2023 – Is construction starting on the back foot?

Construction outlook 2023 Ellis Fox Blog

2022 was a challenging year for many reasons. Economic and political uncertainty has had decision makers concerned on a strategic level. Meanwhile inflationary pressures are being felt on all levels. There are mixed views on what 2023 will hold, but even with the uncertainty, construction has an advantage – these challenges aren’t new, and neither is the industry’s ability to weather the storms.

It’s true that administrations continue to mount and that project starts have been down. But investment and planning approvals are up. This indicates that there is still a level of confidence in the industry. Where do the best opportunities exist in 2023 and what are the changes happening in the industry? We highlight three focal points likely to influence change in the industry:


With the continued conflict in the Ukraine combined with other factors, it’s likely that supply chains will remain affected, and materials prices will remain high. This is opening up opportunities to consider using alternate materials, especially when it comes to aggregates. There are vast volumes of construction waste that are creating feedstock for recycling processes. Capacity for these forms of recycling is ramping up to meet growing demand. There are several benefits to considering alternate materials including moving closer to achieving a circular economy. Re-using construction waste in different forms can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a building site.


Equally the energy crisis is spurring on a transition to alternative fuel sources. Several main contractors have already trialled green hydrogen powered construction and transport vehicles as well as energy storage. Greater adoption of renewables and more expansive development of energy infrastructure to support this, can help move the construction industry closer to achieving net-zero targets. This area of focus is quite likely to influence the construction industry into the future.


Data is the basis of all decision making, and an acceleration in the adoption of technology is helping senior management work smarter and more efficiently. It’s also enabling greater collaboration between contractors and different departments working on projects. Understanding emerging technologies and their use cases for construction will become increasingly important for senior construction professionals.

While challenges remain for the construction industry, advantages exist too. The high calibre of skills and expertise in the industry is really what is making all the difference. The rest are merely tools to leverage and take advantage of to ensure profitable operations.