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3 Trends Expected to Disrupt UK Construction in 2018

What emerging trends will shape Construction in 2018 ?

Modular construction looks set to gain momentum in 2018, populating the country with homes and even factories constructed off-site and put together in a matter of hours. In the midst of this amazing progress, the industry is struggling with major skills shortages while it faces increasing globalisation. Here is what construction in 2018 is going to look like, according to the experts. 

  1. New business models and technologies will have to be adopted due to skills shortages 

Skills and labour shortages have been hitting the UK construction industry hard, and it’s expected to get worse as 2018 progresses. Consequently, there may be permanent changes in how the sector conducts business and meets customer demand. 

The emergence of modular construction solutions such as the ‘factory in a box’, allows design innovation to product more assets with minimal resources.

This easy-to-assemble factory, which is designed with business information modeling (BIM), can be shipped and assembled in markets where potential is high but funding for large dedicated on-site teams is limited. 

  1. 10% of traditional contractors will gradually disappear due to construction-integrated manufacturing

Construction-integrated manufacturing and modular construction will play an increasingly important role globally in 2018. Modular is already expected to increase by 6% in the next five years, with countries like Sweden using prefab timber elements to build close to 84% of its detached homes.  

In Japan, nearly 25% of all new housing is prefabricated, an accomplishment that shows both the quality of modular construction output and how many new workers the field attracts. Japanese firms especially value prefab construction for its efficiency, as it eliminates the last-minute changes that can delay onsite construction and minimize the quality of the completed property. 


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  1. Globalisation will cause a 20% increase in the use of foreign content in UK construction projects by 2022

At present, 95% of construction projects are being completed by local firms using locally sourced materials. There are signs that this is changing. Large-scale and customised elements and components will eventually be sourced globally, increasing competition and potentially margins. This is a big change for an industry that has always been country-specific, but the profits could be immense for those versatile and disciplined enough to plan, arrange logistics, and invest in new joint ventures. 

Spain is a prime example. Even with its recent economic difficulties, the country’s construction sector has done well.

This is primarily because Spanish construction companies frequently partner globally and reduce the risks of being exposed to domestic economic difficulties. A strong tradition of global partnerships and joint ventures presented a competitive advantage. 

New technology is also supporting profitable work on a global level. 3D printing is one technology that decreases costs for both materials and logistics, allowing partnerships to focus on worldwide competence exchanges instead of long transportation schedules. 

These three trends are tightly intertwined. Contractors will have to secure the right competencies while determining how to integrate construction-integrated manufacturing and modular buildings in an increasingly global marketplace. Those who master all these requirements are set to do well in 2018. 

Specialists in Construction Insurance


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