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7 Construction Trends to Watch For in 2023 and Beyond

A smart city simulation as an example of a new construction trend in 2023

The construction industry is often slow to adopt new technologies, but in 2023 and beyond, several trends are coming into play that will revolutionize the way we build. 

Key Takeaways:

  • New trends are emerging in construction
  • Some of these trends will alter how the industry operates
  • They could change how your project turns out
  • Learning some of these trends ensures you know what to expect

Supply chain disruptions, rising material costs, and labor shortages threw the construction industry into disarray in 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the industry, including lockdowns, social distancing, and remote working, forcing innovation and reinvention.

In 2023, the construction industry is on the cusp of a new era that promises more efficient and sustainable building practices. Data from Research and Markets reveals the global construction industry is poised to hit $12.9 trillion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2023 to 2028. Here are the 7 construction trends to watch in 2023 and the coming years.

Robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI)

Robots, automation, and AI are key players in increasing construction projects’ speed, safety, and efficiency. Robotics technology is taking over the labor-intensive aspects of construction processes, such as welding, bricklaying, and demolition. These machines operate with greater precision and accuracy than humans and have shorter setup times, which increases productivity, improves safety, and reduces labor costs. 

Automation solutions are also helping accelerate productivity by streamlining and automating manual tasks, such as scheduling, material management, and inventory control. General Contractors are leveraging AI-powered algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data to streamline operations, uncover inefficiencies, and improve decision-making, ultimately helping deliver projects faster and more cost-effectively.

Augmented reality (AR)

AR transforms how construction teams collaborate, communicate, and work on projects. AR helps reduce costly errors by overlaying interactive three-dimensional (3D) visuals on the physical environment, allowing teams to visualize how a design will look more accurately and precisely. 

With this technology, designers can virtually walk through a site before construction to preview proposed worksites, detect conflicts between design elements, or identify potential safety hazards. This reduces the need for manual or physical site visits and facilitates remote collaboration, which is increasingly essential in the post-COVID environment. 

Building information modeling (BIM)

The construction industry is gradually embracing BIM as the building blocks of its digital transformation strategy. BIM is an intelligent, 3D model-based process construction professionals such as architects, engineers, and General Contractors use to plan, design, construct, and manage buildings more efficiently. 

Teams can better manage and analyze data, create detailed designs, optimize materials usage and cost estimates, detect design conflicts or potential safety hazards, and simulate construction processes before implementation. BIM’s real-time data and insights can help construction teams improve speed, safety, accuracy, and cost efficiency throughout construction. 

Remote worksite access and collaboration

Before the pandemic, remote collaboration was more of an afterthought for the construction industry. Teams had to be physically present at construction sites to collaborate and work on projects, which significantly increased the cost and complexity of projects. However, with the rise of remote work, where, according to Upwork, 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, comes the need for ways to collaborate in a dispersed environment. 

That’s why construction teams leverage cloud and mobile technologies to stay connected, share documents and files in real time, and access project data from anywhere. This helps save time, reduce costs, improve productivity, and enable collaboration even when teams are not physically present on the worksite. Cloud-based construction management software such as Procore, Assemble, and CoConstruct are helping General Contractors manage projects remotely from conception to completion.

Offsite construction

Offsite construction (prefabrication or modular construction) is gaining traction in the industry for its ability to reduce labor costs, improve precision and accuracy, minimize wastage, and speed up timelines. In 2022, the sector was valued at $147.5 billion and is projected to hit $285 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2023 to 2032.

This new construction trend involves building components such as walls, floors, and ceilings in a controlled factory environment before transporting them to the worksite for assembly, reducing weather-related delays and improving safety. It is used for residential and commercial projects, ranging from single-family dwellings to skyscrapers. Prefabrication significantly reduces construction timescales and minimizes disruption, making it ideal for projects in congested urban areas or remote locations with limited access. 

Green construction

As the world grapples with climate change, sustainability is now one of the top priorities for all construction projects. The green building industry was valued at $271.90 billion in 2021, with experts predicting it will grow to $635.47 billion by 2026.

Green construction, or sustainable building, is designing and constructing buildings with resource-efficient processes and materials that minimize environmental impact while providing occupants with a comfortable and healthy environment. This involves using:

  • Recycled materials such as steel and concrete
  • Renewable materials such as bamboo, cork, and straw
  • Advanced energy-saving solutions such as photovoltaic solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal systems
  • Energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems
  • Water conservation technologies such as low-flow fixtures, rainwater harvesting systems, and green roofs
  • Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, stains, and finishes
  • Lighting control solutions, natural ventilation, and climate control systems.

Green construction practices can help reduce energy costs, improve operational efficiency, and increase the overall value of a building or project. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system is a widely used sustainability certification system that helps developers design and construct greener, more energy-efficient buildings.

Smart cities

Another trend in the construction industry is the development of smart cities, where technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, big data, and 5G networks are used to monitor, manage, and optimize city infrastructure. 

Smart cities rely on high-speed networks, digital systems, sensors, and connected devices to provide public safety alerts, traffic management solutions, healthcare delivery systems, waste management solutions, and smart grids. This helps municipal governments deliver services more efficiently and improve the quality of life for citizens. 

Big tech companies such as IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft are investing in smart city technology, with the market expected to reach $2.5 trillion by 2025. Notable cities include Singapore, Zurich, Oslo, and New York. 

Stay ahead of the curve with RPC General Contractors

The construction industry is constantly evolving, and seeing how these trends play out in the coming years will be fascinating. Technologies such as BIM, AR, IoT, and green construction are becoming increasingly important for businesses to stay competitive in an ever-changing market. Smart cities will also be a significant area of growth in the coming years as governments, developers, and tech companies come together to build more innovative, more sustainable cities for the future.

If you’re looking for a reliable construction partner to help you transform and optimize your projects, RPC General Contractors can help. We are a full-service construction firm specializing in design-build, project management, and construction services. Schedule a call with the RPC General Contractors team today and see how we can help you stay at the forefront of construction trends. 



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