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Five Construction Industry Trends You Don’t Want to Miss in 2021

Five Construction Industry Trends You Don’t Want to Miss in 2021

In the first quarter of 2020, the construction industry added more than $900 billion to the U.S. economy. Then, we saw the effects of COVID-19, which caused the construction industry to lose $60.9 billion in GDP and approximately 6.5 million jobs. This disruption led to trends like remote work and social distancing, as well as higher construction costs, shifts in resources, and cash flow disruptions. Still, despite the uncertainty of the times, some trends seem to be rising to the surface as we close out the year. Here are five construction trends you will want to pay attention to.

construction trends

  1. Safer, Cleaner Construction Sites

This one should not come as a surprise. Safety in the construction industry has always been of the utmost importance, but in the new environment, we find ourselves due to the global pandemic we are putting it at the top of our list. Safety-conscious contractors will focus on enhanced equipment and sanitation protocols.

Social distancing on a job site is not easy, but it has become a must. You should plan for smaller crews and staggering employee shifts to keep the job site less crowded. We also expect to see an increased need for cleaning routines and procedures. Employees who have in the past shared tools, gloves, hard hats, and other equipment likely no longer feel comfortable doing so. Project managers should plan to have enough tools and equipment for all their workers, which would allow employees to write their names on their own personal tools and protective gear.

  1. Enhancements in Construction Equipment

While some still doubt the efficiencies of technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) in the construction sector, recent studies show that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a must-have. This new technology has the potential to vastly reduce job site accidents, construction waste, off-site management, and construction costs.

How does this work? The idea is to enhance your equipment and connect it to the Internet of Things so that workers can maximize efficiencies by improving estimates, cutting waiting times, and reducing waste. Other objectives that can be achieved by using the Internet of Things are:

  • Project progress tracking
  • Construction site monitoring
  • Remote equipment control and people management
  • Day-to-day task management

enhanced construction equipment

  1. Drones for Full Construction Site Visibility

We suspect to see more and more drones on construction sites. Aerial views of a project can help contractors gather valuable information. Contractors that use drones on-site can quickly discover safety issues, accurately estimate material quantities, and create more accurate maps and measurements. Having more safety information can help keep workers safe and reduce insurance claims, and having an accurate quantity of materials can lead to manpower adjustments. As a result, your worksite drones could help you achieve significant financial savings while keeping your employees as safe as possible.

  1. Modular Construction

Modular construction is the process of constructing a building off-site and then putting it together on-site – in half the time and without compromising quality. This type of construction was already on the rise before the pandemic, and we believe there will be a boost in interest in the post-COVID era because of the cost savings it can provide.

Modular construction projects can save you roughly 20 percent and can be completed 20-50 percent faster than regular construction projects. How is this possible? The cost of a project is dependent on its size, site, and design complexity. With modular projects, you typically need less labor and fewer materials, which saves you money.

Additionally, you can build modular projects in a way that is ideal for safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. Since roughly 90 percent of the building takes place in a large, well-ventilated building, workers have plenty of room for social distancing.

  1. Green Construction

With society becoming more environmentally conscious, you should continue to look for ways to incorporate sustainable building materials into your projects. In a survey sent to over 2,000 international contractors, builders, and developers a few years ago, almost half reported that they expect to build more than 50 percent of their projects as green buildings by 2021.

solar panels for a sustainable construction project

Common sustainable building materials you can use in your next project include:

  • Bamboo: This is a cost-effective, quick-growing material that is easy to harvest.
  • Wood: Wood absorbs carbon dioxide and requires less energy-intensive processing methods.
  • Recycled plastic: Plastic has a lifespan of 30-50 years, making it a durable and long-lasting building material.

Other alternatives we expect to see more of in 2021 include composite roofing shingles, insulated concrete framing, solar panels, and eco-friendly insulation.

While it’s hard to predict the future, we can look at past and current trends to make an educated guess. This list of five trends should give you a glimpse of some aspects that could influence the construction industry for years to come.

Construction Financing with Broadmark Realty Capital

If you are looking for reliable capital to keep your project running smoothly, reach out to Broadmark. Our lending experts have funded over 1,000 hard money loans for multiple project types – including multifamily housing, single-family housing, commercial, office, and industrial buildings.

Real Estate Trends That May Become The New Normal

In a matter of weeks, lives across the U.S. have changed in ways we could have never imagined.  People can no longer work, eat, shop, travel, and socialize as they had before. Instead of traveling, shopping, and going out to restaurants, many consumers are tightening their wallets to only spend on essentials.

Physical distancing has changed the way people interact and inhabit space and could potentially lower demand for certain types of spaces. This has created an unprecedented challenge for the real estate industry. The longer this pandemic continues, the more likely we are to see lasting changes in behavior.

Most property managers have been able to adjust their operations to protect the safety and health of both staff and tenants, but it’s important for real estate leaders to think about how the real estate landscape could forever be changed and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Consumer shifts

Americans have never before spent this much time in their homes; because of this we expect consumer preferences to shift. We’ve highlighted three primary shifts below:

Working from home

You can almost be certain that one result of this pandemic will be more working from home. Even once social distancing standards have been lifted, we suspect many people will continue to work from home at least part of the time. We’re curious as to how many people dislike their work space at home, or didn’t even have a space – you know, the ones that had to turn their kitchen table or living room into an office.  Some consumers prefer a more separate office – a room at the front or even back of the home. In addition, the concept of at-home school spaces will be closely aligned with home office spaces. This includes quiet, dedicated environments that have easy access to technology such as a strong Internet connection.

Sustainable living

In recent years, this has been one of the fastest-growing trends in home building and community design. Think: the rise of community gardens, energy-efficient appliances, and smart living amenities. Expect the pandemic to speed up these trends. New homes and commercial real estate projects have an advantage over resale in this category. Builders or property managers can sell the benefits of the smart living technology they implement into their projects moving forward.

“Surban” over Urban

“Surban” – a mix of urban and suburban living – is a recent trend that is expected to continue to attract millennials and young families looking for more privacy and open space. Since having to social distance, individuals are likely to continue to move to the suburbs. Some may refer to these areas as “mixed use.”  Examples of these areas would include:

  • Downtown Naperville, Illinois, in the suburbs of Chicago
  • A-Town in Anaheim, California, in the neighborhood around Angel Stadium of Anaheim
  • Legacy Town Center in Plano, Texas, in the suburbs of Dallas
  • Downtown Tempe, Arizona, in the suburbs of Phoenix

In the post-pandemic age, customer-focused sensibility will be vital to best position existing assets in a competitive landscape. COVID-19 is likely to shape us in a way that will require our buildings and operations to be reshaped as well. Real estate owners and operators who are able to adjust and serve tenants’ needs on-site will help your community stand out among competition, positioning it to perform optimally in the new normal.

Broadmark Realty Capital Inc. (NYSE: BRMK) is an internally managed real estate investment trust (“REIT”) offering short-term, first deed of trust loans secured by real estate to fund the acquisition, renovation, rehabilitation or development of residential or commercial properties. The company has originated over $2.2 billion in loans since its formation through a rigorous and responsive underwriting process. Have questions? Contact one our lending experts today.