The Building and Construction industry has come a long way in the last decade. As the calendar ticks over to 2020 and into a new decade, it’s important to understand what the latest Australian trends in building and construction are.
We outline the core building and construction trends for 2020 below:
Prepare for new Technology
Technology is an influential part of any construction project. New technology can assist with speed, efficiency, workload and accuracy. As a result, it is always essential for any builder to keep themselves armed with the best equipment for the job.
The Cybertruck is coming
While Tesla’s new Cybertruck won’t be on our roads until 2022, the magnitude of the announcement demands immediate attention. Tesla’s announcement of the electric, self-driving pickup truck could be about to revolutionise the building and construction scene. The pick-up-truck is the first-choice vehicle for employees in building and construction, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that light rigid trucks and light commercial vehicles are respectively the first and third most increasingly owned vehicle from 2018 to 2019. The Toyota Hilux has worked its way up to Australia’s best-selling car.
So far, we know the Cybertruck has 4-wheel drive capabilities, can tow up to 14,000 pounds, drive 800kms and is all-electric. The price point will enter near 60,000 Australian dollars, a similar figure to the Toyota Hilux Rugged X. Meaning that the Cybertruck will give construction managers and builders something to think over and plan for the next two years.
Make the most of drones
By the end of the decade, drones may be advanced enough to operate like flying cranes, lifting beams, windows and roofs into place. For now, they make many other jobs easier, in particular for the construction and project manager.
Drones are used as an effective and informative way of surveying a plot of land and gathering data on the terrain at high speed. The collected data can then be analysed using software that can better indicate the depth or height of the ground with greater precision than the naked eye. Where manual surveying may have previously taken a whole day’s work, using drones allows multiple plots to be surveyed on the same day. In addition to saving time, drones can also potentially save lives. Managers can avoid sending on the ground workers to inspect a hard to reach hazards by first inspecting the area with a drone. Surveillance drones double as live-feed after hours security cameras.
The drive for more women in construction
The Victorian government is leading Australian policy by taking steps to increase women’s representation in building and construction. Currently, only 2% of the population of construction workers are women, leading the Andrews’ Government to fund the development of the ‘Building Gender Equality: Victoria’s Women in Construction Strategy 2019-2022’ using strategy overseen by The Building Industry Consultative Council (BICC). The BICC acts as a forum for dialogue between Government, employers, industry associations and unions on significant issues affecting the building and construction industry. The Strategy was developed after extensive research and consultation with people in the construction industry, who are eager to contribute to the BICC’s initiative.
In addition, the Victorian Government has promised to close the gender pay gap. They acknowledge that boosting the number of women in traditionally male-dominated industries is key to achieving equal pay. Recognising that the industry will only reach equal numbers of men and women working in building and construction if they continue to take active steps to attract, recruit and retain female workers is part of the strategy.
The BICC hopes the initiative will provide a solid foundation for sustainable change and a more inclusive future.
Sustainability is smart and unavoidable
Increasing climate action sentiment in Australia is forcing companies to reconsider their practices in the workplace. Here are three easy ways to ensure you remain sustainable in building and construction.
1. Better waste management
Waste management is an unavoidable part of the building and construction industry. The good news is there are many simple changes you can make to your construction site that will add a green light to operations.
The first of these is to segregate waste. This is achieved by a dedicated waste section on-site with clearly labelled and colour-coded bins, skips or bags. Training your employees to use the system is the next step. A team that knows how to manage waste effectively could save costs for those projects currently hiring a specialised team to do this task.
Another waste management practice that has twofold positive effects is to deconstruct instead of demolishing. Demolition is a messy, polluting procedure that has far less long-term gain than precise deconstruction. Deconstruction allows for a safe environment and a high potential to reuse or sell recycled materials in the process.
2. Renewable and efficient energy use
An obvious choice in 2020 and beyond is to build energy-efficient houses. With governments needing to reach their emissions goals by the end of the new decade, a serious transfer to green solutions such as solar seems inevitable. In 2020 more than ever is it essential to be building houses that make the most of climate control features such as double-glazed windows or even sensor lighting to ensure power isn’t wasted in empty rooms.
3. Source sustainable materials
Sourcing sustainable materials is an easy way to keep your construction site ethical for only a small increase in cost. Be sure to research and support businesses who are not causing deforestation and are reducing emissions. As mentioned above reusing your own materials is also an effective way to resource sustainably.
The good news 2019 Federal budget
The 2019 federal budget saw a record $100 billion transport infrastructure investment. The result is more funds filtered into roads and notably, in Victoria again, the continued train works across Melbourne with the city metro tunnel and sky rail forming part of the level crossing removal project. Construction of high-speed rail to Tullamarine airport is on the table again.
In all Australian cities and key rural areas, residential building continues to flourish to accommodate population growth. There are also new changes to the first home buyer grant and funding to aid farmers who have been affected by natural disasters will both add jobs in construction to regional areas.
The Budget also announced the continuation of the government’s skill shortage solutions. Over the next five years the government plans to breathe 80,000 additional apprentices into occupations experiencing skill shortages. In addition to existing incentives, employers will be eligible for a $4,000 incentive payment. Apprentices will be eligible for $2,000, paid at key milestones in the apprenticeship.
What can you take from these 2020 trends?
The new decade from 2020 should be seen as the sustainable decade, and it’s important for anyone working in building and construction to be across the latest trends, standards and practices. With a record-breaking Federal Budget and an emphasis on getting young people and women into the industry, now is an exciting time to be a young Australian who is interested in building and construction or a career savvy professional looking to make a change. An online Diploma in Building and Construction is the best place to start.