In 2023, the construction industry grappled with the lingering effects of supply chain disruptions, inflation, and ever-present labor shortages—a narrative that has become all too familiar.
But amidst these challenges, construction pros remained as resilient and innovative as ever. We adopted new technologies, embraced sustainable building practices, and were more vocal about the benefits of working in the AEC field.
And things continue to look up: Data from Deloitte shows a 7.4% increase in total construction spending in Q3 of 2023. Moreover, Reportlinker forecasts the global construction market to see a 17.2% CAGR from 2023 to 2028.
The future is bright for the construction industry, and the best way to prepare is to stay informed and adaptive to emerging trends.
Join a live discussion on top construction trends: Digital Builder Podcast Live: Construction Trends for 2024
To that end, we caught up with 30+ industry experts and insiders who have generously shared their perspectives and predictions for 2024.
Check out what they have to say and use their insights to kick off strong in the coming year:
We also asked a few industry experts to share insight for 2024 construction trends and predictions on video. Watch what they have to say:
“Some of the biggest construction trends and innovations that we are starting to explore are the use of AR and drones. AR has the massive potential to bring the rich information that typically stays in the office to the field. By leveraging 3D models in the field, teams can walk the projects, and ensure constructability and maintainability without having to wait for a designer to be brought on site. The key is to integrate AR seamlessly with communication processes to maintain effective collaboration without the traditional silos and disconnects between the office and field.
We are also navigating the use of drones for construction analytics. There is a significant opportunity to do risk-based inspections with this technology moving forward by providing accurate measurements and data.”
“In 2024, the Indian construction industry will continue to align with global themes. This could involve an increased focus on sustainable construction, leveraging advanced technologies like BIM, and adopting eco-friendly building practices.
Additionally, India may see a rise in modular construction methods to enhance efficiency and address housing demands. Given the evolving nature of the industry, it’s crucial to stay updated on regional developments and government initiatives that may influence construction trends.”
“I believe in 2024 we will see increased use of construction robots as their quality of work, safety metrics, cost savings, and schedule-saving opportunities become more and more apparent across the industry from earlier users. Connected to this is that we will see more field workers get technical skills in learning how to interact and work with robots to their advantage while performing their tasks.
We will also see more companies in the AEC sector adopting hybrid work schedules by noticing the evolving preferences of the modern workforce which highlights the need for companies to be open to flexible work arrangements.
Data tracking will increase, such as tracking CO2 emissions and diverse supplier spending, as more and more companies and clients, both private and public, are driving environmental and socio-economic change in the industry by prioritizing aspects beyond the financial performance of projects.
And finally, increased use of VR and AR in transforming simulation, training, and on-site safety while allowing employees to learn new skills in a secure and engaging setting.”
“Looking ahead to emerging construction trends, it’s the combination of two key areas that have significant buzz and are starting to drive more industry innovation: artificial intelligence (AI) and data. We’ve just merely scratched the surface for AI in the industry and this year is going to be huge in determining which innovations will provide the most value and give us better data. The goal is to leverage data for QA and QC, eliminate duplication, and create more project efficiencies.
At Burns & McDonnell, one of our top priorities is determining how we can take this data to the next level. The focus is on leveraging AI and data to make teams more efficient and achieve better project outcomes. But ultimately, it’s about empowering success for our clients.”
“Prefabricated construction should be a focus in 2024, whilst companies continue to improve the supply chain process and coordination. The industry will continue to be impacted by an ever-growing shortage of skilled labor, leading to greater investment in training and education programs. It is a must that we rapidly invest in continued automation and robotic technologies to compensate for the labor shortage. AI has and will continue to help augment staffing shortages while increasing accuracy and improving time-to-delivery. Prefabricated construction again could help ease labor shortages.
Historically, construction has been behind the curve in adopting technology. It is now critical that technology is not only utilized at an increased level, but also improvements continue to be made to simplify the use, while aiding in improving schedule, safety, and cost overrun risks. Technology must drive efficient project planning, better coordination amongst the trades and design team, and reduce construction times.”
“Industrialized construction is a trend that I am particularly enthusiastic about in 2024 and beyond. Across the world, I have seen some remarkable projects that showcase the benefits of industrialized construction. With AI advancements as well as ongoing efforts to optimize workflows within the industry, we’re going to see project efficiency scale. This is going to unlock some tremendous opportunities for industry-wide productivity and sustainability.
