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Construction Outlook for 2014

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As we head into a new year, there seems to be new trend emerging in Construction - Optimism. 

Many analysts and construction experts are predicting an average of 8% growth in the new year.  Those of us that have prevailed in the construction industry and weathered the storm have pretty much figured out new ways to adapt to the realities of today’s changing market.  Whether you’re leading a construction firm, or are a seasoned professional looking for opportunities, here are some things to consider for the year ahead:

The commercial industry is growing:  Opportunities are particularly good in the commercial construction industry, which is showing signs of continued growth.   Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that employment for the construction industry has grown over the last year.  Based on this growth, the outlook for 2014 is fairly positive; experts say the rebounding housing market and heavy construction market will create new construction jobs and ensure that the industry continues to recover from steep declines. Industry growth will be stimulated by an increased demand for new homes and continued business growth.

Employment: The number of available construction jobs is just one factor in determining the employment outlook for the industry.  The demands for sustainable construction, new homes and business expansion will continue to fuel employment growth in 2014.  The pressure on businesses to reduce their impact on the planet and become more environmentally responsible will encourage more sustainable construction.  By most accounts, the home buying industry will see continued growth and have a positive impact on the residential market.
 
The impact of technology: In 2014, the construction industry will continue to be heavily influenced by the advancement of mobile technology.  Mobile access to project information from smartphones and tablets will become more prevalent in 2014 and beyond.  Professionals will rely on these applications for their speed and accuracy during project administration.  BIM applications and collaboration will continue to gain critical mass.  And going forward, sharing of project data via cloud computing will have an even more substantial influence on construction projects – helping all parties to stay up-to-date with changes that inevitably occur during any project..  These collaboration solutions will address all phases of the construction project life cycle, from design through occupancy.  A good place to discover these changes is with ConstrutionWorkzone.com’s online courses.  They offer free courses that can give you an idea of some of the hot trends in the industry.
 
Grow from your strengths in 2014:   The construction industry improved steadily in 2013 and yet there is still plenty of growing room  during 2014.  The number of available construction jobs and investments in construction projects is expected to increase in 2014.  With optimism abounding and growth almost a certainty, be sure to position yourself or your business to capitalize.  Pay attention to statistics related to construction spending, construction jobs, and other indicators of industry health.  Review past successful projects to identify your core competencies and skills.  Determine whether these skills are addressed through your current work or whether it’s time to branch out as opportunities present themselves. Consider alternative roles within the industry which would utilize the industry knowledge you already have.  Taking inventory of all your skills and experience can help you get a broad picture of the services you can market to make the most of the growth cycle we will be in during the next year.
 
Eric Mahoney is a LEED-certified Architect with over 15 years’ experience in the industry who has worked a variety of projects, from multi-story housing to large retail. Eric is a contributor to www.constructionworkzone.com. Eric's website is at www.fosterdb.com

Tags: More, Construction Management



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