Here in Rockford, 2018 was a strong year for commercial construction. Like the rest of the country, we saw strong demand for the building of commercial structures, and the work itself is safer and more efficient than ever. At the same time, 2018 presented its fair share of challenges, including rising costs for construction materials, among other things.
Of course, 2019 is a new year, which means we can expect a few changes in the construction industry. Here is a look at a few of the trends we expect to see over the rest of this year:
Taller Modular Buildings
Modular construction—the process by which buildings are put together at an alternate site under controlled plant conditions and then assembled at the building site later—is nothing new. However, engineers are learning how to build taller modular structures in a way that is economically feasible to more construction clients. The technology to build taller modular buildings has been there for some time, but as it becomes more affordable, more people are willing to give it a try.
More Technology (But Not at the Expense of Jobs)
A future with more automation is inevitable at this point, and while there are a lot of people who are afraid of what this will mean for their jobs, 2019 will serve to prove that automation will supplement human workers rather than replace them. There are robots that can handle an increasing amount of a construction site’s repetitive work, but humans are still needed for creativity and big picture completion.
Design-Build Options Increasing
It used to be that one firm would design a building, and then a construction firm would have to be contracted to make the building a reality. However, these days the design-build approach to construction—where the entire process is handled within the walls of one company—is proving increasingly popular. This can lower costs for clients while also giving them more control and fewer headaches throughout the process.
Increase in “Lean” Building
As the U.S. recovers from last decade’s recession and stares down the potential of another one in the not-too-distant future, construction firms have looked more and more at lean principles, which eliminate waste in the forms of materials and overlapping tasks in a workflow. By “trimming the fat,” as it were, construction grows more efficient, which is better for the builders, who save money, and clients, who do the same.
Drones Play a Large Role
Aerial photos are essential for the completion of many construction projects, and while construction firms used to shell out quite a bit of money for airplane photographers to get those shots, they now use more affordable drones to do the same. Commercial drone use grows by leaps and bounds every year, and we expect the same to be true in 2019.
Work with a Forward Thinking Construction Firm
If you are interested in Rockford construction services, consider contacting someone here at Rockford Structures, and we can bring the latest in construction trends to your project this year!