Construction industry trends for 2024

Construction industry
Construction industry trends for 2024

In annual Countfire tradition we’ve updated our construction industry trends blog to showcase themes that may affect the industry in 2024. Based on reports of construction industry statistics, and insight from our own team of former-electrical estimators, here’s what to look out for in 2024.

1. Continued uptake of BIM

BIM (Building Information Modelling) helps construction teams to reinvent the wheel when it comes to planning their projects, and in 2024 it continues to be a driving force for the industry. 

Essentially, BIM enables businesses to create 3D construction plans of buildings and systems, making them more efficient and streamlined when it comes to the design process of large-scale, complex projects. Its collaborative nature, focus on data-driven decision making and real-time insights make it an indispensable tool for modern construction companies.

Furthermore, the UK government has now stated that all public sector projects worth over £5 million must use BIM by 2025, so if you’re involved in the construction industry, BIM is not just a trend but a necessity for staying competitive in the years to come. 

2. Smart construction and the use of drones, robotics and automation

In last year's trends blog, we noted the shortage of skilled workers across construction and the challenges this created for the industry as a whole. 

This is still a concern for many companies, but the future of construction is taking on a new, exciting form with the use of robotics and other “smart construction” applications rapidly being adopted. As we step into 2024, these advanced technologies are redefining the way we build our world. 

Robots are now tackling various construction tasks, from bricklaying and concrete pouring, to welding and excavation. Not only do “robotic workers” deliver consistently high-quality results, but as safety is paramount in construction, they are also able to handle dangerous tasks thus reducing risk to human workers.

With their ability to fly and capture high-resolution images and data, drones have transformed surveying and inspections in construction. They provide the ability to assess a project’s progress in hard to reach areas, and monitor safety conditions. 

Meanwhile, automation and other digital tools will allow teams to continue to be able to work collaboratively and efficiently, even when they aren’t physically together. Adopting the right type of software will help to improve construction estimates as well as seeing peripheral benefits such as increased sustainability through removing paper-heavy processes.

We expect to see even more uptake of automation in 2024 facilitating colleagues to work collaboratively, reducing costs in the long run, and enabling more efficient execution of projects.

3. 3D Printing

3D printing in construction is a rapidly evolving technology and in recent years has been used in groundbreaking projects from building small structures such as houses to more complex designs including bridges and even skyscrapers.

Simply put, 3D printing creates objects from a single digital file – the technology is still evolving and various approaches and materials are being explored to optimise the process and expand its use across the industry. 

It no doubt has the potential to revolutionise the construction industry by offering faster, more sustainable and cost-effective building solutions and we’re excited to see how this advances throughout 2024 and beyond.

4. Sustainable, nearly zero-energy buildings

Nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) are expected to make a big impact in 2024 due to growing environmental awareness, falling costs of greener technology and the ultimate goal of hitting “Net Zero”

The goal of an NZEB is to significantly reduce the energy consumption of a building, close to zero, while meeting the remaining energy demand through renewable sources. 

There are many reasons why this type of build is becoming so popular, especially within the UK and EU. The first is due to the reduction in energy bills making homes more sustainable and efficient. They improve air quality by reducing the need for fossil fuels, and they also help create jobs in the sustainable construction and renewable energy sectors. 

This is a huge step forward in the construction industry towards a more greener, responsible future.

5. Global supply chain management

We predict that 2024 will continue to be an uncertain time for the industry with relatively high inflation, rising interest rates, and ever-increasing costs which will no doubt cause more uncertainties this year and beyond for many businesses. 

The good news, according to Glenigan’s latest construction forecast, is that investment in construction projects is predicted to start to picking up again from 2024 as the economic growth slowly begins to strengthen.

However, because the cost of critical construction materials soared in early 2021 following a series of geopolitical issues, this has unfortunately led to shortages and delays in shipments. 

These supply chain bottlenecks, alongside an increase in wait time and material costs, are both factors we expect to continue throughout 2024, and companies will need to keep an eye on how this may impact them and what the effects it could have on their upcoming projects. 

This means that protecting profit will become even more crucial for estimators looking to see growth, and survive, throughout the year ahead. Companies can proactively address these issues by adopting a range of strategies, including monitoring prices and seeking out alternatives, extending lead times, technology adoption, and building flexibility into contracts.

Final thoughts

As we step into the new year, it feels like an exciting time for the construction industry. There are still many obstacles to overcome, particularly with continued labour shortages and the race to meeting net zero targets. 

However, 2024 also shows great promise for the industry to address some of its challenges by adapting to a more digital and greener future, thereby creating a stronger, sustainable industry overall.