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As 2018 comes to an end, it is important for construction companies to be aware of the trends that are expected to be seen in 2019.

Technology advancements and integration – Project management software is expected to continue improving to better adapt to the needs of a construction company. Additionally, there is an expected increase in the use of drones to assist in capturing useful photos and videos of construction sites.

Green technology – The construction industry accounts for about 20 percent of global emissions. Construction companies are working on building projects that are more resource efficient and environmentally responsible. Research and development on green construction projects includes carbon scrubbing building facades, bricks made of cigarette butts, thermally driven air conditioners and asphalt that will heal itself.

Increase in modular and prefabricated projects – Modular and prefabricated projects will continue to provide improvements in time, flexibility and the use of materials. Since these projects are built off site, it allows construction companies to have more control over disruptive factors like weather.

Increasing material costs – Material costs are expected to keep rising into 2019. As of August 2018, there was an approximate 9 percent increase in material costs. Iron, steel and steel mill products are materials which are expected to see the most impact.

Decreased labor force – With the employment level remaining low, it is expected that drawing in new workers to fill positions will continue to be a struggle.

Better safety equipment – Like all other industries, construction has seen a rise in new equipment which will also give rise to new safety standards to ensure the safety of workers. Companies have started incorporating work boots that connect to Wi-Fi that can send GPS coordinates or even let you know if a worker is injured or fatigued. These smart safety options are still in their early stages and are costly, but these products are expected to become a commonplace in the construction world.

Sustainability – Companies are looking to strategize ways to preserve the environment and efficiently use resources. This type of strategy includes ways to improve lighting in building to cut back on electricity use or ways to reuse water used by sinks or toilets. Other companies have gone as far as reusing original structures and recycling construction materials.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) – BIM is an up and coming trend that allows companies to generate and manage computer representations of projects before they are built. Companies have been using BIM mostly for buildings, roads, and utilities. The main focus of these models is to show how building materials will hold up over time, which allows owners to create an efficient maintenance schedule. This tool has also been used to determine if a project is possible and to better predict job costs.

Companies should keep these trends in mind as they start preparing for their 2019 year end.