#BizTrends2018: Construction industry to improve technology use and safety
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Improved use of technology
Technology that can be used in the construction industry, such as mobile and cloud technology, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing and drones, is already changing the face of the industry and will continue to do so in 2018. Mobile and cloud technology makes it easier to communicate and visit sites remotely, while virtual and augmented reality enables construction companies to visualise their projects before the work actually starts.
The demand to complete buildings faster and with increased efficiency is supporting the trend for modular construction, where panels are built off-site and used to construct a building much faster than conventional construction methods. This type of construction is also more energy efficient, which contributes to its popularity.
Since workplace accidents happen most often in the construction industry, increased safety measures will continue to be an industry trend. Better procedure and increased use of technology, such as mobile safety apps will help the industry to reduce workplace accidents through improved communication of processes and procedures, as well as safety analytics.
The construction industry faces challenges from increasing prices for material and increased labour costs for skilled staff. The only way to overcome these challenges and remain competitive is to implement cost saving measures, such as modular construction and public-private partnerships. The use of technology to track stock and staff can also help with reducing cost and working more efficiently.
The trend in green building will continue in 2018, with an increasing number of customers opting for green building rather than conventional building methods. This trend will include the use of recycled materials and energy and water efficient solutions.
Structural shift in infrastructure
The demographic profile of South Africa will continue to change, with people moving to the cities from rural areas to find work and better facilities for their families. This places more pressure on government to invest more in infrastructure, creating more opportunities for the construction industry.
All eyes to remain on Africa
As the most underdeveloped continent, Africa offers many opportunities and all eyes remain on Africa regarding infrastructure and other construction projects. Countries with stable economies and political stability will remain in the sights of infrastructure investors.