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Insights 4 trends that will elevate the construction industry in 2023

Estimated to be worth US$10.7 trillion in 2020, the global construction industry is expected to grow by 42% between now and 2030. Construction will have to play a major role in overcoming many global issues in the years to come. This will range from finding solutions for the drastic increase in urban population to reductions in carbon emissions. When you consider these factors combined, it is easy to see why the construction industry is both motivated and well-funded to invest in innovations and lead on new trends.

Read on to explore some of these innovations and trends.

blueprint of a city skyline

Trend 1: Investment in Green Building

A global focus on reducing CO2 emissions has led to many governments putting pressure on all industries. For example, The Paris Agreement has seen 196 global parties sign up to setting ambitious targets to reduce global warming. Reducing CO2 emissions plays a key part in achieving this goal.

The construction space has been a particular focus of this pressure. This is due to the large amount of CO2 that traditional building practices and materials release into the atmosphere. In fact, one UK study found that the built environments contributed as much as 40% of the country's carbon emissions.

This is why sustainable and green buildings will remain a key trend in the construction space into 2023. Taking a sustainable approach will see construction companies working towards innovations that tackle a wide range of environmental challenges ranging from limiting flooding to carbon reduction.

Trend 2: A more diverse workforce

Now more than ever construction is playing a key role in tackling some of the world's most pressing issues. In order to do this construction businesses need to tap into a multi-talented workforce from diverse backgrounds. Only when they do this will they be able to clearly understand the implications and scope of the challenges they are working to overcome.

Even though there has been positive progress toward diversity in the workforce in recent years, there is still a long way to go. As a result, we will see a continued trend for people from underrepresented backgrounds being welcomed into the construction space. Statistics from the Chartered Institute of Building show that the construction industry is made up of just 15% women, 6% BAME, and 6% of disabled workers.

Trend 3: 5D DIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is already widely accepted amongst construction businesses as a good way to improve efficiency, foster culture, and facilitate collaboration processes. 5D BIM is the latest version of BIM. This approach facilitates shorter project cycles and project scope understanding, and drastically increases productivity.

5D BIM is best described by starting at 3D and working upwards:

  1. 3D - the use of 3D modelling tools to enable walkthrough and visualisation. This step also allows for clash detection and item scheduling.
  2. 4D (3D + time) - the same as 3D, but adding the ability to link each 3D part to project delivery times. This approach ensures that potential bottlenecks in projects can be easily identified and remedied.
  3. 5D (3D + time + cost) - the same as 4D, but adding the integration of cost estimating. This includes the generation of Bills of Quantities, derivation of labour costs, and productivity rates.

Trend 4: Lean construction

Many global factors are already contributing to global shortages in both materials and labour. This is a challenge that is likely to continue, or potentially worsen, in the coming years. Taking a lean approach to construction will be required if construction businesses want to continue meeting growing demand with fewer resources.

Lean construction involves the combination of practical developments in design and construction processes. This requires heavy investments in research to find better ways of doing things. Although much can be learned from well-established lean manufacturing processes, industry knowledge will need to be applied in order to transfer these best practices from process-based manufacturing to project-based construction.

Find a construction job with AtkinsRéalis

The 2020s are already on track to be an exciting decade for the construction industry. It is clear that construction has a significant role to play in overcoming some of the world's biggest challenges. So, those who pursue a career in construction will find themselves working on projects that could have positive, globally reaching impacts.

Whether you are just starting out or are already well-established in your construction career, we have some great opportunities at AtkinsRéalis . If you see yourself playing a part in the exciting trends outlined in the article, you can browse our construction jobs here.

Alternatively, if you want to keep up to date with all the latest upcoming opportunities to progress your construction career, you can sign up for our talent community here.