Construction for 2017December 29, 2016
2016 is drawing to a close, and as many of us are wrapping up our end-of-the-year projects, it’s time to look ahead at what the industry has in store for the next 12 months. While there’s no way to predict what the biggest shakeups in construction will be, particularly as the economy remains volatile, it’s safe to say some trends are here to stay for the immediate future. Let’s look at a few of them.
2017 looks set to continue expanding the role technology plays in our day-to-day operations. Low-cost tablets and mobile devices, as well as secure cloud-based document storage systems, have made it easier than ever to access information remotely.
Additionally, while GPS technology has been an important presence in the construction industry for years, look for 2017 to see greater integration between asset management and accounting platforms, as fleet owners seek to achieve greater control over operating expenses. Likewise, building information modeling software will continue to raise the bar for lean operating — firms that haven’t yet adopted these tools will likely be forced to do so in the coming year.
Sustainability as the “New Normal”
Industry forecasts suggest that 2017 will become the year when green building practices are no longer an option or luxury. Increasingly strict regulatory controls, as well as evolving consumer preference, will mandate that firms use a larger percentage of recycled materials, LED lighting, high efficiency HVAC appliances and other more sustainable products. At the same time, larger trends such as the rise of micro-apartments and unconventional mixed-use buildings will require flexibility from contractors. Expect to see a greater demand for LEED-certified builders and other crews accredited in sustainable building practices.
A Continuing Talent Shortage
Difficulty attracting and retaining skilled workers has been a persistent issue in the construction industry for years. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, this is unlikely to change in 2017. Firms will increasingly be required to compete among themselves for talent or to make up this gap by investing in training for existing staff who show promise and ambition. Accordingly, expect a stronger emphasis on mentorship and apprenticeship programs to follow in 2017, as well as an industry-wide push to encourage more teenagers to consider the skilled trades as a viable career option.
Your Partner for 2017 and Beyond
2017 will mark the Fabick family of companies’ 100th anniversary — a major milestone for both us and our clients. In this time, we’ve seen the construction industry change considerably, but something that has remained consistent is our commitment to those we serve. As we enter our second century in business, we will continue our mission “to ever serve our customers better” — regardless of what changes and trends the future holds in store.