Eight positive signs for construction

By Lewis Tyler20 December 2022

It’s undeniable that construction is going through a challenging period, with GDP growth weakening, supply chain challenges and rising costs, but there are plenty of reasons to be positive about the future of construction.  

From the return of in-person events to investment in zero-emission technology, here are some positives for construction to take into 2023.

Bauma and the return of in-person events
Crowds arrive at Bauma 2022 in Munich, Germany. Crowds arrive at Bauma 2022 in Munich, Germany. (Photo: KHL)

For the first time since 2019, global trade show Bauma returned to Munich, with nearly half a million visitors in attendance for the weeklong event.

As always, innovation was at the forefront of the show, with a range of diesel and electric-powered equipment on show.

Digital construction technology and BIM

While construction has typically been one of the slower industries to adopt technology, it is beginning to see the benefits of its use.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) and digital twins will be an important part of how construction will operate in the future.

In fact, research from Cambashi found that the BIM market could be worth as much as $17.6 billion in 2023.

In a broader sense, construction technology will be vital going forward as the industry tackles issues with productivity and skills shortages.

Aerial view of a smart city Digital twins could lead to an increase in ‘smart cities’. (Photo: AdobeStock)
Manufacturers invest in hydrogen power

2022 was the year that some manufacturers embraced hydrogen power. For example, October saw JCB unveil its mobile hydrogen refueller.

Furthermore, the company plans to invest £100 million in hydrogen engines in the future.

More recently, access equipment manufacturer Manitou presented its prototype hydrogen telehandler. The machine is part of a long-term goal set by the company to have 43% of its products being low-emission machines by 2030.

Renewables opportunity for construction 

The scope of the opportunity within the wind energy sector was laid bare in September when the Global Wind Energy Council revealed that more than half a million wind technicians will be needed by 2026.

The Council attributes this to an increase in onshore and offshore wind fleets, and “rapid growth” brought on by the net zero goal of 2050.

Big onshore and offshore projects are being built, including the Dogger Bank Wind Farm, in the North Sea. The sector will remain an enormous opportunity for the construction sector for decades to come.

US$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill

No matter what niche sector of construction you operate in, the signing of the US$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in 2021 will have represented a welcome change, both for 2022 and beyond.

U.S  transportation infrastructure The US infrastructure bill includes the upgrade of transportation infrastructure in the country. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Upon signing the bill, US President Joe Biden said up to $550 billion would be invested in infrastructure, with highways, roads and bridges and passenger rail networks all set to be built or upgraded in the future.

In May this year, the White House said $110 billion had already been released in the first six months.

Record construction equipment sales

As we entered the final quarter of 2022, Chris Sleight, managing director of Off-Highway Research revealed that global construction equipment sales in 2021 reached record levels, with more than 1.28 million machines sold at a retail value of $127 billion.

The market will soften in 2023 and 2024, but the forecast is for equipment sales to remain at historically high levels, despite the challenges facing manufacturers.

Carbon reduction in construction

The issue of carbon reduction is a global challenge, of course, but as one of the largest industries in the world construction has a responsibility to cut its emissions.

Metso Outotec says it incorporates sustainability in every aspect of the company. (Photo: Metso Outotec)

And, while many would agree that more needs to be done, this article by KHL’s Lucy Barnard highlights the large number of companies that have already pledged to lower their carbon footprints.

Equipment rental industry outlook remains strong 

Having overcome the pandemic, prospects for the equipment rental industry remain strong over the mid- to long-term, according to the European Rental Association. Although the market will soften next year, the benefits of rental in terms of the trend towards outsourcing and the circular economy mean that the sector is well positioned.

Elsewhere, the American Rental Association has also predicted single digit increases over the next four years in the equipment rental industry. 

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