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The 2021 Construction Trends & the 2022 Outlook

Construction is an industry that is constantly changing and evolving. It offers many opportunities. Industry experts and small business owners need to assess the state of the construction industry every year so that they can capitalize on growth opportunities for the following year. The construction industry’s trends reflect the impact of the pandemic on the industry. We will look back on 2021 and evaluate six of the most important construction trends. We will also explore the outlook for the year 2022.

Construction Industry Trends for 2021

Shortage of Labor

In recent years, the construction industry has seen a growing demand for workers. The construction industry is changing as new technologies take over. However, the demand for intelligent and educated workers will increase with the growing need to analyze data and make informed project decisions. Women and Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010) are the two groups that have been able to meet this labor shortage.

In the United States, women make up 47% but only 10% the construction workforce. The number of women in construction is growing every year and will continue to grow through 2022. Companies are hiring more women now than ever, with a predicted 2,000,000 jobs in the construction. Companies are also looking to hire Gen Z employees. These younger recruits will fill the labor gap for many years. Due to the pandemic these younger workers view trade school in a more positive way than previous generations, so they are receiving the training needed to succeed in the construction industry.


COVID-19 Changes

COVID-19 has affected nearly all industries, including construction. Many people will be moving to new homes in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. However, many families are choosing to remain put. Construction employers have adjusted their work to accommodate construction workers who are now able to work more from home.

Non-industrial construction firms have seen a rise in the number of home construction projects.


Supply chain & price disruptions

Small business owners might have seen disruptions in the supply chain as a construction trend for 2021. Due to a shortage of truck drivers and shipping container, suppliers can’t transport materials as quickly to a construction site. In 2021, construction managers spent more time waiting on supplies. Small business owners had to order materials much earlier, and secure storage locations were needed long before the materials would be needed on a job site. The designs of homes are also being chosen much earlier by homeowners to allow for the arrival of materials to construct their home.

The prices of materials are also increasing due to the increase in waiting times. In 2021, lumber, steel beams and other materials will cost more than they did in the past. Prices may continue to rise due to new materials. The rise in prices has also increased labor costs and contributed to the shortage of workers.


Worker safety

In 2021, personal protective equipment (PPE), which is used to protect workers from harm, will increase in the construction industry. The construction PPE has a special technology to measure worker safety and health. Sensors measure temperature, heartbeat, and steps. Some PPE alerts supervisors on the jobsite if someone falls so they can get help quickly.

In 2021, environmental sensors will be more common on construction sites. This is part of a trend to improve worker safety. These sensors warn workers about heat, wind and noise so they can evacuate the site quickly if necessary. In the past, worker safety was put on hold to reduce labor costs and maintain profitability. The pandemic, however, has changed many people’s views about safety. Construction is not an exception. The trend of worker safety in the year 2021 put the workers at the forefront.


Virtual Construction

Construction companies, like other industries, had to find new ways to meet the demand for building. Offsite construction was one of the trends that emerged in 2021. On average, construction workers will assemble the materials on site. This results in extra waste. Weather conditions can also increase costs and lead to longer labor hours. Offsite construction helped to mitigate issues, especially with the pandemic. Offsite construction allows workers in a factory to design, manufacture and fabricate building pieces. The pieces are then transported to the construction site and put together. This style of construction is expected to increase in 2021.

Virtual construction is also on the rise. Virtual construction has grown in popularity as more people work from home. Software allows designers to visualize and design a building’s construction before it begins. It is a trend that helps to reduce construction costs and improve worker safety. Construction costs are 30 percent higher because of reworking and defective building. Digital models are used in virtual construction to keep costs low.


Increase Regulation

In 2021, there was a change of national administration that brought about a trend for increased regulation in the construction sector. A major trend in the construction industry is a discussion on regulation. OSHA and EEOC both have vaccination programs in place for the construction industry. OSHA has issued regulations on how construction employers should report vaccines, and they should also report any reactions to vaccines. EEOC regulations have been in place for flu vaccines, and they will continue to do so. Some companies have decided to require employees to be COVID-19 vaccinated, but most are encouraging them to do so. The year 2021 was marked by new and interesting regulations. This may become a trend in the future.

Outlook 2022

In 2021, there were many trends in the construction industry that changed how construction was done. From material delays to virtual building. These trends will shape the construction outlook in 2022 as the industry moves forward into 2022. Here are the top upcoming trends in construction for 2022.


Modular Design & prefabrication

In 2021, prefabricated construction became a popular method of construction offsite. Separate pieces of a house are assembled faster and more efficiently in factories, before they are assembled on-site with the same high quality that homeowners are accustomed to. Prefabricated design is likely to grow in 2022 and become more common.

Modular design is a specific form of prefabrication. Prefabrication can include any built structure, but modular construction and design prioritizes as little on-site work as possible. Even the electrical and plumbing are completed in the factory, before they are transported to the site for assembly. Modular construction will continue to grow in 2022.


Environmental Focus Increased

In 2022, the outlook for construction and environment is expected to improve. In 2021, green buildings were more prevalent than ever, and this trend is expected to continue in 2022. Sustainable construction and design companies will continue to grow in the coming year. Construction companies need to design more green spaces in their buildings, such as gardens and parks. Even skyscrapers are incorporating greenery.


Virtualization Growth

The industry is expected to see more virtual construction in 2021 and digitalization continue to grow into 2022. Virtual construction can help companies win more contracts and lower their costs. Virtualization investments will be more profitable in 2022, as material costs are rising due to the supply chain. Virtualization will continue the trend of increasing worker safety in 2022, with the shifts that occurred in 2021.


Small businesses can take advantage of exciting opportunities by leveraging the construction industry’s trends for 2021, and the growth forecast for 2022. Businesses that adopt sustainability, prefabrication and virtualization, as well as smart technology and better PPE, will be able capture the trending growth in 2022. Equipment is a challenge for small businesses when it comes to growing in these areas. QuickBridge offers equipment lease to help small companies get the equipment they need to invest in these areas of potential growth.

But not all trends in the construction industry are positive. Small businesses will have to change their approach in the coming year due to the risks posed by labor shortages and material costs. small-business loans can help companies protect themselves against losses and delays. This will allow them to continue building even when the construction industry is facing enormous challenges. Bad Credit Loans are a great way to provide protection against future construction industry trends that could be damaging for small businesses. To learn more about how these loans could benefit your construction company, contact a loan specialist at (888.233.9085).

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