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In 2020, commercial construction pivoted to accommodate a pandemic and the corresponding changes in local regulations to keep people safe. At first, some state and local governments deemed construction nonessential. By the summer, many allowed construction work to continue. Now all job sites have been allowed to resume operations but with some restrictions and guidelines on mask wearing and other safety protocols in place.
As the clients scrambled to put in “temporary” safeguards like social distancing and plex shields to protect both employees and clients. More than 15 month into this situation, the commercial construction industry is continuing to innovate and improve with an eye to the future. It is too early to say how the national “work from home” movement will affect commercial real estate in the coming years, Design Builders has noticed several continuing trends:
Due to the coronavirus, many contractors have turned to technology to 1) keep projects moving, 2) monitor and screen workers on the jobsite, and 3) communicate and collaborate with stakeholders. New “wearables” that monitor heart rate, bodily rotation, external temperature, and other physical factors can detect danger before it’s too late. Some sensor empowered products in construction are gloves, helmets, wrist watches, goggles and utility vests. For example, a built-in gyroscope can measure the user’s angular velocity or alert supervisors when someone falls. Or an injured worker could press a button to request immediate help.
So, in 2021, the industry expects a surge in smart communication. Although construction requires a lot of physical work, employees will be using digital methods wherever possible. Team chat apps, staff scheduling software, and online conferences are some of these digital work methods that will get used commonly in the construction industry. It also means that the recruitment of IT-skilled professionals will increase in the construction sector.
The construction industry is due for a true technology revolution and the pandemic may be the catalyst needed to get it going. Builders continue to have challenges finding both qualified craftsmen and general workers. Incorporating prefabricated materials and setting up just-in-time deliveries that align with project schedules are some approaches companies are using to begin to make up for a chronic undersupply of skilled labor.
Construction robots and autonomous and semi-autonomous construction equipment will supplement and aid workers to allow them to increase productivity on job sites. In a McGraw Hill Construction survey of such companies, 84% reported higher quality projects since transitioning from traditional methods, 80% saw greater customer satisfaction, 77% experienced greater productivity and 77% improved jobsite safety. While this trend was popular with the biggest construction companies in the past, the improvements have appealed to even small- and mid-size contractors in the coming year.
Although eco-friendly buildings have been quite a luxury previously, we expect to see a rise in the trends of greener architecture in 2021. Las Vegas’ heat is a major driver in this trend. According to surveys, buildings account for about 40 percent of energy consumption in the United States and about 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2021, experts expect to see more and more building plans using environment-friendly construction material and lower carbon footprints. Plus, greener rooftops and front gardens are top “wish list” items for new construction.
With 30 years of experience building and restoring properties, you can count on Design Builders to maintain high standards for construction and service. When you contact Design Builders for your water damage needs, you are getting a fully licensed general contractor that can restore any structural damage for your commercial building.