From new and improved job sites to 3D printing and VR, commercial construction is changing quite rapidly. Revolutionary technologies and building practices will transform the industry and give birth to projects that are less expensive, faster and safer. Here are the top commercial construction trends that could change the industry in the future.
Job sites of the future
The Internet of Things (or IoT for short) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. Contractors are constantly searching for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency as well as job safety, so they’ve started implementing IoT to improve site operations. IoT encapsulates several aspects of the construction tech landscape, including equipment and employee tracking, wearables, drone surveying and other information collected on the job site. For instance, IoT can track workers in the field and ensure their safety, while equipment sensors can monitor the state of machinery. If the industry can improve the safety at work, it will go a long way in attracting more workers to the field of construction, especially since companies struggle to find labour every year.
Virtual and augmented reality technology is getting more and more popular in all the spheres of tech space. Its implementation in commercial construction can enhance collaboration among project stakeholders before building even begins. VR will be used by both architects and engineers and have a presence on the construction site.
Thanks to VR and AR, the construction team can detect errors before they even occur and thus avoid costly mistakes. This technology can also improve jobsite safety because managers and workers can analyse site conditions without being subjected to the potential safety hazards. It will also find its use in safety training and teaching workers how to operate heavy equipment in a controlled environment. Even though VR and AR technology is still too costly to be used on a regular basis, in the future, it will become an integral part of the construction as models will become cheaper, lighter and better designed.
3D printing in construction
Even though 3D printing technology is relatively new, some companies have already printed houses using giant 3D printers with cement and glass materials. Amongst some of its biggest benefits are the reduction of health and safety risks, the use of recycled materials, waste reduction and the ability to build seemingly unimaginable design concepts. In the last 10 years, this technology has rapidly progressed and predictions are that soon, many commercial project teams may use 3D printing to create building components while providing savings and schedule reduction.
Sustainable construction and green building will continue to be popular in the future. More and more owners and tenants are demanding energy-efficient features in their buildings. For instance, regular bulbs are being replaced by commercial LED lighting that is much more cost-effective and durable, and classic roofs are being turned into green roofs that can thermo-regulate the building and the whole city. Also, the use of double-layered windows, energy-efficient exterior doors and skylights has also gone up. Soon, sustainable construction will be more of a norm rather than an exception.
Modular construction, offsite construction or prefabricated construction is predicted to become another great construction trend in the future. Even though it has been around for decades, it has recently started to attract more interest of commercial construction experts. Modular buildings meet all existing building codes, achieve LEED certification and can be safer than traditional construction sites because they are built in controlled environments. Offsite construction is suited for many different buildings from schools and hospitals to residential buildings, commercial offices, hotels and retail stores. Additionally, it is gaining popularity because owners are realising that modular buildings look just as good as traditional onsite constructions but can be completed for less money and in a shorter amount of time.
It is a fair guess that commercial construction will continue to dictate business trends. While there may be challenges, commercial construction will remain firm on its path and embrace the future together with all the changes it brings.