As a consequence of the unexpected global pandemic, the construction industry has been hammered with a torrent of unforeseen hurdles. These challenges have led to transformations in the way daily business is conducted. With rising scepticism about if and when a vaccine will become available, you can anticipate many of this year’s construction trends to move into next year, particularly as it correlates to safety and embracing methods that facilitate schemes to be completed with low worker density. 

The real estate development industry is already beholding many modifications. The ever-increasing client poise, rising emphasis on the cumulative cost of ownership rather than initial investment solely, modernised arrangements for security and sustainability, uniformity of building codes, and digitalisation of retailing processes are just a few severances that the industry is currently observing.

For the development industry, trends like the growth of teleworking, demands for social distancing, transfer of resources, cash flow disruption spell reform at each level. Still, some trends will, against all likelihoods, continue, if maybe a little bit altered. The complete construction industry vision for 2021 varies by nation and territory. 

For example, GlobalData anticipates a 3.2% growth for the sector globally in the year 2021. It is regarded as the most stagnant growth in the last ten years; however, the industry is not indolent everywhere. Although the Middle East world is in a downturn, Chinese officials are levelling up infrastructure investments to deter similar situations in that market. Here are the 5 construction trends that we are looking forward to seeing on the horizon in the year 2021.


  • Prefabrication and Modular Construction

The words modular construction and prefabrication are usually used correspondingly. Prefabrication relates to the production of building elements distant from the construction site and assembling them on site. In principle, these prefabricated components can be customised for a particular project. Modular construction clearly defines examples of prefabrication where the components are graded modules. 

Already on the emergence in 2020, the modular construction market is poised for continued growth in 2021. It is again predicted to stretch as high as $157 billion by 2023. This foreseen market growth can be related to various important constituents, including its suitability for the events in the post-pandemic era. Constructed buildings are typically created in a way that needs low worker density and large constructions that make social distancing more manageable. 

Additionally, the devices used for these processes—for instance, lifts, conveyors, and cranes—is already outlined to allot fewer workers to get the work done to conserve on employment costs, which also appears to be advantageous in times when social distancing is expected.


  • Green Construction and Sustainability

Every year, a shift toward green construction and sustainability practices increases as companies and clients realise the long-term benefits. Sustainability and low-impact methods form the basis of green construction in extension to the rational utilisation of elements at each stage to diminish waste. While these methods are essential to protecting the ecosystem and its restricted resources, protecting the planet is not the only motivating determinant for businesses to get on-board with the green building trend. 

It’s becoming more prevalent for clients to demand sustainability specifications to reach eco-friendly designations or obtain tax credits. Additionally, the endurance, durability and effectiveness of eco-friendly construction materials like hempcrete, timber crate, and bamboo are other compelling ideas that companies are adopting for more environmentally-friendly methods. Sustainable construction should never be restricted to its environmental dimension. 

The average person spends 90% of their lives inside buildings, so it is no wonder that our life’s quality goes hand in hand with the building’s state. Thermal comfort, air quality, and acoustic succour are some essential factors to contemplate when developing a building sustainably. In an extension of this fact, the buildings that are not correctly designed have an adverse impact on the well-being of users and residents; these can also lead to very high heating and maintenance expenses.

  • 3D Printing

The coronavirus outbreak has unbarred a tremendous latent growth possibility in the 3D printing technology market. Some surveys predicting the global market demand will touch $0.12 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 147.79%. Given its capacity to create elaborate formations within a fixed timeframe and at a moderate cost, 3D printing in construction is growing more and more engaging. It’s also one of the most effective ways to diminish worker density. 

3D printing’s capacity to manufacture parts on-demand, as well as its inherent cost savings and versatility, are unleashing imaginative novel solutions that will stimulate construction technology ahead and toward more comprehensive sustainability methods. 3D printing creates items layer by layer and typically much quicker and more affordable than traditional methods. The construction industry has conferred substantial interest in 3D printing, and people serving in it are likely to endure discerning what’s feasible in 2021. 

