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Industry Insight

5 Trends to Watch for in the Construction Industry in 2021

In an earlier blog, we covered the top construction industry trends in 2020 and discussed why trend monitoring is critical in competitive markets. This week, we’re going to look ahead and provide our predictions for five construction industry trends to watch in 2021. 

As a result of the unprecedented global pandemic, the construction industry has been hit with a torrent of unexpected challenges which has led to shifts in the way everyday business is done. With looming uncertainty about if and when a vaccine will become available, we expect many of this year’s trends to carry into next year, especially as it relates to safety and adopting practices that enable projects to be completed with low worker density.  

Below are our predictions for five of the top construction industry trends to watch in 2021: 

Safety

Field workers wear protective face masks for safety on a construction project

Let’s begin with the obvious. Worker safety has always been a priority in construction, but the COVID-19 pandemic brought it to the top of the list by creating the need for new requirements and protocols in order to allow work to continue while mitigating the risk of spreading the disease.   

Unlike other industries that could largely shift to work-from-home models, the construction industry is highly collaborative and requires laborers to be physically present on the job site. Currently, there is not a vaccine available to cure or curtail the coronavirus, so we expect social distancing, sanitization and PPE requirements to carry into the new year.

Prefabrication & Modular Construction

Mounting a house wall on a prefabricated house

Already on the rise in 2020, the modular construction market is poised for continued growth in 2021 and is projected to reach as high as $157 billion by 2023. This anticipated market growth can be attributed to several key factors, including its suitability for the times in the post-pandemic era. 

Manufactured buildings are typically built in a way that requires low worker density, and in large buildings that make social distancing easier. Additionally, the equipment used for these processes—for example, conveyors, lifts and cranes—is already designed to allow fewer workers to get the job done in order to save on labor costs, which also happens to be beneficial in times when social distancing is required.

Green Construction & Sustainability

Every year, the shift toward green construction and sustainability practices continues to grow as businesses and clients alike are recognizing the long-term benefits. Sustainability and low-impact processes form the foundation of green construction, in addition to the wise use of materials at every stage to reduce waste. 

While these practices are important to preserving the environment and its limited resources, saving the planet isn’t the only motivating factor for businesses to get on-board with the green building trend. It’s becoming more common for clients to request sustainability specifications in order to reach eco-friendly designations (like LEED certification) or to receive tax credits. Additionally, the durability, longevity and efficiency of eco-friendly building materials like timbercrete, hempcrete and bamboo are other compelling reasons companies are adopting more environmentally-friendly practices. 

3D Printing

The coronavirus outbreak has unlocked a huge potential growth opportunity in the 3D printing technology market, with some estimates predicting the global market will reach $0.12 billion in 2023 at CAGR of 147.79%. Given its ability to build complex structures within a set timeframe, and at a reasonable cost, 3D printing in construction is becoming more and more attractive as it’s also one of the most efficient ways to reduce worker density. 

3D printing’s ability to produce parts on-demand, as well as its inherent cost savings and flexibility, are unleashing creative new solutions that will drive construction technology forward and toward greater sustainability practices.

Design Technology

Male and Female Architects Work with Holographic Augmented Reality 3D City Model. Technologically Advanced Office Professional People Use Virtual Reality Modeling Software Application.

Building Information Technology (BIM) has already transformed the construction industry by changing the way design, construction and project management is handled—and it’s predicted to continue doing so as the technology becomes more advanced and new opportunities are created. A recent study predicts the global BIM market will reach $10 billion this year, and then grow at 13% CAGR over the next four years.  

BIM has been instrumental in the digital transformation of the sector, and it’s become even more widely adopted this year following lockdown protocols because of its ability to allow projects to proceed in the digital space when project members were unable to meet in person. As BIM technology continues to advance so, too, will the industry’s reliance upon it in the coming year.

Final Thoughts

While no one can predict the future with certainty, we can look to history to make educated guesses. Based on what we’ve seen so far this year, we expect the trends outlined above to continue to drive change within the construction industry into next year, as well as the foreseeable future. 

For more construction industry insights and resources, click here.

 

Author Biography:

Kathryn Dressler is a content strategist with more than 10 years of experience across the spectrum of marketing services, including blogging, social media, public relations, copywriting and editorial services.

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Industry Insight Trends & Technology

Technology That Is Changing The World Of Construction

Over the centuries, humans have developed new ways to build taller, stronger and more beautiful creations with game-changing materials – but what does the future hold for construction technology? In today’s world of rapidly advancing technology, many amazing new innovations come to mind that we believe will have a great impact on the future of construction.

We have compiled a short list of three of the most exciting innovations. Some are even in use today.

