What Will 2017 Bring for the Construction Industry?
As we start a brand new year we’ve decided to take the time to have a look at what the construction industry will face in 2017 and what it needs to stand up to the challenges we’re sure to see in the uncertain economic climate that we find ourselves in following the shock Brexit vote in June of 2016.
One of the most important qualities we will all need in the UK construction industry is flexibility. Contractors will need to adjust to market demands as and when they arise and demonstrate the ability to garner value out of projects, especially on contracts which are already out to tender. Flexibility will also be necessary for property owners intending to refurbish or retro-fit space to reflect current occupier trends – like carving up large units to make them suitable for small businesses or opening out floors in office blocks to offer shared workspaces.
We’re also going to need to plug the ongoing skills gap which is causing labour shortages here in the UK. Contractors will need to work hard to retain their best employees and attract new and skilled workers.
Regeneration to improve (rather than to maintain) will be a key issue when it comes to improving homes and enabling communities to thrive in future. We’ve already seen how the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has set out new planning guidance designed to speed up the building process on the 90,000 low cost homes that are planned by 2020 – 2021. In a bid to move away from the practice of total demolition of an estate, Khan is calling for alternative methods of regeneration such as refurbishment and infill.
The construction industry will also have to make more of an effort to embrace digital technology – it’s the key to future success. The Internet of Things (IoT) shows no sign of slowing down and is actually becoming far more accessible and attractive from the consumer’s point of view. People are beginning to want smart homes – it’s a much more convenient and eco-friendly way of living and smart homes are becoming a reality for an increasing number of us here in Britain.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) will become increasingly important and most design organisations now generate drawings and schedules using the latest modelling tools. When it comes to collaboration (a subject that we’ve been looking at more closely in recent weeks – see our series on Joint Construction Projects) more teams will be communicating via a digital plan of work that can be updated to capture requirements and responsibilities at the start of each phase of the project.
In 2017 we’re likely to see an increase in the adoption of modern methods of construction as home builders seek new and different ways of building quickly to keep up with demand. Here at Safety Fabrications we like to keep our finger on the pulse when it comes to new developments in the construction industry. We bring our readers news of new materials, construction methods and machinery on a regular basis so watch this space to keep up to speed with what’s going on in our sector.