The U.S. Needs More Construction Workers as Industry Trends Evolve

Modular Construction and Design-build Projects Among Key Industry Trends for 2019

Modular construction and design-build projects comprise two of the key trends that will be more common in 2019 and the near future. The commercial construction sector will play a key role in the advancement of these trends, which means that companies in the non-residential segment need to hire more skilled talents. Companies should consider construction staffing services to help with their job recruitment strategies amid a shortage of qualified workers, which continues to impede growth for the industry.

Modular Segment’s Market Value

The current market value of the off-site construction segment costs $112.4 billion. By 2023, it would increase to $157 billion as more companies choose this option because of fewer skilled workers and the rising cost of materials. Prefabricated buildings also become taller with the development of construction techniques. Many design platforms have allowed construction firms to top out buildings at more than five stories high.

From just five floors, building information modeling systems can now create towers with up to 18 levels. Taller modular buildings also mean more square footage, which ultimately lets commercial build-to-rent firms to market their projects to more tenants. On the infrastructure side, prefabrication can be a potential solution to a growing problem of deteriorating bridges across the U.S. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, more than 47,000 bridges nationwide urgently require repairs.

The Prevalence of Master Builders

Traditional construction in the commercial sector used to require separate contractors for a project’s design and construction. The industry considered design-build companies as only an alternative for project deliveries, but the situation has changed in the U.S., according to the Design-Build Institute of America.

Like modular construction, companies now rely on a single contractor for designing and constructing commercial buildings to complete projects ahead of time and on budget. The design-build trend has become so popular that it now accounts for almost 50% of U.S. construction spending on non-residential projects. An industry forecast showed that spending will increase to around $324 billion in the next three years.

Cost-efficient Construction

The need to save money on construction expenses does not only happen because of expensive materials. Commercial builders must develop ways for increasing productivity and sustainability, especially for materials and supplies. Your business should already have a clear strategy for the so-called lean building principles.

For instance, modular construction allows you to reduce waste since some parts of the project are built off-site. Lean building also identifies any overlap in workflow tasks that can affect the performance of a team and prolong construction timelines. If you want to prevent overproduction of materials and streamline workflows, you need to organize and plan your transition from traditional methods before wanting to reap the benefits of lean construction.

Most of the current and future construction trends in the U.S. focus on time- and money-saving techniques. While these are important to avoid project delays and meet growing demand, companies should also be more proactive with their recruitment efforts either by training programs, apprenticeships, or simply recruiting a staffing agency.