Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd

Posts Tagged :

construction

Which countries are investing the most in construction?

Around the world, business is booming for the construction industry. Not only are countries looking to house an ever-growing population, but they are also looking to compete on a global scale to grow as nations.

Some countries are fuelled by sheer speed of growth, while others are supported by a huge economic force. With this in mind, which countries are the biggest investors in the construction market? Work platform supplier Nifty Lift investigates… 

How the construction market has previously played out 

In the past, the USA has remained the dominant figure of the worldwide construction market. Ten years ago, the country commanded a construction market value of $1,313 billion, compared to China’s $1,035 billion. But just a year later in 2010, the two had finally shifted places, with China taking 15% of the total global share. 

2009 (value in USD)2010 (global share in %)
USA ($1,313 bn) China 15%
China ($1,035 bn)USA 14%
Japan ($592 bn)Japan 9%
Germany ($303 bn)India 5%
Spain ($292 bn)France 4%
France ($271bn)Germany 4%
Italy ($262 bn)Canada 4%
South Korea ($248 bn)Spain 4% 
India ($247 bn)Italy 3% 
UK ($243 bn)UK  3% 

China overtaking the US 

Naturally, a country’s individual construction market strength will shift a lot depending on a variety of factors — from economic stability to population growth, or simple change in needs. But the USA has remained on the top spot for a long time. That was until 2010, when China surpassed its global construction market share. 

The USA has suffered during the recession, with the house building sector’s fall resulting in its construction industry slowing down. 

India’s rapid growth

While China may have enjoyed a swift growth in the construction market, India has certainly proven itself to be an emerging contender, with one study showing the country is growing at almost double the rate of China. This saw India flying up the global shares table, from 9thin 2009 to 4thin 2010. 

Spain’s fall

Due to the Spanish financial crisis from 2008-2014, the country descended in terms of its construction market share. The country went from recording the 5th largest global share to having the 8th largest, as it and other European countries struggled with a recession. 

The current construction market growth

With most countries well on the way through a recovery period after global economic crises, the construction market is set to see an exciting period of change and growth too. Turner and Townsend surmises that recovering oil prices, demand for data centres, and the retail need for refurbishment in order to create new experience to compete with the online retail world will see the construction market go from strength to strength. Plus, the worldwide desire to move to a greener future is also calling for continued efforts and renovations to old, outdated buildings and structures. 

Predictions for the future construction market 

Observations and predictions have already rolled forth for the continued global growth of the construction market, and with it, which countries will be the biggest players: 

2020 (predicted global share) 2030 (predicted ranking)
China 21%China
USA 15% USA
India 7% India
Japan 6% Indonesia
Canada 3% Japan
Indonesia 3% UK
France 3% Canada
Germany 3% Germany 
Australia 3% France
Spain 2% Australia 

China’s continued #1 spot

China’s growth is set to continue through to 2020, with a prediction of the country sitting at a global construction market share of 21% that year. But its overall construction growth is also set to slow down considerably, while the USA’s growth is on track to grow faster than China across the next 15 years. This is speculated to be down to the country’s return to form in the house building sector, as well as planned major investment in its older cities. 

With that being said, China’s projects aren’t set to diminish — the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative is set to push further trade, and thereby further construction needs, to the country. 

India in the top 3

In this time, India is predicted to continue its trend of construction growth, overtaking Japan as the third largest share in the construction market between 2010 and 2020. This need to expand its construction market will be fuelled by its own rapidly increasing population. According to the B1M, India needs to build 31,000 homes every day for the next 14 years to keep pace with its growing demand for housing! 

Indonesia’s growth 

Ten years ago, Indonesia didn’t feature within the top ten biggest construction markets. Yet, by 2020, it is predicted that the country will hold the sixth biggest share in the global construction market, growing to fourth by 2030. In many ways, Indonesia is mimicking the rapid rise through the rankings that India has enjoyed from 2009 onwards. 

This sudden burst of activity is simply down to an increase in demand, which in turn, is due to the favourable conditions the country is currently enjoying. Indonesia’s economy has enjoyed a steady growth in recent years, and with a low public debt coupled with stable governance and commodity prices, the country has the perfect foundation for increased housing and improved infrastructure needs. 