Secondly, renovation projects are becoming increasingly significant in the coming years. It’s projected that over half of all construction projects in the future will involve renovations. Recently, I had the opportunity to witness an incredible example in Australia – the AMP Centre in Sydney, now known as Quay Quarter Tower. This building underwent a transformative renovation where it was stripped down to its core and rebuilt, resulting in a brand-new structure. The outcome was sustainable and innovative and only highlights the exciting possibilities with more renovations.”
“I anticipate that in 2024 our industry will maintain its course toward greater integration and collaboration, placing significant emphasis on harnessing Common Data Environment solutions. The involvement of all project stakeholders from a project’s start will be critical for improved design and project management, facilitating more extensive utilization of BIM and, subsequently, supporting the adoption of prefabrication and modular construction techniques.
Workforce challenges will continue to present obstacles, but therein lies the opportunity to invest in training and enhance workers’ digital literacy to improve efficiency and productivity.”
“Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, I see massive opportunities for the intersection of digital construction and mass timber. Currently, there is a lot of research being done to explore and test the use of mass timber for different structural elements. This would allow us to use wood in applications that we currently are only using steel or concrete for, as well as further develop hybrid systems. I’m excited about all the possibilities this opens and how we can improve the adoption and versatility of mass timber within the industry.
The next decade will also bring an increased emphasis on prefabrication within construction. With so much construction disruption happening within our cities today, minimizing time on site becomes even more critical. Embracing more prefabrication and offsite construction methods will help reduce disruptions in addition to improving efficiency and enhancing construction processes overall.”
“To me, the biggest trend for 2024 will be that we are going to invest in our own data quality. To have logic in place and connect information and platforms with integrations while creating data richness and quality inside our divisions will be pivotal for us in 2024.”
“Data collection is something I am excited about. I teach about robotics and drones and laser scans, and I have for a while. The way we’re now collecting data and analyzing data, will enable us to predict, control, and ultimately produce better outcomes. Embracing this data is essential as we all know there are fewer people in the industry today.
On the other side, mental health and worker well-being are gaining well-deserved recognition and awareness across the construction industry. There is a growing focus on prioritizing worker well-being to ensure a better quality of life for the workforce. By recognizing our gaps and failures of the past, we can move the entire industry forward by teaching the next generation how to prioritize their mental health, resulting in better projects and, most importantly, happier, more fulfilled workers.”
“Looking ahead to top construction trends of 2024, I see two key areas to keep in mind: predictive analytics and mixed reality. Predictive analytics allows proactive identification of issues. By harnessing data and utilizing advanced analytics tools, construction professionals can proactively identify potential issues and red flags before they occur on-site. On the other hand, mixed reality tools like VR and AR, as well as site scanning devices, improve visualization and data capture on construction sites.”
“XR (eXtended Reality) has witnessed significant technological and experiential advancements over the past five years, making it more suitable than ever for the AEC industry. Specifically in construction, firms are primarily utilizing XR in pre-construction for collaborative design reviews and constructability reviews, as well as for coordinating design and build on the job site. By connecting XR experiences to common data environments, professionals are able to enhance their collective understanding of the intended space and identify issues earlier in the process. This ultimately results in fewer errors, reduced material waste, significant cost savings, and the avoidance of scheduling delays.
The evolution of XR into real and practical applications has become a reality, enabling AEC professionals to collaborate more effectively and stay connected to their data within the appropriate context. We believe that this is just the beginning of what we can expect in the next decade.”
“Robotics is gaining significant momentum as it supplements our craft and removes our teams from harmful conditions. If we are looking long term and truly thinking big, I think the potential that robotics will build in new and wild environments, like in space, is incredible.
We also can’t forget about the potential of AR and VR. As hardware catches up with software advancements, these immersive technologies offer extensive possibilities. Imagine wearing smart visors or glasses that provide readily accessible data, revolutionizing construction processes and making them more efficient and precise. It’s like being able to build with LEGOS and knowing exactly where the next piece needs to be without having to consult paper instructions.”
“In 2024, I predict that the construction industry will begin formalizing a robust digital strategy for data collection. Visionary leadership will champion a comprehensive approach, emphasizing not only the collection of project data but also fostering a culture that incentivizes stakeholders to prioritize data integrity throughout the entire project lifecycle. Forward-thinking owners, committed to digital excellence, will prioritize the quality and sustainability of their capital projects over expediting timelines using cheaper labor or materials, recognizing the potential for future rework.
The AEC industry overall will witness an increased embrace of technology beyond traditional IT, VDC, and BIM departments. This shift will encourage project teams to familiarize themselves with concepts like a common data environment through digital transformations, gradually replacing conventional methods of document sharing via email attachments. Teams will be encouraged to communicate through a singular source of truth, facilitated by cloud environments like the Autodesk Construction Cloud.
Automation will play a pivotal role in streamlining operations, with a focus on simplifying data entry tasks to reduce the likelihood of burnout among project engineers. This approach will significantly enhance efficiency while incentivizing ways to automate various business functions, like auto-tagging photos and implementing auto-naming conventions for all documents and files. I’m looking forward to observing the trends and predictions that unfold within the construction industry in 2024.”
“As the construction industry continues to evolve, several key trends are expected to shape the landscape in 2024. One prominent trend is the increased focus on preconstruction, especially with a strong emphasis on multistakeholder collaboration in the planning process. This more collaborative approach helps to derisk project outcomes by involving all relevant parties upfront, enabling better coordination and alignment from the start.
With projects coming under greater scrutiny in the coming years, contractors will turn to more proactive approaches to lower their risk. Expect to see subcontractor prequalification grow in importance as a way for firms to vet specialty contractors more extensively to prevent defaults and delinquencies. Additionally, contractors and owners will look for new ways to get deeper insights into their supply chain to build more resiliency in times of uncertainty, prevent disruptions, and maintain project timelines and budgets.
Automation is set to play a more significant role in the construction industry’s transformation in 2024. Specifically, automation in the invoicing and payment process will expand to drive improvements in payment cycle times. By streamlining these administrative tasks, construction companies can reduce delays and enhance cash flow, benefiting both contractors and subcontractors.
Data management will also continue to evolve. Construction businesses recognize the value of unlocking insights from past projects to inform existing and future ones. By leveraging data analytics and project management systems, companies can identify patterns, optimize processes, and make more informed decisions.
Lastly, there is a growing trend towards self-performing by GCs as a strategic response to the industry labor shortage. By expanding their in-house capabilities, GCs can navigate the challenges of a shrinking skilled workforce and maintain better control over project quality, timelines, and potentially drive higher profit margins.”
In 2024, the construction industry will move quickly towards an asset-first approach in design, construction, handover, and operations. This means that the industry will increasingly focus on leveraging asset and supplementary data to drive model-based workflows. This approach will enable better and more sustainable outcomes, fast iterative design, quantity assessment, project management, site management, and more efficient construction practices. Ultimately, this shift will help create long-lasting assets that are optimized for performance and longevity.
Matt Hayward, Kaiwhakahaere Matihiko Whenua me te Wai Aotearoa, Aurecon (Digital Lead, Land and Water New Zealand, Aurecon)
“In 2024, the construction industry will move quickly towards an asset-first approach in design, construction, handover, and operations. This means that the industry will increasingly focus on leveraging asset and supplementary data to drive model-based workflows. This approach will enable better and more sustainable outcomes, fast iterative design, quantity assessment, project management, site management, and more efficient construction practices. Ultimately, this shift will help create long-lasting assets that are optimized for performance and longevity.”
“In 2024 the Nordics construction sector will continue to focus on sustainability – not just the materials we use but how do we reuse materials in a better way. There’s no doubt everybody wants to be green, but we must focus on getting to a point where it makes total sense to be greener – from a cost, labor, and materials perspective. And I truly believe data can unlock these insights and show the overall long-term value of green construction.”
Founder, Hyper Construction.
“The latest United Nations climate change conference (COP 28) put the spotlight, once again, on the built environment. It is clear that the pace and the scale of change are not enough. Looking at 2024 and beyond, we will see more impact on the global construction ecosystem: increased emphasis on green building practices, stricter energy efficiency standards, new sustainable materials and construction methods. Even more fundamental will be the shift in mindset. Business leaders will recognize that sustainability issues are at the core of their corporate strategy: reducing carbon emissions, enforcing sustainable practices, and listening to climate impacts. To combat climate change, a metamorphosis of the construction industry is required at a large scale. Long term strategies need to prevail over short term satisfactions. Individuals, professionals, corporations, governments, we all have to act together, and to be mindful of our day-to-day behaviors and their impact on the planet.”
“2024 will be an exciting year for the construction industry. Two key areas to keep an eye on are AI and collaboration. AI is generating interest as companies consider its potential impact on business operations and profitability. In the construction industry, the emphasis is on practical applications of AI to enhance project outcomes.
Then, of course, we cannot underestimate the power and importance of collaboration with the construction industry. A notable trend is the increasing partnership between GCs and owners. Cloud-based platforms continue to let teams push the boundaries of collaboration. We’re not only seeing this on a single-project basis, but we’re also seeing trends of reoccurring stakeholders coming together to discuss future projects more proactively and efficiently.
These trends are significant opportunities for driving innovation, improving productivity, and providing just a better project delivery experience in 2024 and beyond.”
“Looking ahead to construction trends in 2024 and beyond, there are a few things I’m really excited about. First, we all know technology continues to play a pivotal role in transforming construction processes. Gone are the days when we used to handwrite submittal comments and leverage manual processes and paper for everything. We are moving quickly from an antiqued industry to one that is readily embracing technology and using it to streamline workflows and improving efficiency.
I expect to continue to see an increase for the popularity and use cases of modular construction in 2024. Builders in the field will take more advantage of factory settings to ensure quality control, accelerate timelines, and cut down on costs. I anticipate more growth in the modular space for hotels and hospitals in particular. These advanced workflows will reduce the stress levels of building teams as well as empower them to leverage more innovation for smoother workflows.”
“In 2024, I expect a significant acceleration in the adoption of innovative solutions and new technology, impacting the key pillars of the industry: technology, people, policies, and processes. The industry will continue its shift towards a data-driven approach, emphasizing the importance of data quality, structure, accessibility, interoperability, and security. Increasing demands will drive a growing need for cloud computing, subscription, and credit-based platforms to provide on-demand, scalable, and cost-effective solutions for data storage and computing power, catering to various company sizes.
The construction industry will intensify efforts during the design stage by using AI-assisted design, parametric modeling, generative design, Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), smart cities principles, and utilizing data analytics to enhance sustainability, resilience, and the overall quality of living in the built environment. Another foreseen trend will be the implementation of digital twins, not only for asset operations and maintenance but also during the construction stage for progress monitoring, resource optimization, and risk prevention.
Additionally, during construction, I anticipate a broader adoption of robotics, drones, IoT sensors, remote-controlled machinery, and high-tech protective equipment to enhance efficiency, work quality, on-site health and safety, and reduce waste. In the upcoming year, we may witness the emergence of new roles in the construction industry linked to the development of artificial intelligence, digital twins, and metaverse. This could also impact existing jobs, prompting a redefinition to incorporate the necessary skills for utilizing these new technologies. Finally, I anticipate an increasing collaboration between the construction industry and other sectors such as manufacturing, information technology, and robotics during the ongoing technological revolution for knowledge and best practice exchanges.”
“As we look towards 2024, we’ll see the construction industry continue to tackle some familiar challenges—including supply chain complexities and fluctuating material costs. Workforce shortages will also remain an issue, as we expect over 40% of construction professionals to retire by 2031, according to the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
Yet, I’m optimistic about the coming year. Backlogs remain strong and construction companies have even more transformative technologies available at their fingertips to improve predictability and profitability.
Last year was a springboard for energy surrounding AI in construction. Both GCs and specialty contractors recognize new opportunities to leverage the vast amount of data amassed from the increased use of digital technologies. As a result, this year we’ll see greater momentum and interest from the industry as firms leverage AI-driven technologies to automate tedious tasks, more deeply analyze information, and augment decision-making. Particularly, the integration of BIM with AI poses new and exciting opportunities. BIM’s rich data, paired with machine learning, can enable firms to improve efficiency and make smarter decisions beyond just the design phase of a building.
I’m also looking forward to seeing more digital twin developments. Construction firms around the world want to provide more value for their clients and as a result are expanding into the operator space. Digital twin technology speeds up this opportunity by providing valuable insights to improve asset management and operations, while also creating new possibilities for services.
Beyond technology, sustainability will also be top of mind for construction firms in 2024 and beyond. Owners and contractors are jointly driving demand for more sustainable outcomes in the built environment, particularly in response to the growing influence of government regulations. Tools like the Embodied Carbon Calculator (EC3) are exciting developments in this space, but currently and unfortunately, adoption is hindered by a lack of awareness. As an industry, we need to do more to educate folks on how to use the technologies and solutions already available to us to facilitate a more sustainable future.”
Engineering Manager, SSEN Transmission
“Speaking about the Transmission Industry in which I work, I expect 2024 will see the communication gap close further between site staff and those in the office, the technology is there for site staff to be able to share day to day thoughts via the cloud, and capture this against documentation and designs. Likewise with site observations being more visible in the design office, decisions on change, risk and programme will be more informed. Which should lead to more two way communication between these geographically disconnected teams. The technology has been available for a long time, however the people who drive change will see a real need to implement due to the project growth within the Transmission industry. Digital ways of working will continue to expand out with the traditional roles of engineers and project managers to all areas of the project teams. With people empowered to manage improvement in there own areas, processes will change at pace and hopefully the admin burden of looking for information and chasing actions drops.”
Digital Delivery Specialist, CRB
“I believe that the construction industry will continue most of the big trends from last year while infusing them with the recent advancements in technology to drive them further. Meanwhile, other areas of the industry will have grasped last year’s advancements and begin to rethink current workflows to find totally new ways of doing things. Last year we saw a lot of new technology that needs to be tested and structured before fully implementing. This year, I predict we will see several breakthroughs built off technology from last year to define better workflows for years to come.
Broadly speaking, I expect trends such as the accelerated adoption of BIM, the advancements of autonomous construction, design for manufacturing and assembly, and the implementation of reality capture/AR-VR to continue. Each of these are trends that have been growing in our industry and despite recent industry challenges, will benefit from the use and adoption of AI/ML.
I also predict many companies will hit the reset button after last year’s advancements, to absorb the rapid and unyielding breakthroughs with AI and other influential technology. They will need time to process, plan, and act with new purpose to ensure the new ways of working fit our cultures and serve our clients.
As a result of hitting the pause button, I believe that data will then move to the forefront of many discussions and workflows throughout the industry but with new urgency. The trend I expect to emerge is how firms handle data. I expect them to consolidate data sources and inputs to the project data thread to clean up redundant data. I expect to see organization of existing data to transform how it can be used alongside other data in the future. Finally, a strategy for how construction industry companies enter, collect, harness, and use their data. Each of these will set up a more sustainable future for the industry.
While many will recognize this opportunity, I believe there will be startups and innovative groups that will begin to rethink how we work as it relates to things such as conceptual & generative design, construction optimization & tracking, and turnover/digital twin. I predict these will become the new pillars of delivery/execution across the industry as we move away from disconnected workflows, manually recreating redundant data, and a piece-meal approach to handover.
For many, this is a year to reshape the way we work, built off the successes of last year. Many will recognize that technology should no longer support traditional approaches, merely continuing the past but to re-define these systems entirely to fit the way in which we need to build for the future. With the state of construction technology and the advancements happening outside of the industry, we have the imperative to take advantage of the opportunities before us. This is why I believe the industry will break through with opportunities surrounding digital twins, generative design, and other more automated processes. For digital twins I expect breakthroughs in how we use and connect IoT for handover to operations. I predict we will see breakthroughs with generative design for more than layouts and solar/wind analysis. Finally, breakthroughs with more automated processes such as BIM analysis, construction sequencing, and document management will transform the way we build for the better.
The last trend I expect to emerge is centered on a new sense of efficiency for how things could be done. I believe we will find new ways to reduce wastefulness in many of the traditional design-construction delivery methods/processes. This will be the case because we now have tools at our fingertips to help us collaborate, learn, adapt, and absorb better than ever. This will lead to better decision making, less waste during the design process, and higher efficiency as it relates to building assembly across the industry.”
In the AEC industry, a range of challenges and opportunities are on the horizon in 2024, including the enhancement of productivity and the integration of innovative practices. Our sector will need to effectively manage risks while prioritizing technology, sustainability, and economic factors. Moreover, attracting and retaining skilled talent remains a critical focus.
