BIM and bringing the outdoors in: the forecast for construction in 2020 is looking bright.
It’s fair to say that the past few years have been a bumpy ride for everyone working across the construction sector. Budget cuts, the skills shortage and mounting pressure on delivering high-quality, low-cost solutions – all the while keeping up with the UK housing crisis and our impending departure from the EU. This heady mix has made for a challenging time.
As we enter a new decade, we’re very much building on the groundwork laid throughout the last. Smart tech is getting smarter; sustainability is becoming a key consideration in property development; and employee health and safety – especially mental health – is an increasingly critical aspect of working life.
We’ve taken a look at some of the key things anyone working in construction should be aware of as we embark on 2020 and beyond.
On-site robotics are continuing to dominate construction sites around the world, which means buildings are shooting up faster than ever before. Able to lift heavy loads and work at a pace beyond the capabilities of manual labour, machinery can even tackle tasks like bricklaying to produce speedy results void of human error. When used in collaboration with skilled labourers, the advances we have seen across property development can be astonishing.
Beyond the construction site, Building Information Modelling (BIM) continues to play a big role in efficiency for many businesses. BIM provides professionals at every stage of the build process with visionary project planning.
Other construction management software is surfacing to help managers have complete oversight of their project and team. From time monitoring to communication platforms and invoicing, these applications are designed with professional processes in mind.
Sustainability and the use of green technology in construction considers how we can make our builds more energy efficient, so they have a lower carbon footprint and lower environmental impact, from foundation to finish.
In 2020, we’ll see a move away from older construction methods which have proven detrimental to both the environment and human health in recent years. For example, HVAC issues and the fact that 1.5 million UK buildings are still thought to contain asbestos.
Some of the top sustainable trends for 2020 include:
- Use of responsibly-sourced biodegradable materials
- Green insulation which makes use of old, recyclable materials such as denim and newspaper
- Smart homes, including appliances to monitor and control energy usage in properties
- Self-powered buildings which generate sufficient power to support their own energy needs. If excess is produced, this is directed back to the energy grid
Construction is one of the worst-hit industries when it comes to mental health. Undependable contract work, which often relies on the bank balance of those at the top, long days, night shifts, projects being changed or dropped last minute – it all adds up.
Our client, Seddon, has been working to raise awareness of mental health in the construction industry with its initiative ‘Jordan’s Conversation’. Following the suicide of painter and decorator Jordan back in 2017, it has become of critical importance to the business that every voice is heard. The initiative works to raise awareness and provide help to those who need it within the business and throughout the supply chain.
As mental health becomes more widely recognised and diagnosed, it will remain a key talking point in 2020.
Affordable housing remains an important issue in today’s modern world. Demand is increasing in-line with population growth.
Due to Brexit uncertainty and the world’s semi-exhausted natural resources, it doesn’t help that none of this is coming cheap. Supply versus demand is a huge issue in the industry, and one that needs solving sooner rather than later.
As housing demand continues to rise at a drastic rate, there is a growing trend in the creation of modular and prefabricated homes. There are multiple benefits to the method, including speed of build and flexibility.
Modular properties are often a space-effective way to develop property complex areas. Compact builds allow contractors an immense choice when it comes to overall project structure. Eco-friendly materials and sustainable options are also big considerations with modular design.
Architecture and build design
We’ve been keeping an eye on the design forecast for 2020, and it’s intrinsically linked with the new era of tech, sustainability and minimalist culture that we can expect from the decade.
Industrial, minimalistic style and an emphasis on open and outdoor spaces indicate a transition towards simpler living. The trend of renovating older properties, such as mills and disused churches, pubs and even hospitals, shows how we’re creating space-effective living and reusing existing buildings for good.
As mentioned above, smart tech in the home is also bringing about a new era of intelligent properties, allowing people to control appliances even when they’re miles from home. Did someone say put the kettle on?
At Rumpus, we work with a variety of clients across construction the built environment. If you think your business could benefit from our award-winning PR and digital services, get in touch today.