UK out of the top ten in 2020  

The UK has been struggling on a number of fronts in recent years, and in terms of its share in the construction market, the nation will drop out of the top ten in 2020 according to predictions. There is a certain amount of Brexit uncertainty affecting investment in general, and for the construction industry, output dropped by 1.7 per cent in the UK for the first quarter of 2018 due to difficult weather conditions at the time.

This drop isn’t expected to last long, however, as the UK’s housing crisis remains rife and will provide a catalyst for many construction projects to get underway across the UK by 2030. These will include housing and a number of mega-builds, as well as rail and airport development. 

In fact, some predict that the UK will not only return to form in the construction market, it will actually become one of the biggest contributors to the construction industry’s 14.7% share of all global economic output by 2030. 

Biggest construction projects at present 

As we enjoy further technological advances and opportunities, the construction market is witnessing a number of mega-projects that are fuelling growth. 

Currently, some of these proposed large-scale construction projects that are in-progress include: 

  • South-North Water Transfer Project in China. This construction project is set to help the population living in the north of China to access a greater water supply. The project has a whopping 48-year schedule! 
  • London Crossrail Project in the UK.The construction of the world’s first underground train system is set to connect 40 stations.
  • Dubailand in Dubai.This project will see a complex of 278 square kilometres being built, containing a number of theme parks, hotels and more. 

Sources: 

http://www.turnerandtownsend.com/media/2389/icms-survey-2017.pdf

https://www.enr.com/articles/45732-india-overtaking-japan-as-worlds-third-largest-construction-market?v=preview

https://www.ice.org.uk/ICEDevelopmentWebPortal/media/Documents/News/ICE%20News/Global-Construction-press-release.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/199054/the-largest-construction-markets-in-the-world/

http://www.turnerandtownsend.com/media/3352/international-construction-market-survey-2018.pdf

https://www.theb1m.com/video/top-5-construction-markets-by-2030

https://www.statista.com/statistics/677079/annual-construction-investment-by-region/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-business-investment-brexit-gdp-office-for-national-statistics-a8558936.html

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/top-ten-largest-construction-projects-844370

Utilities and construction apprenticeships ‘the answer to falling university applications’

Apprenticeships can meet many of the challenges thrown up by falling university numbers, according to DTL.

While many commentators have blamed high tuition fees for a growing number of young people choosing not to apply for university, in turn raising fears of a lack of social mobility, DTL points out that school leavers give other reasons too, including that they don’t enjoy studying or don’t think they have the necessary academic skills for university.

The training company says that apprenticeships have the capability, not just to provide an alternative to university, but also to address the wider issues.

Operations Director, John Kerr, said: “Instead of racking up student debt, apprentices earn while they learn, and apprenticeships provide other ways of learning for those who aren’t suited to academia. At DTL, we specialise in practical training for high earning roles in utilities and construction. Yes, there is an element of classroom learning, but for most of our apprenticeships, the focus is on learning through well-supervised, genuine on-the-job experience.”

Kerr says that apprenticeships can also generate social mobility, beyond what might be expected from gaining a practical qualification and a well-paid job.

He explained: “As an organisation that believes in providing a holistic educational experience, we support many young people who have fallen behind with academic learning.”

Crucially, he points out, that includes ensuring that apprentices attain satisfactory levels of literacy and numeracy.

Ensuring students attain a set level of literacy and numeracy is a requirement made of apprenticeship providers by the educational watchdog Ofsted, and DTL says it has invested in technology and teaching to ensure that apprentices reach the levels they need, not just to attain their qualification but also to equip them for life.

“Clearly, people who have poor literacy or numeracy, or both, are going to be disadvantaged,” said Kerr. “This is a significant step in giving them social mobility.”

With these crucial core skills and the confidence of having completed an apprenticeship, they might well go on to get a university degree or similar-level qualification, he added.