  1. Drones
    – Drones, often considered to be no more than a toy for children of all ages, represent one of biggest potential disruptors of the construction industry. Equipped with a camera drones can be used for everything from providing onsite tours for investors to exploring hazardous situations before sending members of your crew in. Drones will not only reduce or eliminate the need to risk the wellbeing of your employees in unstable conditions such as potential gas leaks or potential collapse or cave in but they will also act as an extension to every worker, allowing access to smaller and higher spaces and providing simple and fast Solutions to age old problems. (Drone bridge clip).
  2.  Virtual Reality – With the recent release of the Oculus Rift, and the inevitability of virtual reality becoming mainstream, it will not be    long before these head sets are a common sight in the construction industry. Designers can create a 1 to 1 model of buildings that will allow both clients and contractors to view and interact with seemingly life size mock ups. This will allow for vital changes and redesigns to be made before construction begins, saving not only money but time as well. In addition to this, trade schools will likely adopt VR for training and simulation processes allowing young tradesmen to apply knowledge in a challenging but completely safe testing environment.
  3. Augmented Reality – The younger and more jobsite applicable brother to VR, Augmented Reality is already deployed in the field. These headsets (Like Google glass) overlay data, live video links, and environmental readings overtop of the surrounding environment. This becomes incredibly useful for when technicians are repairing or installing complicated equipment, or when working in extreme or dangerous environments. One really great example of this tech is the DAQRI Headset, which takes the form of a futuristic hard hat, a technological gem that was recently adopted by Elon Musk on his Hyperloop.

 

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Trends & Technology

The Truth About True Cloud

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What is the difference between cloud and a hosted environment?

With typical hosting, you’re offloading your servers to a third party hosting company who then looks after server management on your behalf. While at first glance this seems like a positive step in the right direction to reducing your overall IT costs, you’re still limited by the capacity of these servers and the network capacity of the provider. If you need more capacity, the hosting provider may not be able to provide it. If you need a faster server – get ready for a ‘planned migration’ that can potentially leave you and your customers with either heavily degraded service, or worse, no service at all. Requiring more capacity is known in the industry as ‘Scaling’, and with traditional hosting this remains difficult and costly. In addition to issues with Scalability, you’re also putting your full confidence in your hosting provider to take complete backups, ensure that both your backups and live environment are secure, and that the software you are hosting remains available, even during catastrophic failures.

With Cloud Technology, servers typically operate in a virtualized cluster of many machines, all working together to provide you with the resources and capacity you need. Scaling up, then, is simply a quick configuration change. No downtime. No servers to order. No issues with parts being on back-order. Virtually no downtime. With Cloud technology, companies can scale on-demand to the requirements of the business to ensure that the resources you need are available when you need it. And backups are not an afterthought – they’re typically baked into the core of the service. In the case of a hosting provider such as Microsoft Azure, backups are constantly being taken, allowing you access to to-the-minute point-in-time backups from any time in the last 14 days. And catastrophic failures need not be a concern – with a 99.95% guaranteed uptime and failover zones that are provisioned on the opposite location of the main data centre, you can be sure your data remains safe and your software remains available.

What do you mean by ‘true cloud’, then?

 Many software companies, in an attempt to appear modern and up-to-date dedicate their budgets to masquerading the underlying server dependency with Hosting Environment solutions, rather than investing in their customers and the future of their product. Those that approach the problem in this way are looking at the problem from a short term gain perspective, meaning, long term pains. Jonas Premier, on the other hand, was engineered from the ground up using modern technology, leveraging Microsoft Azure, the #1 global provider for cloud hosting. With more than 66% of Fortune 500 companies relying on Microsoft Azure as their cloud service provider, combined with their 99.95% enterprise grade SLA on services, support, and monitoring, you can be sure that your data remains safe, available, and that Premier can scale to even the most demanding businesses.

So, not all Software Solutions that claim to be ‘cloud’ are ‘true cloud’ based solutions?!

Unfortunately, not. Many companies practice deceptive marketing strategies as a short term solution solely to prop up their financials and appear to position themselves in the market in a way that isn’t reflective of their true solution. They spend their resources on this deception, rather than investing in their infrastructure, and thus, their customers.

That can’t be right. I just got a trial, and was able to run the software without installing it!

Most hosted software solutions require you to operate the software using Remote Desktop Technology such as RDP or Citrix. Sometimes, in addition to this, they also require you establish a VPN connection to their network! Typically, all of these solutions are costly, slow and inconvenient. In these situations, they are effectively having you connect to a workstation which already has the software installed, whether that be to run your day to day business, or to provide you with a demo or trial. In today’s world, people demand the convenience of access, speed, high availability, and a low cost. With a true cloud solution such as Jonas Premier, you don’t need to worry about how you will connect to the software, you don’t need to worry about whether it can scale to meet the demands of your growing business, and you don’t need to worry about maintaining servers, backups, or any of the associated IT overhead.

 Where is my data and who does it belong to?

