BIM: Why It Matters So Much

  You might have heard the term BIM, either in our articles, in passing, in a conversation, or maybe you use BIM on your construction projects. In the last decade, a lot of changes have been on the horizon in the construction sector. The digitalization of the industry, and constant update on new ways to get and use data on the market. The most popular has to be Building Information Modelling (BIM). Some of our readers are not yet BIM enabled, and not considering implementing BIM in their operations in the near future. I don’t think this article will change the way you do business, let’s be realistic, but I hope that it will make you consider planning to implement the technology. Building Smarter Building Information Modelling  is , in essence, a methodology. It is a method of communication present throughout the building process, from the pre-construction phase, to the post-construction services. In its ideal form, it seeks to eliminate the need for Requests for Information (RFIs).  It

What’s Going on in Construction in 2022?

One word. Sustainability.

Back at the beginning of 2021, we predicted the highlights of construction in 2021 based upon upcoming trends. Now we are ready for 2022. The theme? Sustainability for construction business and the environment. Triggers such as the pandemic have heightened the shortage of materials and labour, pushing businesses to develop productive solutions in a sector that is slowly gaining back growth momentum after paused projects during the pandemic. So, what to expect in 2022: 

  • Connected tools & digitalization
  • New Sustainable Construction materials
  • Prefabrication
  • Used/Rented Equipment
  • Labor Market
  • Economy Growth

"Companies have made great strides in using data to better manage their operations but more needs to be done. Make sure you’re investing in research and processes that will improve your productivity. Labor shortages will persist beyond 2022 and you need to invest in technology and processes to do more work with less."
Richard Branch
Chief Economist for Dodge

1. Connected Tools & Digitalization

More significant thanks to Covid (see Labor Shortage Explained), the construction labour shortage is becoming a problem that can no longer be ignored. To help operations run smoothly while achieving intended productive rates, many are turning to automation and technologies designed to simplify and fit into project schedules. Robots, drones and digital software are the most common helpers on the job site to help workers run operations smoothly. Contractors are adopting BIM and its virtual ways, which, by the way, allows you to achieve higher levels of precision and win more bids. Noticed benefits of such tools in the workers’ hands boost efficiency and productivity. 

2. New Sustainable Construction Materials

With the pandemic, we’ve seen prices of materials increase at a rapid pace, becoming almost unaffordable. These boosts in costs and material delivery delays affect construction projects, delaying deliveries. Contractors are looking for alternatives, new materials that could be cheaper and quicker to receive and do the job. Lucky for us, innovative options have emerged in the last few years. We have, for example, K-Briq, 90% made from the recycled construction site and demolition waste materials and produces 1/10 of what regular bricks emit in CO2 gas.

Also surging in commercial and industrial construction are the smart glass windows. Depending on the amount of heat and air conditioning present in the building, the smart glass changes its heating capabilities. So, during the winter, the glass becomes transparent to allow the natural light and warmth to come in. In summer, the glass becomes translucent to avoid any heating wavelengths, making the AC work harder, being more expensive. 

Insulated concrete framing – ICF consists of an airtight blockage to prevent unwanted air passages. It also adds thermal bulk to the interior, which helps to keep the temperature stable.

Also, 3D printing has been making its way for years but will thoroughly shine in 2022, and it’s easy to see why: possibilities are endless! Cheaper and faster than conventional methods, 3D printing helps build communities. Even asphalt is getting printed now! 

3. Prefabrication

Knowing in advance the exact dimensions and material needed for your project has a sweet benefit to your construction timeline and cost. And with the growing demand in the industry, prefabrication can offer a way to keep up without sacrificing projects. It is expected that modular construction (a prefabricated building that consists of repeating modules ) will represent a value of  $157 billion by 2023.  So, prefabrication will enable contractors to shorten construction projects’ timelines while cutting cuts, which is helpful for an industry like this in which the demands change quickly. 

4. Used/Rented Equipment

This is a new forthcoming trend meant to keep pace with technological advancement at lower price points. At the end of this year 2021, the US market of the advanced rental market is valued at an estimated 40$bn as a result of the increased adoption.  In short-term applications, renting construction equipment saves on the high costs of new equipment while also saving labour & maintenance costs.

5. Finding the Skilled Labor Market

It’s been a long-time coming, and we are starting to see the full effects of a labour shortage in the industry. Even when construction companies hire more than before, people going into the construction workforce are decreasing. In the next three years,  it is expected that there would need to be 2.2 million new hires in the residential sector to keep up with the demand in the US. Companies will be challenged in their hiring & retaining strategies for their employees. We recommend our article “7 tips to find and keep top construction workers” to get started.

“There just aren’t enough entrants into the labor market. The median age of skilled trades is in the mid-40s, but in software, it’s 27. “
Chris Brenchley
Co-founder and CEO at the job matching platform Surehand

6. Economy Growth

What should we expect in terms of growth and construction projects for 2022? Let’s have a look here:

Source: Dodge Construction Network

The current increase in construction activities and the overall availability of advanced rental equipment are growth factors of the industry in North America. 

Among all we discussed, which do you think will be the most ahead?