Technology developments and a growing awareness for sustainability comprise some of the trends for the commercial construction this year.
For instance, more companies will be more particular on how they source flat metal steel sheets for different projects based on an environmental perspective. Likewise, general contractors and suppliers should consider investing more in technology to solve safety, productivity, and labor issues.
Construction technology, such as robots and drones, will make it easier for companies to reduce the risk of workplace injuries, especially for dangerous jobs. Some companies now use drones to conduct site surveys and bridge inspections, eliminating the need to hire more people. Hence, companies can save money, improve safety conditions and productivity at the same time.
Commercial contractors will also take advantage of the new corporate tax law and reinvest the supposed savings for recruitment plans. While technology eliminates the need for more employees, a majority of companies still plan to expand their workforce. Based on an Associated General Contractors of America survey, 75 percent of companies plan to hire more workers in 2018.
If you are unsure about the outlook on demand for construction projects, use the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) billings index as a barometer. The Architecture Billings Index reached a score of 52 in February, which marked the fifth straight monthly increase.
An increase in billings supports construction activity since it helps in boosting spending for projects. During the same month, spending increased to more than $1.27 billion based on the latest Census Bureau data. AIA expects this trend to continue in March, when billings may reach a higher score compared to February.
The cost of labor and materials for commercial construction remains a key concern for many companies, which is why catching up with industry trends is important to keep your business competitive this year.