Construction Trends for 2021: Impacts to Construction Project Budgets

September 14, 2023
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2020 has been a rough year!  With all the disruptions and uncertainty, the focus has rightfully been on just hunkering down, and keeping our businesses and construction projects just moving forward.  Now, as this crazy year approaches its end, I am eagerly (wishfully?) looking forward to 2021.  Luckily, there are some really interesting trends developing the construction industry, that makes it easy to look forward, in anticipation.  Many of the trends affecting construction projects predicted for 2020, will continue forward to 2021, but this article is predicting some more recent exciting developments — several of which will likely directly impact your construction projects and your project budgets.  I’ve highlighted a few key findings below.

Most likely to impact your construction projects and project budgets:

  • Increased safety constraints:  Safety is always a major concern on construction site, but with Covid-19, new constraints and costs are present:  “Enhanced protocols will include the expected things, like masks and hand sanitizer, as well as things specific to construction. The passing around of tools, sharing of gloves and hard hats will be curtailed. We’ll all likely be writing our names on things and using only our own protective equipment.”
  • Funding disruptions will make it even more necessary for your construction project budget projections to be on the mark:  “Overall, the AIA expects spending on non-residential buildings to decline in 2021 and the drop-off could be dramatic. As government debt at every level increases, spending on infrastructure projects will almost certainly be delayed. And in the private industrial sector, the slowdown has already begun.”
  • Most of us are already experiencing the increased reliance on remote management of construction projects.  This is likely to continue into 2021, and even expand into areas beyond just management of the projects:  “Construction is the fastest growing adopter of commercial drones according to DroneDeploy, a drone surveying and mapping app.”

Some cool (and nerdy) technology trends:

  • 3D printed buildings:  Check out this awesome video of a 2-story building in Dubai, completed constructed with 3D printing!
  • Living construction materials:  “One of the most exciting construction trends to watch is the development of living materials. These biological compounds literally grow themselves, and are poised to move from interesting experiments to full-scale production in the very near future.”