As 2021 draws to a close, it’s time to review the state of construction management in 2021 and look ahead to 2022 to predict the likely trends for the year ahead. 2021 has undoubtedly been a year of great challenges and change for the construction sector as a whole with the continuing impact of COVID and Brexit on the global supply chains that feed into the industry. After a challenging year, looking back at the trends of the year will help you to evaluate your company’s effectiveness for each trend, note any key learnings and prepare for next year.
For every business involved in construction management, staying up to date with the latest trends and development in the wider sector is key to their on-going success. In this article, we will review the construction trends of 2021 and make our predictions as to the key construction management trends that will be prominent in 2022.
Key Construction Management Trends In 2021
During a challenging and fast-paced year for construction management, significant changes were required to many industry practices. The key trends were influenced by the changes required to meet the year’s challenges and on trends that started in the years previous to this.
The environment and our responsibility to it has risen to great prominence this year with the COP26 conference. Reducing the impact that the construction industry has on the climate has been a priority throughout the year. In order to achieve this, a renewed focus was placed on energy sources, making infrastructure more environmentally friendly and improving the built environment in order to combat climate change.
Renewable energy also gained popularity this year, with a particular focus on solar energy, geothermal energy and heat pumps, which all lead on from the ever-accelerating trend of decarbonisation. These projects will be well-positioned to take advantage of the rise of ‘resilient’ projects that encourage sustainability.
Growth In Digitisation
The pace at which digitisation is adopted has accelerated significantly with the construction industry prioritising the adoption of digital channels and tools above many other initiatives. This rise in digitisation has been necessary to facilitate remote working brought about by the pandemic at several points during 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened.
How Has The Construction Industry Changed Since COVID-19 And Has It Completely Recovered?
No review of the state and prominent trends in construction management would be complete without consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact that this has had on the industry as a whole. While COVID has clearly changed construction significantly already, we do not believe that the true effects of the pandemic on the construction industry are clear.
At JB Associates we have seen some areas in construction decline, but others have seen significant increases in demand, including the healthcare sector and critical infrastructure and data centres. While this has of course presented a number of business challenges, it has also created significant opportunities in areas of construction that the industry had not been so focused on pre-pandemic. Overall, we consider the business outlook for construction management to be a changed but positive one.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how quickly the wider economy and many sectors within it can be upended which causes unwelcome disruption for business. It has also shown how growth can be achieved in other areas and that these areas are likely to be driving the recovery of the construction industry in the months and years ahead.
Key Predictions For Construction Consultancy In 2022
Construction consultancy is the area of construction management that is subject to the most change with industry driven changes and client requirements leading to both incremental and substantial changes on a regular basis. It is a challenge to predict what the industry will do looking forward to 2022. However, we are predicting the following developments in the next year:
- Further significant investments in healthcare, public safety and public infrastructure: We are expecting significant public sector investment in healthcare and the supporting public infrastructure throughout the year, which should result in sizeable consultancy opportunities in these areas.
- Continuation of the net carbon drive: The net carbon drive is already well underway and a notable trend. We are expecting this to continue into next year and for its growth to accelerate in terms of construction projects and also in client requirements.
- High demand for digital and critical infrastructure: As the pace of digitisation accelerates and our reliance on online services increases, a high demand from the digital sector and for digital infrastructure projects is probable.