The sector is poised to further its digital evolution, emphasizing greater utilization of Building Information Modeling (BIM), Digital Twins, and cohesive digital workflows (the digital thread). These advancements will streamline project management, foster improved collaboration among various stakeholders, and provide superior project transparency.
Recent challenges in global supply chains have underscored the importance of adopting more robust and resilient practices. This may lead to an increased focus on localizing material sourcing and leveraging technology to enhance supply chain management.
“I’m really excited about the power of a common data environment and putting our digital data at the center of everything that we do. Cloud-based data has the potential to address some unique challenges in the industry. One of these challenges is the need to constantly switch between different tools for each project, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. Additionally, there is often a loss of data when transitioning from one phase of a project (e.g. planning) to another (e.g. design or construction). For example, when converting a DWG file to a printed format, important information can be lost. There’s a massive opportunity here to bring that all together and remove the difficulty of interoperability between tools.”
“My projections for the construction industry in 2024 revolve around the crucial role of information management and connected data. I observe a significant shift in the industry’s focus, moving beyond the mere development of 3D models to extracting tangible benefits through the digitization and organization of data across the entire building lifecycle.
The establishment of a shared data environment is now more critical than ever, enhancing accessibility and comprehension of building data for project teams. Breaking down silos and fostering integrated collaboration among stakeholders are pivotal strategies for overcoming change barriers. This emphasis on collaboration and shared responsibility is propelling the prominence of Integrated Project Delivery.
The industry is poised to witness a sustained adoption of digital technologies in 2024, such as data-rich models, drone surveying, IoT, and AI, facilitating increased digitization and automation. These technologies are becoming more accessible and sophisticated as data continues to grow and become readily available. This data-driven era is fueling the development of more robust and advanced tools and models.“
“One of the biggest construction trends I see in the industry is the increasing collaboration between designers and contractors on projects. This shift has the potential to truly improve project planning and inform faster, more accurate decision-making. It’s exciting to see even more technology and tools leveraged to help facilitate this enhanced collaboration, bringing design more into the picture on-site.
On a larger industry-wide scale, investment in more technology and tools is critical to bringing a younger generation into the workforce. Students today are already leveraging advanced tech and come to expect the same when they enter the workforce. It’s important for leaders to recognize the culture and business shifts necessary for us to realize the necessary changes for the future.
By embracing collaboration and investing in even more technology, we can create an industry that meets the expectations of the upcoming generation and paves the way for innovation and success.”
“To me, I’m most excited about the trend of retrofitting buildings in 2024. Take urban centers like London, for example. The focus is on retaining the existing building fabric and evaluating its potential for another century of use. This involves intense evaluations of thermal performance, occupancy comfort, and structural integrity. But the goal is to strike a balance between minor interventions and full demolition, with a preference for preserving and enhancing the existing structure.
This is every single project we are working on now, and we know it requires an increased data footprint, as multiple laser scans, survey models, and engineering models are utilized throughout the retrofitting process. In turn, we can get more accurate assessments to inform decision-making. Retrofitting buildings presents an amazing opportunity and challenge for the industry to embrace responsible and sustainable practices, and we should be moving towards it as the default approach.”
“There’s no denying that our workforce in construction has continued a steep decline over the years. As seasoned professionals retired, we’re officially no longer replacing 1:1 the talent we have lost. Glassdoor recently reported that Gen Z will officially overtake Boomers in the workforce in 2024. However, as Gen Z enters the workforce and many millennials are now squarely in management roles looking for advancement, we will continue to see the acceleration of digital transformation of this industry pressured in part by these digital natives. This is assuming, of course, we can convince them to come to this industry, and more importantly, stay. This means we’ll see a trend on more retention programs that clearly demonstrate dynamic career progression, reward open-source innovation, and support a culture of learning and development. Construction is a “site based” industry. So while others in corporate culture wrestle with return-to-work mandates, we’ll actually see construction firms take a more balanced approach to remote working and flexibility where possible to encourage retention as employees demand more work/life balance. Additionally, more open and up-front discussions on mental health will take center stage as the industry pushes an evolving culture that is more inclusive and supportive of the health of our people, not just the health of the project.
