2019 – The Year of Change?
7 February 2019
The world celebrated Chinese New Year earlier this week. 2019 is The Year of the Pig. Will 2019 be The Year of Change within the construction industry? Through market research and internal knowledge, we’ve discussed some of the trends that could shape the construction industry this year. The first major trend that could impact the construction industry is the use of technology, specifically Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.
BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering, and construction professionals the tools to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.
The process enables collaboration between construction industry professionals on a range of data that come together in a digital model to provide information on a project across its lifecycle.
The NBS reported its findings on BIM in 2017, with 78% of respondents seeing BIM as the future of project information. In 2019, BIM could become the norm within the construction industry after an 8% year-on-year increase in the number of companies utilising BIM software.
As the monetary value of projects increase, it should come as no surprise if clients insist on the use of BIM and the ability to see a digital model of their new building. Client insistence may see BIM grow in the UK in 2019.
Increase in High Value Projects
2018 saw a massive increase in the number of £100m+ projects starting this year. The combined total of projects valued at over £100m in 2016 and 2017 was 409. 2018 saw the number increase to 739.
The output is expected to accelerate in 2019 and 2020, predominantly due to the growth in the housebuilding and infrastructure sectors. The growth in 2020 is driven by large projects such as HS2, with output forecast to hit £23.6bn.
Labour Force and Prefabrication
However, high value projects often come with tight deadlines. For deadlines and budgets to be met, an adequately equipped labour force must be available. Due to Brexit, the UK’s construction labour could be taking a big hit, especially in London. Approx. 35% of construction workers in London are from outside the UK and Brexit is likely to severely impact the capital’s construction industry.
The figures also revealed an ageing local workforce, with 47% of UK construction workers aged 45 and over. Leaving the EU and having an ageing workforce provides a cauldron of bad news for the construction industry.
This could lead to offsite construction, or prefabrication, as it reduces the amount of labour required and improves the probability of completing a project on time. Large construction firms are already on board with the potential of moving processes offsite and this trend is expected to gain momentum in 2019 due to the current over the UK leaving with a no-deal.
2019 could be a transformational year within the construction industry. A decrease in the labour force could force companies to turn to new technology to help complete projects. If you’ve got a new project starting in the new year, speak to PAL Hire and we will help you get the right equipment on-site to complete the job.