Technology played a large part in construction industry trends in 2017, and we don’t expect that to change in 2018. However, we do expect even more advances in technology this year. With new and exciting challenges facing the construction industry on a daily basis, we must become more innovative and continue to think outside of the box. While some of the top trends expected this year stem from past trends in the industry, like an even bigger push for green construction, some expected trends come from new developments, such as 3D printing. Let’s take a look at the construction trends to expect in 2018.
An even bigger push for green construction
While we all try to do our part in helping the environment, many turn to those in the construction industry to develop new products and techniques to ensure that the structures we live, work, and play in are doing the least harm possible. This is not a new concept for the construction industry. In fact, green construction has been a topic of conversation for almost twenty years now. This year, however, the push for environmentally conscious construction is expected to be even greater than in previous years. Last year, there was a large demand for features like solar panels, home energy storage, energy management systems, passive building designs that conserve energy through temperature and natural lighting control, and sustainable building materials. This push is expected to remain prevalent in 2018.
Increased drone usage
The general public may see drones as a fun way to capture personal pictures and videos, but the construction industry has begun using drones for other purposes. Drones are useful in the construction industry because they allow a large amount of area to be surveyed from above quickly and easily. This is especially useful for surveying large or remote areas of land that may be difficult to survey on foot. Drone users can get a feel for the land before moving farther in a construction project. Drones are also useful for the projects themselves. They provide a (literal) overview of a project’s progress and allow those working on the project to see where any issues may arise.
The topic of 3D printing has not been largely discussed in the construction industry in the United States yet, but 3D printing has been a growing trend over the past year in China. China is utilizing 3D printing do build concrete structures like houses. First, a team of construction workers install the frame, support structures, and plumbing for the building. Then, a large 3D printer is used to pour concrete, layer by layer, to form walls. This technique is becoming quite popular in China, due to the shortened construction time it allows for. 3D printing in construction is expected to make an appearance in the U.S. this year, but it is unknown whether the trend will catch on.
Safety is always the number one priority for us at Chris-Tel Construction, but advances in safety practices are expected to make headway in 2018. Thanks to the use of things like virtual reality simulators, workers are able to do things like practice driving heavy equipment before they ever have to actually do so. This allows for an even more hands-on training process. Developments in safety technology are also branching out to fall detection software that can detect a fall and send an immediate alert to emergency contacts. These advances in safety technology are extremely important in the construction industry.