Together, we can do more – Communities become central to accelerate adoption
The role of online communities to share knowledge is not new. However, for construction they are reaching a tipping point that has become required, especially as individuals wrestle with the technology onslaught and how to get teams to adopt new methodologies. Digital champions in construction have been working to expand knowledge in their tight circles, or in the safety of their own jobsites, for years, but we’ll see people seeking broader swaths of knowledge outside of their typical spheres. As firms press forward into more advanced workflows, internal champions need access to folks who are experiencing the same growing pains or who have already “crossed the chasm.” And while cornerstone online communities like Linkedin, Reddit, or Forums are amazing places to find like-minds and technical advice, newer spaces like TikTok and YouTube will also grow as a new generation of influencers and practitioners help amplify both why digital transformation in construction matters and how to do it. We’ll also see gamified spaces like our online construction community The Big Room continue to expand as a place that provides both rich peer insights and incentivizes learning, feedback, and networking.”
“In 2024, I predict the construction industry will very likely continue to see a tight labor market, particularly for onsite craftworkers. I don’t expect this trend to ease up anytime soon. Firms will be busy identifying solutions to better recruit young, entry-level employees.
The use of effective cost management software and collaborative KPI dashboards will become more and more of a high priority for contractors as they look to efficiently manage project financials, resources, and schedules in the face of demanding projects and intense labor market pressures.”
“For one, I’m excited about the exploration and application of VR in construction, particularly in the training space. VR has come a long way since it was introduced to the construction industry. While it still has a long way to go, the potential it has to scale training processes is immense for enterprise-level construction firms. So, for instance, think how it can be leveraged to train people across 10 offices and projects across 22 states. Additionally, the industry will continue to rely on and expand upon manufacturing and fabrication to supplement the workforce we currently do not have.”
“Trends in 2024 are going to be a wild ride. Digital Twins will be more enhanced and advanced. They will offer automated real-time insights, decision support, predict project delays, and identify potential risks.
Remote work will be a thing in the construction industry. From controlling the cranes, trucks, and other construction vehicles remotely to off-site construction, such as prefabrication and modulars are going to be the new norm facilitated by a 3D printer. Smart buildings are going to be there with sensors that keep tabs and automate everything.”
“One construction trend I’m particularly excited about is the continued rise of extended reality (XR). With more advanced hardware devices available today, we can now leverage XR in various project stages, from design to preconstruction and even during construction. This presents exciting opportunities to optimize some big pain points in the industry by utilizing XR technologies. Compounded with all the innovations we are seeing in AI right now, I think the industry is on a fast trajectory to open endless new possibilities to improve design reviews, clash detection, and on-site coordination in the next 5-10 years.”
“The combination of certain technologies is going to drive significant improvements in the industry moving forward. For instance, the integration of blockchain, smart contracts, digital twins, and AI is going to transform the industry in unique ways; helping to remove data silos. Clients are becoming more informed and specific in their requirements, moving away from generic requests for BIM or digital twins. We are likely going to hear clients become more prescriptive about what they want delivered.
Over the next decade, we can expect a wave of even greater integrated technology in construction. This transformation will be reminiscent of the shift from fax machines to email, where there was a great bit of initial resistance. Younger generations are already accustomed to digital solutions and will drive the faster adoption of technology.”
“In 2024, I think construction industry trends will morph from BIM and 3D modeling to more data-driven topics such as building dashboards, AI, and managing project data. BIM has become something that is mature in the industry and is a requirement in a lot of tenders. However, in the drive to modernize and improve, construction companies will be looking to drive efficiency and transparency through data in order to build better projects.”
“I believe three key areas are poised to drive significant changes in the industry this year and well into the future.
Firstly, the concept of situational awareness is gaining traction. This approach integrates various aspects of the construction process, elevating our understanding of the project, labor, and overall project delivery ecosystem. The trend is to institutionalize situational awareness across all projects, enhancing data-driven decision-making for greater project success.
Secondly, I strongly believe in the vast potential of quantum computing. We’ve been on the verge of its realization for some time, but advancements in this field are accelerating. There is a world of emerging technologies that will soon have a substantial impact on the construction industry and the Quantum computing’s potential to revolutionize the industry should not be overlooked.
Finally, integrating sustainability into both technology and business practices is becoming increasingly important. It is not just about sustainable technology but also about the sustainability of our society and the responsible management of resources. Focusing on these fundamental changes and objectives will be crucial for AEC companies if they want to stay relevant beyond the next 5 to 10 years.”
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