and enhanced equipment and cleanliness protocols.

Separation is a particularly difficult thing to achieve on a jobsite and construction teams will see smaller crews and the use of staggered shifts to keep job sites less crowded, while the restrictions ease there may be a gradual increase of workers on jobsites.

Enhanced protocols will include the expected things, like masks and hand sanitizer, as well as things specific to construction. This is something that won’t be going away, even once restrictions have been lifted, we will still have to take some precautions to keep the levels of infection down.

Living Materials 

One of the more exciting trends within the construction industry is the development of most living materials. These are biological compounds that literally grow themselves. The idea of living materials is not only extremely intriguing but also, they have less of a negative impact on the environment. The most promising biological materials are built by and made of bacteria and fungi. This ensure that they are light yet strong.

Cement, one of the most common used building accounts for about 8 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions every year. But bricks made of living materials could potentially sequester carbon instead.

SelfMending Concrete is just one example of a living material. It refers to concrete saturated with bacteria that bind materials around them into a new structural material. This material can grow in the pores of concrete. It can even grow cracks within materials, filling and repairing them.

Remote Technology

In our third lockdown, we are all too familiar with the struggle of working from home.

With sites having to minimise human contact, they have had to find alternative methods of carrying out certain jobs. When it comes to overseeing a jobsite, technology has been the answer. Drones have been able to resolve safety issues quickly by observing projects at all angles and heights to observe and assess sites. Drones can be used to uncover safety issues as well as quantities of materials and much more.

Technology not only has a place on site but also within the office.  Technology such as Blockchain technology is a system of recording information and allowing input of an endless number of data points. Whether it be transactions, payments or completion of tasks and revisions of schedules. The system keeps your data secure as it is also very difficult to change, hack, or cheat the system. It is also accessible to anyone on the same network.

This technology is being rapidly adopted in large-scale work and we can continue to see more of it being adapted into future works.

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