“For us at DTL, this is much more than a question of meeting the requirements of the regulator. You can see this in our response to another Ofsted instruction. We have pioneered the introduction of safeguarding, ensuring that young people are safe in the workplace and the training environment.”

DTL’s latest Industry Skills Forum on the subject brought together leading figures in HR in the utilities and construction sector, to discuss safeguarding and the government’s Prevent initiative, which requires education providers to play their part in ensuring young people aren’t recruited into extremism.

As an approved provider under the apprenticeship levy scheme, DTL says its customers expect it to deliver well-trained individuals, capable of carrying out their roles effectively and safely. This is particularly important when those roles are often in potentially hazardous environments in the gas, electricity, water and construction industries.

Kerr said: “Our first duty is to the apprentices themselves, and we believe that ensuring their safety is paramount. By also ensuring they have those core literacy and numeracy skills, we add value to the opportunities created by their apprenticeship.”

100% Hackitt initiative to ‘drive cultural change in construction’

A new industry initiative has been launched to encourage the government to deliver all of the recommendations contained within Dame Judith Hackitt’s report in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

100% Hackitt is being led by Local Authority Building Control (LABC) and the British Board of Agrément (BBA), who say they have united to bring focus to industry calls for a full adoption of Dame Judith’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

The initiative has a dedicated website at www.100-hackitt.co.uk and has ‘pledge cards’ for supporters to sign up to the initiative and pushing for an Early Day Motion debate in the House of Commons.

Dame Judith attended the launch, delivering a keynote speech to a large number of cross-party politicians, policy advisors and industry body representatives, telling them there was ‘massive need’ for culture change throughout the industry, with responsibilities clearly defined at every stage of a building’s lifecycle.

“Much remains to be done to bring the construction industry up to the standards of other industries in terms of accountability, transparency and record keeping,” she said. “Don’t tinker, don’t tweak, it has to be fundamental.”

Claire Curtis-Thomas, BBA Chief Executive, said: “The BBA is backing this initiative as strongly as we possibly can because we want to see bad practices in the industry eliminated and protection for the public and companies that are fully committed to high standards of delivery.”

Paul Everall, LABC Chief Executive, added: “The LABC and the BBA share the same outlook and are determined to make a difference in our industry. But we’re not waiting, we’re getting on with building a safer future together – right now. The 100% Hackitt initiative is a space for everyone who wants to see systemic change in the construction industry and I hope the whole industry gets behind it.”

The launch event was facilitated by cross-party think tank Policy Connect through its parliamentary forum for the built environment, the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum.

The initiative has the support of senior figures across the construction and fire safety sector including the Fire Sector Federation, whose Executive Officer Dennis Davis said: “We are backing the 100% Hackitt initiative because we need a mandatory, controlled system that allows us to balance what we want – innovation, good buildings, new ideas, growth in our economy – with sensible restraint that ensures short cuts and economies aren’t made and shows that people are competent, resulting in safe building for those who occupy them.”

Jonathan Shaw, Chief Executive of Policy Connect, added: “The Hackitt review represents a once in a generation opportunity to recast the building system and start to build safer, better designed homes. We will discuss how the review can bring about positive change in the construction industry, what still remains to be done and where the Hackitt review could have gone further so that we can encourage the industry to push for change.”

100% Hackitt unites those who wish to see cultural change in the construction industry, promoting safety and public trust via a forum which provides on-going opportunities to discuss cross-discipline issues whilst keeping pressure on Ministers to adopt all of the Hackitt review recommendations.

“Dame Judith’s review of building regulations and fire safety showed systemic change is required within our industry,” added Curtis-Thomas. “Her report came with a warning that cherry-picking recommendations would compromise their overall effectiveness and it is this ‘pick and mix’ approach that the BBA and LABC are urging the government to avoid by accepting the recommendations in full.

“The construction industry has overwhelmingly taken on board her views and aspirations and wants to drive change – shifts in practices and working relationships have already been voluntarily introduced by many – but we need government backing to ensure this happens across the board. Many of the recommendations fall to government rather than industry. We are doing our bit and it now needs to do its bit and if this needs new regulation or even legislation it will have our backing and the backing of those who recognise that business as usual is not an option any of us want to consider.”

