Construction Trends: Moving and Shaking
The world has progressed so much since we got into the field.
As the universe shifts, the construction world turns around with it, constantly pushing us to find innovative and smarter ways to tackle newfound challenges. With modern problems requiring modern solutions, we took a look at the main buzzing and happening topics that are set to trend in the coming years, with advancements making our industry at the crossroads of technology and innovation:
Smart Cities change the way construction companies operate
One of the biggest trends affecting the construction industry is the rise of smart cities.
A smart city is a city that is basically fully integrated with the internet of things (IoT). The infrastructure and buildings all assist in collecting data to help everything run more efficiently. It’s estimated that the global smart city spend totaled $124 billion in 2020. That’s an increase of almost 20% over 2019. Some estimates also indicate that the market will double again to over $676 billion by 2028. As this concept matures, it will likely change the way most of the construction industry operates. More and more construction industry participants will have to start using tech advancements like IoT in their building materials. The construction industry will have to adjust soon, as large corporations and cities are making agreements to construct smart cities within the next year.
Green Building Helps Tackle Environmental Issues
Green building involves building environmentally sustainable buildings using an environmentally sustainable construction and design process.
As governments and regulatory bodies around the world focus on environmental factors in every industry, more construction and design firms are implementing green building methods.
Construction companies have been slow to adopt new technologies, and that includes renewables. As the environmental and business benefits of green tech become more evident, though that’s starting to change. Renewables are no longer the inefficient, expensive technologies they once were.
Electric tools, electric trucks, lighting, and heating and air conditioning are all power-consuming features of construction sites. By utilizing solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy, companies can reduce their CO2 emissions and support green energy development as well as environmentally-conscious building design.
Solar power is the most notable and widespread renewable energy source. While most solar applications power buildings or electrical infrastructure, the construction industry has found ways to use it to power their equipment. Solar-powered construction is a relatively new field, but a growing one.
Volvo recently unveiled a line of solar-powered machines like loaders and excavators. Heavy equipment is typically a notorious polluter, so these solar options are a remarkable improvement. Adopting vehicles like these drastically reduce construction crews’ carbon footprints.
Construction companies can also build solar technologies into their projects. Photovoltaic windows are translucent panels that work to absorb the sun’s energy and transmute it into power. Utilizing this renewable energy form in one building can provide 80% lower greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels.
Wind energy is the fastest-growing power source in the world, making it increasingly attractive to construction companies. While wind power isn’t as flexible as solar, it can still help power construction projects.
Wind power is particularly valuable for areas not yet connected to the electrical grid, like a construction site. Instead of relying on gas-powered generators, construction teams can partner with wind farms for power. As this infrastructure becomes more widely available, more crews can access it.
Hydrogen power is a growing sector of renewable energy with massive potential in the construction industry. Hydrogen fuel cells are scalable and portable, making them ideal for the impermanent nature of construction sites. While hydrogen power in the building industry is new, it’s already made significant strides.
Hydroelectric power is the most widely used renewable energy source globally – some 71% of green energy comes from it. Construction crews can’t set up a temporary hydroelectric plant to power their operations, but they can still use it. Like with wind power, teams can draw their energy from nearby hydropower plants instead of using generators. As an abundant type of renewable energy facility, hydroelectric plants may be accessible to construction crews where wind isn’t. This accessibility helps more construction projects shift to low-emissions energy. The industry as a whole becomes more sustainable as a result.