In the last few years there has (fortunately) been a relentless march within the construction industry, built on the back of strong technological advancements and a stronger focus on sustainability. Whilst some were originally derided, the truth is, looking back, most of the changes which have been brought in have made construction work easier, more efficient, and of course, more cost effective. We’re talking futuristic architectural designs which are enabled through new building materials, new uses for existing materials, improved methods of erection and environmentally friendly concepts in building design, all of which are combining to create a dramatic shift in the sector.
Looking to 2019
Construction is in no way a Robinson Crusoe industry – that is, the realities and pressures of our new technologically dependent society and shifts within the political landscape will both directly and indirectly challenge core principles which are held dear and test existing methods of construction.
And whilst the future is in no way set in stone, looking to the year ahead, we believe that there are some trends which will be predominant influencers within the sector in 2019 and potentially beyond that. We asked our team about their thoughts and for feedback on what they have read or heard and have compiled the top 4 responses.
Increased Modular Construction
Whilst far from a new concept, off-site modular style construction is likely to become more popular in 2019. Driven by improved off-site capabilities, a desire by builders to build faster and more economically, and cost efficiencies, off-site construction will likely increase in prevalence throughout the country. From our own experience, whilst we can apply Nullifire SC902 on-site (more efficiently and thus at lower project cost than most alternatives) it can also be applied off-site with touch ups on-site. In these projects where this has been the case, there are no competitive trades looking to work in the same area which affects project output and delivery speed. The result is the structural steel can be fabricated, treated, sprayed and delivered to site faster and with less project associated costs. In fact a report by KPMG found there is approximately a 7% saving on project costs when construction elements are undertaken off-site.
Continued Steady Growth
According to BCI Economics, the total construction projects market should show steady growth of 8.2% in the upcoming financial year 2018/2019 compared to over 11% the previous financial period. This will be predominantly fuelled by ongoing project work and corporate tax cuts which will filter through to the construction industry.
Interestingly, there is also expected to be an upturn in demand for architectural work.
Increased uptake of BIM
BIM, or Building Information Modelling, is likely to grow in popularity as larger firms recognise the value it plays in lowering construction costs and improving the planning process.
These interactive models are comprised of highly detailed information that offers insight at every stage of a construction project’s life cycle. We are talking planning through to construction and even beyond to ongoing maintenance. In fact, with advances in technology and understanding about what companies can use it for, into 2019 there will be more systems offering 5D modelling, incorporating costing and time dimensions.
Advances in Construction Materials
It may seem like the least enticing of the four predictions, however, we expect to see improvements across the board in many high-tech building materials, inclusive of passive fire rating products such as Nullifire. In fact, we know about many exciting developments which are due in 2019 and cannot wait for them. What are they you ask? Well you may have to check back to find out!
These are our thoughts on what awaits into 2019, but we would love to hear from you on the trends you expect to be big in 2019. It never hurts to share your thoughts and help our collective audience stay ahead of the game in the coming year!
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