According to BigRentz, Inc., the largest equipment rental network in the nation, “2022 will be a year of reemergence and growth in the construction industry despite rising construction costs and labor shortages.”
They added, “Since last year, the COVID-19 pandemic changed how the construction industry does business, from scheduling and closing projects to hiring workers to meeting with clients. Looking forward, many industry trends will be affected by the fallout from the pandemic. New technology continues to change the construction site, improve the ability to win projects, and increase profit margins. Trends and movements are changing the roles of industry professionals and frontline workers.”
Here are their top 10 must-watch construction industry trends for 2022 to help you stay competitive in the New Year –
- Protective Equipment – We aren’t talking better safety vests and helmets here — think “wearable innovations,” “robots,” “reliance on 3D printing,” and “environmental sensors” — all playing a major role in enhancing the safety of job sites in the new year.
- Efficient Technology – The pandemic has caused increased reliance on construction technology, with the biggest differentiator for builders and developers this year being innovations that can enhance efficiency. Look for “smart contracts,” construction drones, augmented reality (AR), and building information modeling (BIM) to all play a significant role in 2022.
- Growing Need for Laborers – Despite robots’ best efforts, the industry will need more educated workers to manage and interpret the data produced by new technology. Plan to see an increase in hiring women and Gen-Z workers to help close the gap.
- Remote Worksites and Mobile Access – COVID accelerated the need for these platforms so projects could continue when in-person access was not possible; firms without complete mobile connectivity will be at a productivity and sales disadvantage going forward.
- Rising Material Costs – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Producer Price Index for construction goods increased by 17% year over year in 2021. Rising interest rates are likely to compound all types of costs, resulting in further pressure on total construction. Innovative living materials and technology such as self-healing concrete, 3D graphene, transparent aluminum, light generating concrete, and invisible solar cells, could prove to be long-term solutions to rising costs.
- Green Building – Green construction includes both the technology to lower a building’s carbon footprint and the use of resources and building models to reduce the use of resources. Look for sustainable and eco-friendly features to become more mainstream over the next decade. Renewable energy sources captured 11% of the energy market in 2019 (per the U.S. Energy Information Administration) and are only expected to grow in their share as accessibility increases.
- Modular and Offsite Construction – Modular and prefab construction is in the middle of a multiyear boom with no plans of slowing down. The modular construction market, led by the residential sector, is predicted to balloon in value to almost $110 billion by 2025, driven by a lack of skilled labor and an increase in cost-cutting technology.
- Construction Management Software – Choosing the right construction management software is vital. The best ones tackle end-to-end needs from RFIs to compiling data, sharing files with mobile teams, budgeting, document storage, payroll and HR, and inventory monitoring. Look at ease of use and integration with other existing software in your selection. Top rated CMS for 2022 include: Autodesk, Procore, Buildertrend, RedTeam, Fieldwire, Quickbase.
- Focusing on Residential Projects – The downturn in large-scale projects is already resulting in increased interest in private sector projects. Residential construction spending was up nearly 25% in 2021, and residential starts are expected to increase by 7% in 2022.
- Smart Cities – The global smart city market is expected to grow 20.5%, reaching $2.5 trillion by 2025 with companies like IBM, Microsoft and Cisco investing heavily in megaprojects to build smart, sustainable cities (eg: Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, Songdo International Business District in South Korea, Hudson Yards in New York City and India’s Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor).
Consistent with other other industry expert predictions, BigRentz agrees the outlook for 2022 is positive. They shared, “The pandemic created an anomaly for statistics in the construction industry, but looking forward, the outlook is largely positive. After a tepid period, an upswing in construction is expected throughout 2022 as the U.S. economy recovers from the pandemic and new economic centers continue to develop and grow.”
BigRentz is an online construction equipment rental marketplace with 4,000+ rental partners and 10,000+ partner locations, making them the largest equipment rental network in the nation. They simplify the procurement and logistics challenges of renting construction equipment. Headquartered in Irvine, California with offices in Atlanta, Georgia and in Elmhurst, Illinois.