Key Predictions For Construction Project Management In 2022
It has been a busy year for construction project management with new ways of working, remote working and an on-going pandemic to contend with. Keeping construction projects on-track within such a busy and challenging environment is likely to keep construction project managers busy well into 2022 and beyond. We see the following emerging project management trends as being key for 2022:
- Increase in remote working: The increase of remote working is likely to continue into 2022 as employees seek flexibility and a favourable work-life balance. This introduces several key challenges for building project management including managing remote teams and continuing to adopt technology that can support the delivery of successful projects
- Utilisation of multiple project management methodologies: Utilising more than one project management methodology in a typical construction project is set to become even more commonplace. The dominance of waterfall-based project management methodologies such as PRINCE 2 will be challenged by its more flexible Agile counterparts including AgilePM. Construction project managers are likely to adopt a hybrid waterfall-agile methodology to gain the best features of each model
- Decrease in formal project management disciplines: Formal project management disciplines are likely to lose popularity among project management in favour of more flexible and less formal models that provide the all-important structure required by a project while gaining the flexibility demanded by clients
- Adoption of hybrid teams: Hybrid teams are the natural progression of remote working, multiple project management methodologies and a decrease in formal project management discipline. The new hybrid teams will collaborate across multiple locations and with different methodologies in order to deliver the best project outcomes. Many organisations are set to embrace this approach so they can offer flexibility to their employees and clients
Key Predictions For Building Services Design In 2022
2022 is likely to be a busy year for building services design. We are expecting many designs to be driven by energy efficiencies and the drive towards becoming net carbon. The following trends are likely to be key:
- Energy efficiency: building services design will be very much focused on securing energy efficiencies in every aspect of their design. Installing systems that reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability will be a focus. Ensuring that buildings run in an efficient way by finding efficiencies in mechanical and electrical plant, running times, control, and sizing will dominate the year
- Drive to become net carbon: the challenge of climate change is encouraging significant changes throughout the construction industry. Construction industry players are set to make the most of government incentives to become net carbon in 2022
- Introduction of renewable energy: Renewable energy sources will play a critical role in helping buildings to become more energy efficient and net carbon. We are expecting the introduction of renewable technology to increase
Key Predictions For Quantity Surveying And Cost Consultancy In 2022
During 2022, construction projects will be contending with a tough market where material prices are likely to fluctuate significantly resulting in budgetary pressures. Alongside this, supply chain issues will disrupt project timescales and delivery causing issues for quantity surveying practitioners. We expect the key trends to be:
- Unstable and fluctuating material costs: Building materials are likely to remain unstable and fluctuate significantly throughout the year based on supply and demand. Securing fixed costs for key materials and managing a build’s budget is going to be a challenge
- Programme and time constraints: Supply chain issues and delays have already caused significant disruption to programmes and caused time constraints to be stretched. As this continues into 2022, this will negatively impact project delivery and costs
Key Predictions For Interactive Documentation In 2022
Interactive documentation has proved its utility to organisations and project teams across the industry as it helpfully digitises O&M manuals and H&S files. As it is a cloud-based system, it provides secure cloud storage for key documents, which makes them easily accessible to every member of the project team. In 2022, we anticipate the following trends:
- Incorporating asset management into interactive documentation: Our very own interactive documentation offering, JB EDocs is expanding into new markets with the addition of JBA360. JBA360 incorporates asset management with real time data into the offering. This helps project team members to access data from any location and reduces the need to be onsite
- Supporting carbon footprint reduction: As interactive documentation systems are cloud-based and all their data is stored remotely, they are set to be increasingly recognised as an effective way to reduce carbon footprint. Unwanted travel to sites can be limited and clients are empowered with an intelligent management tool that provides access to key data across all of their estates
Key Predictions For BIM & CAD In 2022
Building information modelling (BIM) and Computer aided design (CAD) are also set for further development and growth in the year ahead with a trend for prefabricated construction quietly gathering pace throughout the construction industry.
- Rise in prefabricated buildings: The use ofprefab buildings is quietly growing throughout industry. They are increasingly seen as an effective way to quickly deliver a high-quality structure with a shortened construction timeframe. This helps industry to fulfil client construction requirements quickly and efficiently
- BIM supporting the rise in prefabricated construction: BIM is well placed to support the rise in prefabricated construction with its design precision and ability to incorporate useful information about the materials used for individual components. Expect to see BIM software being used to quickly model and adapt designs where there is a need to ensure exceptional speed from the conception of a project through to final construction
Key Predictions For The Data Centre Sector In 2022
The data centre sector is fast paced and flexible in order to best serve the needs of the ever more critical technologies and technology companies that they power. In the year ahead, green credentials are likely to take centre stage in a sector that is being more eco-conscious:
- Improving green credentials: Improving the green credentials of data centres has become a priority in the later stage of 2021 and this will continue into next year. Google recently showcased a new tool that can match the timing of computing tasks in data centres to the availability of lower-carbon energy. We expect this technology to play an important role in improving green credentials
- Intelligently reusing generated heat for homes: Data centres are looking to re-use heat generated as part of their day-to-day operations to heat nearby homes. This trend links into the overall drive for improving green credentials
- Continued data centre growth: Growth in the data centre sector as a whole is expected in 2022 within all markets. A major drive across the world within countries that are yet to establish in-depth data centre infrastructure to support the growth in technology
Construction Management Consultants In Hampshire & London
The forward-thinking construction management specialists at JB Associates can help you with every aspect of your specific project. We strive to be a one stop shop for all your construction consultancy requirements. At JB Associates, we have a team of experienced people to guide your building/construction project towards a successful outcome. By choosing JB Associates, you will be in great company with some of the UK’s most recognised brands. Our client base includes Kier, Balfour Beatty, Interserve, Telefonica, SSE, CBRE, Pick Everard and Ramboll.
Our team of specialists which includes RICS accredited quantity surveyors, qualified project managers and skilled design technicians could be the perfect choice for your project. Why not contact us for a no-obligation discussion and find out how we can help you with construction management? Complete our contact form or call us on: 01590 688 928.