At the beginning of 2016 Dodge Data & Analytics' 2016 Construction Outlook report predicted 6% growth in construction, with the value of construction starts reaching an estimated $712 billion. Builder sentiment since the beginning of 2016 has remained optimistic. Constructiondive.com talked with experts from various sectors of the construction industry to find out their predictions for 2016. Here are the top 10 construction industry trends to watch in 2016, according to the experts:
Skilled labor shortage will continue to plague construction companies
A significant portion of employees who left the industry during the recession never returned, and companies are still struggling to find workers at all levels to properly staff their teams. The construction industry has struggled to appeal to a younger, more technologically savvy workforce. Another significant concern: The slowdown in immigration has contributed to the already existing labor shortage.
Prefab/offsite construction methods will become more popular
Offsite — also known as modular or prefabricated — construction has been gaining ground as an alternative building method that offers the benefits of reduced construction time, less waste and possible cost savings.
Construction companies will be more cautious about project selection
The crippling recession and lingering labor shortage have spurred another trend among construction industry decision makers: Many are now being more cautious about the amount of new work they can handle, and about growing their companies.
BIM will become a necessity and owner interest in the technology will grow
Building Information Modeling has been a growing trend for years, as it is no longer relegated to just the largest firms. BIM provides tangible business benefits, no matter the level of implementation. BIM users can expect better collaboration and coordination among the different parties involved in a project, according to industry users.
Green building will grow in commercial and residential sectors
This growing trend is driven not just by a desire to produce environmentally friendly structures, but by consumer demand, higher-quality results and lifecycle cost savings, according to experts at Greenbuild 2015.
Jobsite accidents and criminal indictments on the rise
Experts predict this heightened focus on industry wrongdoing will continue into 2016, especially as OSHA will increase its fines this year for the first time since 1990.
Booming multifamily sector will slow down as single-family sector picks up steam
Industry analysts have largely agreed that the multifamily sector's hot streak will inevitably cool down, and that slowdown will likely occur in 2016 while the single-family sector is expected to pick up steam and see a strong year. In its 2016 Construction Outlook, Dodge Data predicted single-family construction will see a 20% increase in starts this year, while multifamily is expected to post a 7% gain.
Laser scanning technology will gain popularity
3-D laser scanners can create a digital reproduction of the dimensions and positions of objects in a certain space, and then turn that information into a point cloud image. Laser scanning allows you to get millions of data points and puts them into a building information model.
Remodeling will have a strong year, especially in the luxury market
Along with strength in the single-family market this year, experts also predict the remodeling sector will have a banner year in 2016.
Homebuyers will seek out simple, walkable communities
Last month, the American Institute of Architects released the results of its third-quarter Home Design Trends Survey and found that design elements such as access to public transportation, multi-generational housing, walkable neighborhoods and mixed-use facilities dominate homeowner preferences.
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