Since unprecedented changes have affected us throughout the past few years, from Brexit to a pandemic, construction trends have come and gone rapidly as the sector adapts to new challenges. We ran through the construction trends back in December 2020 and thought it was about time we did the same for 2022, looking at what has changed, what 2022 has already brought and what we can expect in its second half.
Increased technological solutions
Technology continues to reach impressive new heights each year, and 2022 is no different. The construction industry in particular is seeing an increase in benefitting from technological solutions, from digital project planners and cloud storage integrating productivity, to increased use of artificial intelligence and robotics to streamline construction processes. 3D printing has been used for a while, but expect to see it increase, even being used to build houses. This is not to mention the continued use of remote working which was originally done to reduce contact during the pandemic and is now widely recognised as a time-saving move for many contractors.
Although the above trend may make this one seem less important, this is of course a worrying trend that has continued since 2021. Thanks to Brexit and COVID-19, the UK labour market has shrunk, including construction workers and project managers. Strategies to retain staff will have to be implemented, as well as the introduction of more digitalised processes.
Similarly, sourcing reliable materials has become more difficult. Brexit has seen increased shipping costs while COVID-19 has made supplies hard to source due to labour shortages and increased labour time. This means that construction companies are under more pressure to plan ahead for materials and secure relationships with more suppliers.
Of course, we all had to adapt to much stricter hygiene measures after the pandemic hit, and focus on safety protocol is not likely to decrease any time soon, with the Building Safety Bill coming into force earlier this year. It sees more regulation on materials, a new building safety regulator and new schemes that contractors must adhere to. This includes the right for a leaseholder to sue developers for defective works up to 30 years after the home has been built. This will mean that the construction industry will continue to focus on safety and put time into ensuring they are complying with the new rules.
The construction and civil engineering industries need to take these trends into account and implement changes to ensure they are not left behind in the latter half of 2022.