Bye, bye 2016. Let's look toward the near future in the construction industry. We're going to dive into the top trends to expect in 2017.
1) Collaborative Project Delivery
According to Construction Dive, design-build, public-private partnerships, and integrated project delivery are the three top trends for 2017. That means, we will be using more collaborative tools to work together. Design-build allows for quicker project turnover and means more collaboration. A few to check out are Asana, Slack, Leankit, and Trello - here's a list with more collaboration software options and their ratings.
2) Modular Construction is Getting Hotter
While pre-fab and modular construction aren't new, it will be gaining strength in 2017. It's cheaper, faster, has increased quality control, and more control over the working environment. HVAC is one of the first industries in construction to embrace pre-fab. It saves time and money to pre-fabricate and bring the HVAC assemblies to the job site ready to go.
3) The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is smart devices - equipment and employee tracking, wearables, drones, and more. These devices help you make smart decisions and save time (and, thusly, money). Wearables can track workers' safety. Drones can quickly survey. A smart phone can GPS track labor hours automatically. Our information with IoT devices is more robust and more accurate, and the data helps us make smarter decisions. Here is a list of some interesting wearables for the construction field.
4) Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality isn't just for video games. Construction workers can use it to detect errors in design and avoid mistakes before it's too late. It can also be used to walk through job site conditions and assess possible safety hazards. Fortune did a feature on VR in construction. Read about it here.
5) Safety is Top Priority
While safety has always been important. With the increase in prosecution over safety and fraud events, there will be a whole new emphasis on keeping a safe job site. GCs are being prosecuted for on the job deaths. Last year, a GC was charged with negligent homicide for the death of a worker on his job site. Another GC was sentenced to a max prison term for manslaughter for the death of a construction worker he was responsible for. According to Brian Gardner, chairman of Cole Schotz's Construction Services Department, "All firms will face greater scrutiny of accidents, including potential criminal prosecution for workplace injuries that, in the past, may have been treated soley as traditional accidents."