2015 has seen some incredible changes in construction software trends and technology. The year is almost up and it’s time to start looking ahead to what will drive the industry in 2016. Here is Dexter + Chaney’s New Year’s countdown:
5. Advancing Technology
New technology is popping up everywhere in the construction industry. What was science-fiction only a few decades ago is now common place on the job site. Drones are appearing more frequently, performing safety inspections, checking job progress, acting as security and mapping the job site. With drones buzzing above, it’s likely they will create a buzz on construction news sites.
3D printing is becoming more of a reality, promising quicker turnaround times, less construction waste, reduced labor costs and more affordable housing.
Modular construction will be another hot topic as more building happens within a warehouse environment to then be assembled onsite. Boasting shorter build times, quicker ROI, less weather-related delays, and less waste and pollution–it’s no wonder businesses want to hear more about this developing trend.
Over the next year, innovations in mobile technology and data management will be worth watching. Mobile apps are streamlining operations and ERP software is changing how businesses access and share data. Choosing the right software solutions has become one of the defining decisions a business owner can make.
The desire for growth will drive innovation. As companies push to out produce their competition, a rising number of high-tech gadgets will become available and integration software will need to be developed for them.
4. Mega Structures
Competition for world’s tallest structure seems to be happening worldwide, with the current record holder being the Burj Khalifa located in Dubai. It’s estimated that by 2020, China will be home to 27 of the world’s largest buildings. This might make you wonder, “What is happening in the United States?”
One project to watch is the Nordstrom Tower in New York. Looking to be completed by 2018, the tower will reach a height of 1,775 feet, with ninety-two floors. Also in New York, the 111 West 57th Street building will top out at over 1,400 feet. What is most interesting is when the 111 West 57th is completed it will be the most slender skyscraper in the world, measuring only 43 feet at the base, giving it a height to width ratio of 31:4. Completion for the 111 West 57th Street building started in 2014 and is expected to be finished in 2018.
The Big Apple isn’t the only city with big projects. Dexter + Chaney’s home town of Seattle is also the site of a mega structure, only it isn’t going up but rather digging down. The Alaskan Way waterfront tunnel project boasts a record-breaking 57.5 foot (17.5m) diameter borer nicknamed Bertha, with an expected completion date of 2018.
Finally, for all the football fans, The Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta Georgia will serve as the new home of the Atlanta Falcons. Breaking ground in May of 2014, the expected completion date will be in 2017. The stadium will feature a unique eight petal design with a roof that opens up much like a camera lens. The video below shows the roof opening at the 25-second mark.
3. Green Building
The most recent Dexter + Chaney blog post explored the subject of the green building trend, which highlights the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study conducted by The U.S. Green Building Counsel (USGBC). Among the most impressive take-a-ways were the economic projections for the next three years, which is estimated to total $8.4 billion by 2018. Growth in the green building sector is outpacing the overall construction and will assuredly be talked about in 2016.
2. Housing Costs
Seattle, like many U.S. cities, has recently become a hotbed for the housing cost debate. Young renters and first-time buyers are delaying ownership because of rising rent, higher home prices, and crippling student dept. Fewer buyers are saving up enough for a down payment, which may slow down the selling market and force many home-owners to opt for remodeling their current home.
Will the bubbles burst? Across the U.S. rental prices are soaring and developers are looking to cash in. In Seattle, 22,000 units are projected to open by next year, yet many are concerned by signs of the rental market slowing down. Will cities throughout the U.S. start to see a fall in development?
1. Presidential Race and Politics
With the presidential racing already in full swing in 2015, the election is bound to be a big topic among all industries. Recently ConstructionDIVE.com conducted a survey on which candidate readers felt would be best for the construction industry. The results were surprising, with Bernie Sanders leading the pack. Most construction organizations are waiting to endorse any of the candidates, but they will likely start to choose who they support with the New Year.
With the recent approval of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015, $325-billion highway and transit bill, there will likely be a lot of talk about transportation and the associated 18.4 cents per gallon gas tax.
Extra: The Tiny Topic of Tiny Homes
While tiny homes aren’t likely to make a huge dent in the construction industry, it’s worth noting this increasing trend and the companies that are sprouting up around it. Living “off grid” isn’t a new concept, but the last decade people choosing to “live tiny” has been taking off. The appeal for a tiny house varies but most builders seek to have a smaller carbon footprint, dramatically reduced building costs and simplified living. As housing and rental costs skyrocket, more are turning toward the DIY lifestyle of building a tiny home themselves.