New Construction Trends 2021
In 2020, the global pandemic of COVID-19 triggered unparalleled devastation. For the construction industry, patterns such as increasing teleworking, social distance requirements, resource changes, supply chain splits, and cash flow disruption are evolving at all levels. Still, against all odds, certain patterns will persist, if a little bit has changed. Today on the blog, our commercial builders share the 10 developments in the construction industry that we can see on the horizon for 2021.
Security and Safety
Security is always a problem, but it is at the top of the list in the Covid-19 setting. Adjustments to minimize the spread of disease would concentrate on the separation of staff and improved equipment and cleanliness procedures.
Separation is especially difficult to accomplish on a job site where collaboration and coordination are the norm. This is why our Sacramento general contractors advise to anticipate fewer crews to use staggered shifts to keep workers less crowded.
Enhanced procedures will include the expected things, such as masks and hand sanitizers, as well as construction-specific things. Thus, the passing of equipment and the exchanging of gloves and hard hats would be minimized.
One of the most exciting building developments to be witnessed is the production of living materials. These compounds are literally developing themselves and are poised to move from experiments to full-scale production in the near future.
The most promising biological materials are made of bacteria and fungi. This makes them light, heavy, and oddly portable.
Self-Mending Concrete refers to concrete saturated with bacteria that bind materials around them to a new structural material. This material will expand in the pores of concrete, contributing to its impermeability. It can also expand into holes and cracks, filling and fixing them – all on its own. The bacteria are also being produced as a building material for themselves and have already been grown in functional shapes and sizes.
Finally, there’s Mycelium Composites. These products are the work of the fungi instead of the bacteria. Mycelium is a large network of fungi living underground, whose flowers are mushrooms. Our Sacramento commercial construction company explains that the largest living organism on Earth is the Honey Fungus in Oregon. Scientists have harvested this resilient creature, growing it into all kinds of materials by feeding it to farm waste.
“Remote” is something that guarantees that a job can be done remotely will expand quickly. This refers both to construction tasks and administrative tasks.
Almost no industrial work site is without drones right now. Construction is the fastest-growing commercial drone adoption, according to DroneDeploy, a drone survey and mapping app. Through looking at the project from above, contractors can find useful details. Health problems are easily detected, the quantity of materials on site can be accurately measured, and orthomosaic maps can be produced. This renders the largest work site visible as a whole. Additionally, substantial financial savings are also possible. Security information can minimize insurance claims, accurate inventory evaluation and progress can lead to more timely information on Payment Requests and can help to make the required manpower changes and schedules to prevent delays.
Technology in the office significantly enhances the flow of knowledge. Our neighbors at Specialized AV, Whole Home Automation Sacramento company, agrees. They too are now utilizing blockchain technology, a method of user-verified, real-time input of an infinite number of data points, from transactions to payments, to completion of tasks and revision of schedules.
This technology is becoming easier to use and is being increasingly applied in large-scale employment, with even smaller jobs being made inroads.
No technology decreases the density of employees on the job site like 3D printing. In the field, it is basically a large nozzle, methodically laying concrete in vertical piles according to a programmed pattern.
This method is already in commercial use all over the world and is expected to expand rapidly. Recently, a 3D home building company raised $35m after printing an entire neighborhood in Mexico City.
It’s the same operation in the factory on a smaller scale. Typically, the process is used to produce small parts of larger assemblies made of plastic. While injection molding is likely never to be replaced for mass production, 3D printing makes the manufacture of custom parts affordable.
Modular Construction Work
Modular design and pre-fab building, which was already steadily on the rise, were expected to see a massive boost in interest in the post-pandemic period. Both the production process and the result are perfectly adapted to the times.
Manufactured buildings are now being designed in a way that encourages low worker density. Manufacturing is done in large, airy houses, with plenty of space for distancing. And the equipment used—ceiling cranes, conveyors and lifts—is specifically designed to allow fewer employees to move larger components, minimizing worker proximity and labor costs.
When manufactured, these buildings are usually small, restricted to the capacity of trucks to transport them. As a consequence, they are ideal for a world where separation is required.
Disruptions in Work
The job of the construction industry is related to one thing: money. And capital does not like confusion. The current climate makes it difficult to fund projects, especially large ones.
Overall, the AIA expects expenditure on non-residential buildings to decrease in 2021 and the fall may be drastic. As government debt rises at all levels, investment on infrastructure projects will almost certainly be postponed. And the downturn has already started in the private manufacturing sector.
Disputes on Payment
It is inevitable that when liquidity becomes tight and circumstances become confusing, the flow of money becomes a matter of concern. We already know that bankruptcies are on the rise, and we can only expect this trend to escalate, with construction firms and building owners meeting this fate.
However with payment being disrupted, we can expect some fairly exotic maneuvering by contractors and owners in the bond sector, including the sale of claims. Levelset has also begun providing cash up front on bond or bond claims to vendors who have protected their payment rights.
New Construction Trends in 2021
As you can see, the pandemic helped new construction trends come to life that we will see in 2021. If you need help with a commercial construction project in NorCal, contact Headwaters Construction, Inc.