For full information about 100% Hackitt and to keep abreast of its latest developments visit: www.100-hackitt.co.uk

GUEST BLOG: Is it true that women are not fairly treated in construction?

Recent research has found that one in five UK construction businesses have no women in senior positions, which is a cause for concern. But, what does the overall situation look like for women in this male-dominated industry?

Here to discuss women in construction and what the future may hold to create a more equal playing field is Niftylifts — a leading supplier of work platforms for a range of UK manufacturing and construction businesses…    

Women in construction: is gender inequality an issue?

When it comes to gender equality, it appears that the construction sector is not faring too well. According to Construction News, 50% of all construction firms claim they have never had a female manager. What is even more striking is that, when asking the women who did work within the industry, 48% claimed they had experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, with the most common example of this (28%) being inappropriate comments or behaviour from male colleagues. These are figures that prove that the industry still needs to enforce more regulations to change attitudes towards women in the industry and encourage equality.

How do construction firms handle equal wages? Nearly half of construction companies (42%) do not monitor equal pay between gender in the business and 68% were not aware of any initiatives to support women transitioning into senior roles. Furthermore, according to Randstad, 79% of men believe they earn the same as their female colleagues in the same position. However, 41% of women disagree — highlighting the need for better pay transparency within the industry to dispel perceptions that men are earning more.

The future of female roles in construction

But what do construction employees think about women’s roles in construction? 99% of roles in construction are filled by men, but 93% of construction workers believe having a female boss would not affect their jobs. In fact, they believe it would have a positive effect by improving the working environment.

All over the country, every sector is feeling the pressure of ensuring gender equality — could this help improve matters for women in construction? According to Randstad, female employees are anticipated to constitute just over 25% of the UK’s construction workforce by 2020. Also, employing more women could help ease the pressure of the sector’s low workforce numbers. With the industry raising concerns that it is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, 82% of people working in construction agree that there is a serious skills shortage. If demand is expected to require an additional million extra workers by 2020, women could account for a significant portion of that — especially in senior roles, which have previously been bias towards their male colleagues.

By 2020, there will be more women in senior roles within this industry — if research and predictions are to be trusted. In 2005, there were just 6% of women in senior roles within the UK’s construction industry, but by 2015, this rose to 16%. It’s also vital to consider progression, so that we can ensure women get the chance to develop their careers. Back in 2005, 79% of women in the industry were dissatisfied with the progression of their careers. However, in 2015, this number more than halved to just 29%. Some of this progression was even attributed to the fact that almost half of women in the industry (49%) believe their employer to be very supportive of women in construction.

Ranstad reports that there remains a tendency within the industry to exclude women from male conversations or social events, with 46% of females experiencing being sidelined. A further 28% said they had been offered a less important role and 25% reported being passed over for promotion. While there are clearly changes to be made, there are a handful of positives regarding women in construction. Three quarters of female workers say that they would recommend a construction job to a female friend, daughter or niece, and there has been a 60% increase in the average annual salary for women in the construction sector in the past decade.

If progress continues and more focus is on gender equality, there’s no reason why women should not have better paid and more fulfilling roles in construction. But, there’s still a long way to go. Hopefully, by 2020, we can report further positive developments, making roles more attractive to females and providing a solution to the lack of skilled workers in the industry right now.

Sources

https://www.randstad.co.uk/women-in-work/women-in-the-uk-construction-industry-in-2016.pdf

http://rg-group.co.uk/whitepaper-women-and-the-construction-industry/

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/analysis/cn-briefing/women-in-construction-what-do-the-numbers-say/10029022.article

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/best-practice/skills/trad-ceo-there-is-a-definite-prejudice-against-women/10028845.article?blocktitle=Women-in-construction&contentID=20127

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/analysis/editors-comment/tackling-gender-diversity-is-an-education-for-us-all/10028849.article?blocktitle=Expert-opinion&contentID=7125

AI in Construction

GUEST BLOG: How Artificial Intelligence will revolutionise the construction sector

Artificial intelligence is making its way into the construction industry, helping to revolutionise the way we build and design.

