Exciting trends shaping worldwide construction in 2017

Exciting trends shaping worldwide construction in 2017

New technologies; updated construction methods; constantly shifting local contexts; global construction will be facing some real challenges in 2017. Meeting these trials head on are some fresh new building trends. Watch out for them, because they will be helping to shape the future of the building and interiors industry over the next twelve months.


1. The green construction revolution continues


Green building, which is designing and constructing buildings using eco-friendly materials and techniques, will continue to influence the global construction industry in 2017. Commissioners and specifiers are increasingly requiring new builds to be environmentally friendly. Governments worldwide are implementing legislation ensuring freshly built structures are in line with green building practices too.


In San Francisco, US, all 10-storey new builds must include solar panels for example. The UK also aims to build four million solar-powered homes by 2020 too. In Kazakhstan, host nation of Expo 17, an entire green city is being built as a showcase for green urban planning worldwide. This is just a taste of the environmentally conscious works ongoing across the world.

By 2018, the world is expected to see its number of green certified buildings double. More and more developments across the world will receive certification such as BREEAM or LEED, so 2017 should be a busy year for the globe’s eco-minded builders.

2. Modular housing makes its mark

Another of 2017’s biggest construction trends will be an increased demand for modular housing. Growing populations versus lower numbers of new housing units worldwide is pointing towards a global shortage of housing stock. Homes built using pre-fabricated elements may be the way forward.


The industry is expected to rise 6% globally by 2022, with some countries already leading the pre-fab charge. Sweden is a model of modular home building. Around 84% of detached homes built in the Scandinavian nation use pre-fabricated timber elements. Compared with the US, Australia and the UK, where the figure is just 5%, Sweden is practically a modular world leader. 15% of Japanese semi-detached/detached homes are also pre-fabricated. Meanwhile, Nigeria is taking a long look at modular housing to meet its crippling housing shortage – close to 20 million units at the last count.

Modular homes offer customers and developers some strong selling points. Firstly, they are much cheaper to build and buy than conventional housing units. They also enjoy shorter build times, thanks to many, if not all, components being put together off-site. Other building sectors are also dipping into the pre-fabricated world. The New York area of Brooklyn, in the United States, just saw the completion of the world’s tallest modular tower, 461 Dean, which measures 32 storeys high.

3. Rise of the robots

Drones. These modern masterpiece of technology are being used throughout the world for military matters, delivering goods, surveillance and construction? That’s right: the robots are on the rise. This time, they come in peace and are set to aid construction efforts worldwide.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are expected to have quite an impact on building sites from 2017 onwards. A single unit allows for quick and easy 3D mapping of a given area without potential danger to workers. Drones also relay data, video and results in real time, allowing for more efficient, effective worksite.

UAVs can also be used to lift and carry small items, similar to how Amazon is planning on using drones for delivering packages. This could prove a big boon to workers on ultra-tall developments. These flying aids are already seeing widespread use for site inspections. Buildsoft, an Australian building software specialist, predicts increased regulation and reduced unit costs will usher in a new era of wide-range drone adoption in the construction industry throughout 2017.

4. BIM dominates the market

If you are still reliant on old 2D architectural models, 2017 may hold some shocks. Old school methods of modelling and presenting proposals are giving way to more high tech methods. Enter BIM.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows for picture perfect 3D computer designing of buildings. It allows architectural designs to be modelled with specific building systems already in place. Builders, engineers and worksite professionals can then assess any system clashes, such as conflicts between electrics and plumbing layouts, then identify and solve issues before foundations have even been poured. Field coordination is simpler with BIM. Construction can be done to a higher standard, quickly, safely and cheaply thanks to this software.

The flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness of BIM means it is expected to become industry standard from 2017 onwards. Governments worldwide are throwing their weight behind BIM. In particular, Russia’s government is a vocal proponent of this technology. Under the watch of Construction Minister Mikhail Men, Russia is currently working on integrating BIM into building codes countrywide.

5. Construction gets smarter

We live in a period of stunning technological growth. Seemingly all aspects of our lives require us to be hooked up to an internet connection on a mobile device at all times. Construction is no stranger to leaps in technology, but the future is set to get even smarter.

Building sites are increasingly turning to mobile-operated, cloud-powered software systems and apps to make operations more manageable. Vital data, such as timesheets, performance reports, task allocation records and all other field coordination aspects, are sorted in one central program. This allows site supervisors to get on with critical build requirements, rather than get bogged down in time-consuming admin.

Buildings are not exempt from the smart revolution. Houses, offices buildings and other commercial builds are set to be linked to devices via the including tablets and smart phones. Structures that are thus connected are able to have crucial systems, such as HVAC, controlled remotely for users’ convenience.

Likewise, users will be able to send and receive live data from buildings in order to improve maintenance levels, energy efficiency and identify any problems to get them solved as quickly as possible. Construction is already clever, but expect it to reach new smart heights in 2017 and beyond.

Get ready for 2017 with WorldBuild365

Whatever 2017 holds for the construction industry, you can rely on WorldBuild365 to keep bringing you the very best in innovative building materials and products from leading manufacturers. Join us over the coming weeks and months as we keep you abreast on everything you need to know about global building, architecture and interior design.

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