At present, the construction industry is undergoing a substantial transformation. Innovations, economic uncertainty, construction workforce shortages, and other factors have forced building companies to change the way they work and deliver their projects.
Read further to learn what construction trends are going to shape the industry in 2024, and how it’s expected to address current challenges and ensure sustainable growth.
Technology Trends in Construction: 2024 Outlook
Like any other industry, the construction domain has been increasingly digitalized in recent years – companies are leveraging software, sensors, drones, and other technologies that revolutionize the construction processes and are sure to transform the future of construction. While the complexity of construction projects is increasing, digitalization provides construction companies with a number of benefits: high efficiency of processes, precise project planning and visualization, real-time cooperation, new market opportunities, reduced risks, more effective decision-making, optimized construction costs, etc. [5; 6]
Let’s review what construction technology trends will drive the industry’s development in 2024.
1. Additive manufacturing
3D printing in construction is a game-changing technology – in contrast to building objects of traditional bricks and mortar, builders can “print” three-dimensional objects from a digital file. The technology helps create not only parts and components but also large objects, e.g., bridges, houses, and even skyscrapers. As a result, construction companies can minimize their projects’ timelines, reduce labor costs, and optimize the use of material resources. 
2. Construction drones
Construction drone technology allows construction professionals to make real-time images and gather data that will help identify potential problems that are impossible to detect from the ground (e.g., damage or cracking on buildings). 
The use of drones to perform laser scanning of construction sites before construction commences will ensure that fewer mistakes are made at the planning stage of projects and will bring more safety to construction environments. VR and drone scanning can make project information more accurate – technical engineers will be able to get the exact size and projection of buildings faster, and project managers will be able to sustain value.
3. Building information modeling (BIM)
Building information modeling is one of the relatively new trends in construction management. This software allows its users to obtain a detailed 3D model of a building that includes all its structures and components in a virtual environment. It’s already been successfully used, especially for complex construction projects – it makes it possible to get a full picture of the physical and functional characteristics of a structure, timely detect and correct errors at the design stage, and create realistic construction project schedules based on this data. 
4. Connected construction sites
Connected construction sites embrace a network of devices, sensors, and software required to connect data, equipment, and people. This enables more effective communication and collaboration in real time, promotes safety, and increases the efficiency and productivity of the construction processes. The technology is still developing, so in the near future, we expect to see a wider variety of its applications in construction projects. 
5. Robotics and automation
Industries widely use robotics and automation to streamline their processes, and the construction domain is no exception. These technologies help construction companies cope with a lack of skilled workers, reduce costs, and contribute to sustainability. Robots don’t get tired, make costly mistakes that require rework, and work faster, so using them for the construction process reduces construction projects’ timeline, which is also a great advantage. In contrast to traditional construction methods, leveraging automation technologies can also minimize the number of accidents on construction sites. Finally, applying automation and robotics improves the quality of the work performed. All of these factors make the adoption of these technologies a good investment for construction companies that can improve their performance in the long run.
Therefore, the technology trends in the construction industry contribute to streamlining its projects, reducing costs and construction timelines, and improving the quality of work performed. So, in 2024 we’re going to see their increased applications in the construction domain.
Other Construction Management Trends and Challenges in 2024
The focus on sustainability is peculiar to most industries – they are making efforts to reduce carbon emissions, which in many cases is a legal requirement. For this reason, the construction domain uses a variety of solutions – installing energy-efficient windows and doors, using fixtures and plumbing components made of recycled materials, creating sustainable buildings, etc.
One of the examples of how the construction industry is moving towards sustainability is a trend for erecting Zero Net Energy Buildings (NZEBs) that produce and consume equal amounts of energy throughout a year. In particular, according to the UK government requirements, all new houses must be NZEBs by 2025. Their popularity is increasing as they reduce the need for fossil fuels, minimize their tenants’ energy consumption and energy costs, and generally make homes more sustainable. [1; 2]
2. Construction workforce shortage
The construction sector has been suffering from labor shortages that are explained by a high turnover rate and aging of the workforce. This is a real challenge for the domain – without the required human resources, construction projects will be delayed and overbudgeted. The industry is experiencing the need for a variety of construction workers: e.g., field engineers, welders, carpenters, project managers, safety and quality managers, architects, etc.