By harnessing robotics, construction managers can utilise intelligent machines that can perform routine tasks that were once completed by humans, such as bricklaying.

Alternatively, AI systems can collate and organise information for engineers to use within project planning and design implementation.

AI utilisation

The way we use artificial intelligence is spread into four areas. Together with Oasys, specialists in building design software, we assess the way the construction industry is starting to use AI in order to complete projects that contain fewer errors, less omissions, safer working practices, improved workflows, and more on-time worksite completions.

The planning processes

At the beginning of any construction, it must be planned thoroughly, and artificial intelligence is helping achieve this. Autonomous equipment is considered AI, as it is aware of its surroundings and is capable of navigation without human input. In the planning stages, AI machinery can survey a proposed construction site and gather enough information to create 3D maps, blueprints and construction plans.

This was previously a process that took weeks, but through the use of AI it can now be completed within one day. This helps to save firms both time and money in the form of labour.

AI taking on a management role

Managing and controlling projects from an AI perspective is now being put into place when construction begins. For example, workers can input sick days, vacancies and sudden departures into a data system and it will adapt the project accordingly. The AI will understand that the task must be moved to another employee and will do so of its own accord.

AI advice

With this technology being more advanced, it’s beginning to advise engineers on how to complete specific tasks that they might face within the construction phase. For example, if engineers were working on a proposed new bridge, AI systems would be able to advise and present a case for how the bridge should be constructed. This is based on past projects over the last 50 years, as well as verifying pre-existing blueprints for the design and implementation stages of the project. By having this information to hand, engineers can make crucial decisions based on evidence that they may not have previously had at their disposal.

Autonomous equipment is becoming more popular and the construction industry is taking full advantage of this — allowing vehicles to operate independently when at certain heights. Using sensors and GPS, the vehicle can calculate the safest route.

AI inside

Don’t just think that AI is only used to make the building, it can actually be implemented inside, too. In the US alone, $1.5 billion was invested in 2016 by companies looking to capitalise on this growing market.

Wynn, a hotel chain, said that it wanted to introduce the Amazon Echo into every room of its Las Vegas hotel to improve customer experience by the end of 2017. These devices can be used for aspects of the room such as lighting, temperature and any audio-visual equipment contained in the room. These systems can also be used within domestic settings, allowing homeowners to control aspects of their home through voice commands and systems that control all electronic components from one device.

BIM — Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling is a feature that holds information about the entire building, from the construction to if it ever got demolished. From this, you will be able to see decisions about the building that were said by management that will be a good reference for any future work.

Virtual assistants (VAs) are good for creating conversation but also for gathering the information that you need. By combining VAs alongside NFC (near-field communication), VAs can receive additional information about the building in real-time from various sensors in the building. For example, if there were structural problems with a building, then VAs could inform engineers specifically where the problem is and how it can be fixed.

Making savings is essential for any business, and artificial intelligence and virtual assistants are helping to achieve this. As the future of AI becomes more of a reality within construction, only time will tell how reliant on intelligent machines we will have to be in order to construct innovative building designs.

architecture

GUEST BLOG: Innovative architecture – The buildings of the future

As populations begin to live longer, and climate change threatens the existence of land mass on our planet, the need to establish where we will live in the future has become an important consideration.

By 2100, the world’s population could increase to 11.2 billion, and it is estimated that almost all population growth will occur within our cities. In 1930, only 30% of the world’s population lived in cities – compared to around 50% today; by 2050 66.7% of the world’s population will live in cities.

Now, architects are designing and constructing the buildings of the future, as a result of an increased demand for space within urban areas. As we move forward and replace older designs, new builds will help to accommodate our increasingly complex living-needs.

Together with Oasys, specialists in building design and pedestrian simulation software, we explore these cutting-edge structures and how they have become a reality…

Timbers that are taller

For architects that need to find an alternative to metals, timber structures are becoming taller and more structurally sound. This is because many are now praising its sustainability and quality, whilst realising how fast a structure can be built.

