The construction industry took a huge hit in the wake of Covid, and many of us are still scrambling to keep up. As a result of material and labor shortages, as well as prolonged supply chain disruptions, the price of building materials has climbed to an all-time high.
According to an NAHB Eye on Housing report, residential construction costs through October 2021 increased by 14.5% over the previous year. Additionally, many planned construction projects were brought to a screeching halt once Covid hit the scene, and plenty of uncertainty remains.
Yet it’s not all bad news for the construction industry: Signs indicate a strong 2022 for the engineering and construction sector, with technology and sustainability leading the way. Sustainable construction is of paramount importance, in fact, as the world grapples with climate change alongside an ongoing global pandemic.
Let’s take a look at how technology is being used to monitor and improve sustainability, and the top construction trends to look out for in 2022 and beyond.
Using Technology to Your Advantage
Technology has enabled humans to build at an unprecedented rate, with the process becoming more streamlined over time. For example, computer-aided design (CAD) gave architects a tangible way to spot potential issues before breaking ground, and the widespread adaptation of prefabricated buildings has evolved into one of the industry’s biggest time-savers. Other technological advancements in construction include the increased use of 3D printing in the design and planning processes.
Whatever their form, advancements in construction technology can even serve as a problem-solving tool of sorts, and automation has shown plenty of promise in this regard. That’s because automation tech, especially when used in tandem with machine learning, can analyze data much faster, and much more accurately, than a human. With help from machine learning, you can better analyze data related to cost and assess on-site safety measures, to make more informed business decisions.
Sustainable Materials: More than a Simple Fad
Even before Covid changed the course of everyday life, sustainability was an industry buzzword. Myriad local governments have enacted green building standards and codes over the years, to improve global sustainability.
We’ve also seen a rise in green product certification, by both governmental bodies and third-party entities. For example, if a forestry product such as lumber is certified by the independent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), you can rest assured that it was harvested sustainably.
With such a heavy emphasis on sustainability in construction, it should come as little shock that sustainable materials are among the top manufacturing trends for 2022. To help offset the carbon emissions from a planned construction process, consider using sustainable materials whenever possible, from recycled and biodegradable plastics to natural materials such as cork and bamboo. You should also consider a project’s energy needs and utilize alternative energy like solar and wind power whenever possible.
In the last few decades, green building has emerged from relative obscurity in construction to a force to be reckoned with. And in our increasingly digital, interconnected world, new technology has evolved alongside it. By merging technological advancements with sustainable interests, construction crews and planners alike are better equipped to handle future challenges, no matter the form they take.