Therefore, addressing the ongoing labor shortage will be one of the construction industry trends remaining in 2024. One of the ways to tackle this challenge involves leveraging AI and automation to ensure efficiency under conditions of a lack of human resources. The other solution is focusing on employee retention, e.g., facilitating employees’ professional development within a company. It’s also essential to attract young people and make recruitment in construction firms attractive for them (e.g., by offering competitive wages). [3; 4]
3. Using alternative and prefabricated materials
In line with the industry’s sustainability efforts, building companies more and more often work with eco-friendly and prefabricated construction materials (modules, panels, etc.). Their use is currently gaining momentum along with offsite construction and will remain a trend in 2024 and beyond. The main advantage of prefabrication is reducing construction time, increasing work efficiency, and corresponding to sustainability initiatives.
An example of sustainable building material is cross-laminated timber (CLT) which is a lightweight alternative to traditional materials used to build roofs, floors, walls, and ceilings. What are the benefits of CLT? First, it’s less energy-consuming than traditional materials like concrete and steel. Second, it’s fire-resistant and durable, even during earthquakes. Finally, these materials can be prefabricated and then just installed on the construction site, which makes the process much shorter. [1; 5]
4. Increased worker safety
The construction field and the building processes are rather injurious, so the focus on creating a safe working environment is becoming more and more intense every year. Among other things, this involves improved training and conducting safety inspections more frequently. Digital technologies can also contribute to minimizing construction worker injuries:
- Virtual reality can be applied for more effective worker training;
- Artificial Intelligence helps detect potential hazards thanks to analyzing data from various sensors;
- Wearable devices can track worker activity and send alerts in an emergency.
As the technologies become more sophisticated, we can expect that jobsite safety continues to rise thanks to more advanced opportunities for protecting workers from hazards. [2; 5]
5. Coping with uncertainty
Under conditions of the current economic downturn, construction companies are trying to find ways to cope with ongoing economic uncertainty and be able to deliver their projects under conditions of cost-cutting. What is more, persisting supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and current geopolitical tensions can lead to material shortages, uncertainty regarding construction schedules, delays, and cost overruns in construction projects. So, in 2024, construction firms will continue taking measures to protect themselves against these uncertainties and minimize related risks.
Therefore, the trends in construction haven’t changed dramatically in recent years. Basically, the domain is looking for ways to address current economic issues, improve operations, and optimize costs. In addition to that, the future of the construction industry is expected to be much more sustainable and safe for its workers.
- In 2024, the construction industry is expected to continue its sustainability journey by using more eco-friendly advanced materials and technologies for creating sustainable buildings.
- The domain is going to continue its efforts to overcome workforce shortages and ongoing economic uncertainty.
- Digitalization will be one of the key trends. The industry is actively implementing digital technologies, and these new construction trends are here to stay in 2024 and beyond: 3D printing, construction drone usage, connectivity between construction sites, building information modeling, robotics and automation.
- Following the digitalization trends in the construction industry and leveraging latest technological advancements allows construction companies to optimize their resources, reduce material costs, decrease their projects’ duration, and improve the quality of building operations.
Contact our experts if you want to know how to run your projects seamlessly under conditions of uncertainty, deliver them on time and within budget, and utilize available resources most intelligently.
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- Top 10 Construction Trends and Innovations in 2024. (2023). PlanRadar.
- 3 Construction Industry Trends To Expect in 2024 (And How To Navigate Them). (2023). WarrenAverett.
- Staff, H. (2023). The Top 3 Trends That Will Impact the Construction Industry in 2024. The Hartford.
- Pearcey, Linn. (2023). Top Four Construction Trends for 2024 and Beyond. AIA Contract Documents.