3D printing in construction should result in much more than the formulation of pieces meant to impress. In some countries, construction has been started on 50 3D-printed houses. A specific printer can design each house in about a day. Many conversations about 3D printing in the construction sector focus on whether technology might be a reasonable approach to address the housing crisis. The method is particularly tricky considering the effort and time reductions it brings. 

In 2018, a four-person team affiliated with the Marines adopted 3D printing to make a concrete barracks building in just 40 hours. Conventional methods normally require 10 people working for five days to develop the edifice out of wood.


  • Gypsum Plastering

The benefits that gypsum plaster offers over the traditional sand cement plaster is making gypsum plaster rising in trend and usage. Gypsum is a greyish-white soft composite that comprises hydrated calcium sulphate and is a broadly used material in lightweight construction in westward countries. Gypsum is an environmentally friendly and green substance that has a low carbon footprint and saves electricity bills in the long run due to its inbuilt insulating nature, which is why Interior designers and Architects fancy Gypsum these days. It is effortless to work with Gypsum as it is more affordable than other plasters, and is time saving too. The U.S. gypsum consumption statistics show that the average consumption of gypsum reached around 42 million metric tons in the United States only. By 2020-2030 the global gypsum market is to record a CAGR of 5% according to FMI (Future Market Insights).

Sand cement plaster requires 21 days of curing, which is a waiting period that lets the plaster strengthen and settle. In these 21 days, the plaster is sprinkled generously with water and left to stand. Any operation on or above the wall needs to wait for these 21 days. Gypsum plastering does not own this long waiting time. Gypsum plaster withers and settles in 3 days, and hence the construction speed is quicker. The construction time is saved manifold if the building is multistory. 

Apart from these features, Gypsum is very lightweight in contrast to sand cement plaster, and thus it extends more durability when used in artificial ceilings and other cantilever plans. Lesser load on the building structures makes them more robust and long-lasting and gives better protection even in case of natural hazards like an earthquake. Gypsum is a non-combustible and fire-resistant substance since it contains a lot of water in it, and is also deemed as the safest material to coat the inside walls of your home. Gypsum plasters also offer soundproofing due to gypsum’s sound absorbing nature and are also compatible with all types of paint. Gypsum lasts more than lifetime as we see in egyptian pyramids. A truly better and ultimate plastering material.

Gypsum is a naturally occurring element, it is environment friendly and is present in abundance in nature. Gypsum can also be synthesised artificially, and Gypsum detects its use in many other industries like agriculture, medical, fertilisers, etc. It is a harmless substance that does not have any significant health peril. In the past few years, gypsum plaster has become the prime choice for all leading builders due to its cost and functional benefits.  


  • Design Technology

BIM also regarded as Building Information Technology has now remodelled the construction industry by transforming the way construction, design, and project management is managed—and it’s foretold to continue doing so as the technology becomes more superior and new possibilities are formulated. A current study predicts the global BIM market will reach $10 billion this year, and then arise at 13% CAGR over the subsequent four years. 

BIM has been effective in the digital transmutation of the sector. It’s grown to become even more extensively embraced this year following the lockdown rules because of its capacity to enable projects to progress in the digital space when project members could not gather in person. As BIM technology continues to advance, so will the industry’s dependence upon it in the upcoming year.

The bottom line

The prevailing pandemic has initiated plenty of possibilities for developers. Homebuyers have also recognised the necessity of secluded homes. People have now apprehended that they will be protected and secure if they have their own house. Hence, they would now fancy purchasing houses soon. A new trend will be noticed in the year 2021 that the home buyer will be significant over the place of employment and influence urban construction and real estate options. 

While no one can predict the future with conviction, we can look to the past to make informed assumptions about it. Based on what we have witnessed so far in this year, we can only anticipate the trends described above to remain to stimulate reform within the construction industry into next year, as well as in the foreseeable future. The construction industry and real estate players require to take heed of the upcoming trends and necessitate to distinguish and outline a road map that is best suited for them to adapt to the new normal.

By Kanish Platsers