Despite fears of recession, innovation in construction is in a golden age. In fact, innovation is often an answer to economic difficulties. It’s like the construction industry’s way of saying, “challenge accepted.”
The construction industry is constantly evolving, and the year 2024 is no exception. But don’t worry, robots won’t be taking over all the jobs just yet. (Well, maybe some of them.)
We’ve got a line-up of top trends and innovations in 2024 that are set to shake up the construction world – construction management software, BIM, drones, robots, 3D printing, and AI. Keep in mind, this is just the tip of the iceberg, but should give you a good idea of what to expect to see in construction more and more over the coming year and beyond.
Let’s cut to the chase — here are the top 10 construction trends and innovations for 2024:
1. Construction Management Software (CMS)
Construction management software (CMS) is a cloud-based software that helps construction teams manage a project’s planning, scheduling, communication, and documentation. CMS can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve communication between all stakeholders.
The global construction management software industry is sitting at a hefty $9.3 billion right now. But the forecast? It’s looking even brighter, with an expected leap to $23.9 billion by 2031 (10.2% compound annual growth rate).
PlanRadar CMS is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry and is expected to be a major trend in 2024. This is due to several factors, including:
- The increasing complexity of construction projects
- The demand for greater efficiency and productivity
- The need to improve communication and collaboration
- Compliance with building regulations
PlanRadar brings tracking tasks, snagging issues, and collaborating with your team all in one place. With everything stored on the cloud, you can handle your projects from anywhere and at any time.
2. Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Building Information Modeling (BIM) uses three-dimensional (3D) models to represent a building’s design, construction, and operation. BIM models are created using software that allows architects and engineers to collaborate on a project and share information.
The UK government has been a major proponent of BIM and has set several targets for its adoption. For example, the government has stated that all public sector projects over £5 million must use BIM by 2025.
3. Drones and UAVs
The use of drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the construction industry is still in its early stages, but it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Our research states that using drones for site surveys can save you £50,000 per year.
You can use drones and UAVs for:
- Site surveying and mapping: Drones can quickly and easily survey a construction site, providing accurate data that can be used to plan and manage the project.
- Inspections: Drones can inspect hard-to-reach areas, such as roofs and chimneys, without requiring workers to climb up. This can improve safety and efficiency.
- Delivery: Drones can be used to deliver materials to construction sites, which can potentially reduce traffic congestion and improve safety.
- 3D modelling: Drones can be used to create 3D models of construction sites, which can be used to visualise the project and identify potential problems.
4. Zero Net Energy Buildings
Zero Net Energy Buildings (NZEBs) produce as much energy as they consume over a year. They are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as the government has set a target of all new homes being NZEBs by 2025.
There are several reasons why NZEBs are becoming so popular:
- They reduce energy bills and make homes more sustainable.
- They improve air quality by reducing the need for fossil fuels.
- They create jobs in the sustainable construction and renewable energy sectors.
The NZEB trend is expected to boom in the UK in 2024. This is due to the government’s continued support for NZEBs, the growing environmental awareness, and the falling costs of NZEB technology.
5. 3D Printing
3D printing is like magic for the construction industry, and it’s becoming a big deal. Instead of traditional bricks and mortar, 3D printers can create three-dimensional objects from a digital file.
This rapidly evolving technology has already been used to create various construction projects, including houses, bridges, and even skyscrapers. It is also being used to create custom parts and components, which can reduce waste and improve efficiency.
6. Robotics and Automation
In the UK, the construction industry faces many challenges, including a shortage of skilled workers, a need to reduce costs, and a desire to improve sustainability. Robotics and automation are rapidly gaining momentum to address all of these challenges.
Robotics can automate repetitive and dangerous tasks, such as bricklaying and welding. For example, Construction Robotics has developed a robot called SAM that can lay bricks up to 10 times faster than a human.
Automation can free up human workers to focus on more skilled and strategic tasks and reduce the number of accidents on construction sites.
Robotics can also help to improve the quality of construction work. Robots are not susceptible to human error and can consistently produce high-quality results. This means fewer defects and rework, saving businesses money in the long run.
7. Renewable Energy Integration
The construction industry is a major contributor to climate change, accounting for 39% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. As the world transitions to a clean energy future, the construction industry is also undergoing a transformation to renewable energy.
Construction experts are now using solar panels to generate electricity, wind turbines to generate power, or geothermal systems to heat and cool buildings.
Of course, there are some challenges to integrating renewable energy into construction projects. These challenges include the upfront cost of renewable energy systems, the need for skilled labour, and the availability of renewable energy resources. However, they are being addressed, and the benefits of renewable energy integration are clear.
8. Offsite Construction
Offsite construction is a method of building structures in a factory or other controlled environment and transporting them to the construction site for assembly. This is a positive trend that will help to make the construction industry more efficient and sustainable.
Offsite construction has several advantages over traditional construction methods. It can be faster, more efficient, and more sustainable. It can also reduce waste and improve safety.
In the UK, the healthcare sector, in particular, is experiencing a significant increase in modular construction, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% expected between 2021 and 2028. This growth is driven by the need to reduce construction costs, the desire to improve sustainability, and the shortage of skilled labour.
9. Connected Construction Sites
Connected construction sites use a network of sensors, devices, and software to connect people, equipment, and data. This allows real-time communication and collaboration between all stakeholders, improving safety, efficiency, and productivity.
The connected construction sites trend is gaining traction in the UK as businesses look for ways to improve their operations. The government is investing in research and development of IoT technologies for the construction industry.
As the technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and efficient applications of these connected construction technologies in the years to come.
10. Advanced Safety Technologies
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries in the world, with a fatality rate three times higher than the national average. Advanced safety technologies being developed to help make construction sites safer include:
- Virtual reality: Virtual reality can potentially be used for training workers on new skills and procedures in a safe environment.
- Augmented reality: Augmented reality can overlay safety information in the real world, such as warning labels or hazard signs.
- Wearables: Wearable devices track worker activity and location and send alerts in case of an emergency.
- AI: Artificial intelligence can be used to analyse data from sensors and cameras to identify potential hazards.
The future of construction in 2024 and beyond
As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the construction industry in 2024, these top 10 trends and innovations promise to redefine the way we build.
From Construction Management Software (CMS) to the revolution of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and drone-assisted site management, we’re witnessing a seismic shift toward efficiency, sustainability, and safety.
To thrive in this evolving landscape, PlanRadar stands as a one-stop solution to streamline your operations and gain a competitive advantage. Book a demo with us today to learn how innovative construction technology can improve efficiency, safety, and productivity.