When it comes to building structures with timber, attitudes towards this practice are becoming increasingly progressive; this is because CLT (cross laminated timber) regulations are sparse. With its improved strength and stability due to more sophisticated engineering techniques – wooden skyscrapers are becoming a thing of the present, not the future.

Wenlock Cross in Hackney is perhaps the most impressive new structure that is being created with CLT. More commonly known as The Cube Building, standing at 6,750sq metres, the scheme is a hybrid mix of timber and steel. The building seamlessly blends into grass parks that surround the area, but also looks right at home amongst other urbanised buildings that make up London’s metropolitan landscape. As developments progress in the construction and implementation of timber structures, only time will tell how wooden buildings will influence the future of architecture.

Dynamic Tower Hotel: The Rotating Skyscraper

Designed by Israeli-Italian architect David Fisher, downtown Dubai is about to host the world’s first rotating skyscraper. The structure was originally proposed in 2008, but after being put on hold, the structure has now been set for completion by 2020.

Built in four dimensions, the structure will constantly change shape as it rotates, and in theory, the apartment block should never look the same twice. Though each apartment will be able to rotate 360 degrees independently, the speed will be adjustable, and the stationary core will contain the elevator with apartments off-shooting this core.

Leading the way when it comes to environment design, this new superstructure is an innovative one of a kind. The structure is proposed to power itself, as there will be wind turbines between each floor, negating the need for excessive power supplies from fossil fuels. An apartment will not come cheap, with prices set to be at around US $30 million. This is an exclusive project for those who want to pay the price to be at the forefront of innovation.

Garden buildings

In the East, skyscrapers are being designed that utilise the natural greenery that surrounds them, unlike older designs in the West. The East intends to build structures that encourage biodiversity, helping tropical spaces thrive within natural environments.

Nanjing Green Light House

Nanjing Green Light House stands in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Unlike a conventional light house, it is named in this way because through its round structure and sophisticated façade designs, the building is able to gain 200 LUX natural daylight for all working spaces – making it one of the first zero carbon buildings in mainland china.

China’s vast and natural foliage was the inspiration behind this building’s design; in this way, the natural landscape becomes as important as the building itself. Through natural ventilation techniques, exposed windows and moveable skylights, anyone can enjoy this working space that incorporates natural designs.

Oasia Hotel Downtown

Standing amongst limited green spaces, this building is the urban backdrop of downtown Singapore. This tropical skyscraper counteracts the Central Business District within the Tanjong Pagar area, and is meant to act as a prototype for how urbans tropics will function within man-made landscapes.

Functioning as additional ‘ground levels’, the building contains a number of sky gardens. Within the structure, this helps to provide public areas for recreation and social interaction within an inner-city environment. Each sky verandah is open sided, which provides natural breezes to pass through the building for good cross-ventilation without the need for air-conditioning units. The building is also considered a natural haven for wildlife, with an overall green plot ratio of 1,100% – reintroducing biodiversity into the city that was initially driven away through construction.

It’s clear that architecture of the future has three key priorities in mind: reducing carbon emissions through construction and functionality, encouraging biodiversity and utilising natural exteriors within the interior of a building. If these priorities are sustained, it’s clear that the future of architecture will not only transform lives, but benefit our natural environments as well.

Sources & Further Reading:

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/dubai-in-line-for-worlds-first-rotating-skyscraper

https://www.eboss.co.nz/detailed/pamela-bell/tall-timber-construction-new-updates

https://www.hawkinsbrown.com/news-and-events/press/tall-in-timber

https://www.wired.com/2015/04/20-buildings-show-future-architecture/

http://www.businessinsider.com/see-the-future-collection-2011-6?IR=T#rumored-foster-and-partners-new-apple-campus-on-june-7th-apple-founder-and-ceo-steve-jobs-presented-his-idea-for-a-new-apple-campus-at-the-cupertino-city-council-10

http://weburbanist.com/2009/05/27/unbuilt-buildings-12-awesome-future-architectural-designs/

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/these-6-new-buildings-are-the-future-of-sustainable-architecture

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150901-is-the-world-running-out-of-space