This is a great question. You want to ensure that you are teaming up with a reputable hosting provider as they are responsible for the security and safety of your data. With Jonas Premier, your data always remains your data. You always have access to real-time data on demand which can be queried through the software, or externally from the software. You can even extract your data using your favorite tools such as Microsoft Excel! Backed by Constellation Software Inc (CSU.TO) and hosted on the Microsoft Azure Cloud, you can be confident that your data is safe and secure. In addition, we have escrow agreements in place to ensure that you have access to your data no matter what the future has in store.

 Why are businesses moving to cloud?

The answer is simple. Lower Total-Cost-of-Ownership (TCO), higher convenience, reduced overall risk, high availability, and access to real-time information from anywhere at any time. Information and reporting are the heart of any organization, and with cloud, it makes it easy for employees to get information from the field into the software to improve cash flow and enhance decision-making capabilities. With over 80% of companies saving money since implementing cloud, it is no surprise that so many companies are making the choice to move to the cloud.

What are the risks with cloud?

Life is fraught with risk, and in this case, the main risk associated with Cloud solutions is internet connectivity and availability. As more and more of the world is looking to the Internet as the universal-backbone-of-things, we’ve seen significant investments in communication technologies, such as fibre to the door, higher speeds, increased cell tower coverage, etc. Today, those internet challenges are quickly becoming a non-issue.

But my server is working great. Why would I want to change?

While traditional servers are still an option, servers have to be maintained and upgraded regularly, which is not only time consuming, but also costly as well. Your business requires IT personnel to manage this and you will incur the costs for backing up your data and storing information. For example, the typical cost to back up data is approximately $80/month for businesses, and most companies’ ultimately back-up to tape, larger in scale and more advanced, but fundamentally the same technology used back in the day of the 8-track tape or audio tapes you might have had in your car to listen to music. Over time, these tapes become unreliable and can be easily damaged. Also, businesses are storing more documents and trying to share them with customers and vendors, which include photos, drawings, and videos. Businesses end up leveraging public online services such as Dropbox. Dropbox is good when you want to share files with your friends, but do you want to make it the information sharing cornerstone of your business? These types of solutions make it increasingly difficult for employees to collaborate and access real-time information.

What about Security? Surely a server solution is more secure than a Cloud Solution.

Most companies have a tendency to believe their servers are safe. And then, something actually happens. Only at this point, with their data lost or stolen and their whole business now at risk, do they quickly realize they lacked the proper infrastructure to protect their most valuable assets. Businesses have had their servers stolen, suffered data corruption, and sometimes lose their data entirely due to natural disasters. Also, many businesses simply do not have the funding to hire and maintain the IT personnel, nor the infrastructure, and when corners get cut you increase the risk of viruses, corruption, or worse. If you partner with a reputable cloud provider such as Microsoft Azure, your data is being protected by one of the top software companies in the world. With Jonas Premier, we have a 14-day point-in-time backup recovery, redundant backups on top of the point-in-time backups, and we leverage multiple data centres within Azure which ensure we have disaster recovery, failover and redundancy capabilities in place. To put it simply, without a proper IT infrastructure in place and a large budget, choosing a server solution is like keeping your money under your mattress. With Jonas Premier, you get to keep your money in the bank, and you can rest easy at night knowing your money is safe.

 

“As a company, we’re not typically in the office all day, every day. Having a cloud-based construction software like Jonas Premier allows us to perform our jobs wherever we may be and fits in well with our business model.”

-Bill Knauss, Land Development & Construction[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Uncategorized

AGC Conference 2016 San Antonio!

On behalf of the Jonas Premier Team, we would like to thank all of the amazing men and woman who came to visit our booth. Every year it truly amazes us how incredible an industry that we have the pleasure of working in! Thank you all so much for your valuable time and the amazing conversations.

 

Don’t forget to wear your Hard Hats when on site….SAFETY FIRST!!!

We’ll see all you lovely people next year at AGC 2017.

 

With Great Respect,

The Premier Team.

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Industry Insight Mobile Resources Trends & Technology

Jonas Premier Favored for Contract Management by Capterra

In a recently published article for Capterra, Content Marketing Analyst, Rachel Burger ranked Jonas Premier in the top 10 best constructions software packages for contract management. Citing Premiers unlimited document storage, ease of use and reputation for customer service excellence as defining features, Burger went on to explain that the criteria used in narrowing down her extensive list of candidates consisted of: Is the software industry-specific? Is it applicable for commercial construction? Are there contract management features, and ease of use.

As a provider of fully integrated Construction Project Management and Accounting Software, Jonas Premier offers cutting edge cloud based software for today’s contractors. With complete access to your data from the office, job site, and even the airport, you can make the right decisions for your business at all times. Good bye Citrix, good bye VPN, and welcome to safer, faster software.

 

About Capterra:

Capterra is a website that offers unbiased third party software advice and reviews, you can check them out here.

Rachel Burger is a Content Marketing Analyst, and you can check out some of her writing here.