While many industries have labored under the constraints of lockdown, the construction industry has been steadily increasing output and project starts. This has been encouraging, considering the industry has been plagued by its own set of challenges. The latest of which is the materials shortages being experienced in the supply chain.

Repeatedly government has promised to make significant investments in the development and upgrading of infrastructure in the UK. The green light given to HS2 and various inner city improvement projects is evidence of this. All of this is adding to the pressure on the construction industry to deliver on time and on budget – something they haven’t been able to achieve on a consistent basis in the past decade.

Build better and stronger

While a fair amount of responsibility is being placed on the construction industry in terms of spearheading economic recovery in the UK, they aren’t exactly coming from a position of strength. This too has been an important factor. It has forced the industry to change with an aim to become more resilient.

Digital transformation has significantly accelerated in the past year as teams were required to collaborate remotely. Instead of being a nice-to-have, technology has become an essential enabler, helping construction deliver on projects despite the many challenges of lockdown.

New emissions laws have forced construction to rethink their operations and consider more sustainable building practices. This is encouraging the development of new skill sets within construction as well as opening up the industry to cross sector expertise.

Diversity is being recognised as an element that can help companies become more competitive and innovative and many main contractors are stepping up, creating opportunities for a more diverse management team.

Circular economy strategy will become increasingly important in making the industry more resilient, especially with regards to materials and waste generated. Rather than relying on virgin raw materials, which are set to become increasingly rare, and therefore more expensive, there’s the opportunity to recycle and repurpose materials. This has a two-fold benefit as its using resources already within the economy and its supporting sustainability objectives by reducing waste.

Social Value is another element influencing project bids. There’s the recognition that infrastructure development is for communities and needs to demonstrate value to those communities.

All of these factors impacting resilience are discussed in more detail in our new White Paper: Futureproofing Construction, which is available as a free download by clicking on this link: