New Trends and Innovations in Construction Equipment Management for 2024

Author

Oded Ran

Oded Ran, CEO and Co-Founder of Clue since 2019, expertly integrates AI and data tools to revolutionize construction equipment management and maintenance, positioning Clue as a premier software choice in the construction industry.

Table of Content

The construction industry is one of the largest globally, contributing 10-13% to the world GDP with an annual spending of $12 Trillion.

2024 is a significant year for the construction industry, with more construction companies adopting new technologies and trends influencing the industry.

The construction industry constantly evolves from green initiatives to renewable energies.

Let's examine some new trends in construction equipment management for 2024 and how they are improving the landscape.

New Trends in Construction Equipment Management for 2024

2024, so far, has been a year focused on protecting workers and the environment. With the clients' interests changing, renewable energy and green initiatives are taking the front seat.

This year, the trends in construction equipment management also focus on addressing the major shortages and pitfalls that have caused significant issues for the industry.

If you want to check out some of the new trends in building construction, let’s check them out together.

Green Buildings and Sustainability

Sustainability will remain the main focus of the construction industry in 2024. Companies are adopting newer, more sustainable practices and using green building materials.

According to one study by McKinsey, approximately 90% of respondents believe that a shift towards sustainability is needed.

This shift is due to the industry's goodness, regulatory demands, and strategic business needs. Clients are now looking for more environmentally responsible projects that use sustainable practices from design to completion.

Green construction goes beyond reducing a building's carbon footprint; it uses sustainable resources and construction models to optimize resource usage.

Some key benefits of green building include:

  • Since construction is the biggest contributor to CO2 emissions and accounts for nearly 40% of the global energy-related carbon output, green construction can significantly reduce that impact.
  • Sustainable building practices can reduce the water being utilized in building processes.
  • Green construction also uses non-toxic and sustainable materials that help create a better living environment for the occupants.

Addressing Labor Shortages

While the labor shortage reached a crisis level in 2022, 2024 is shaping up to deal with this significant shortage, which has become a major challenge for many companies.

This shortage of skilled laborers prompts the collaborative efforts of industry stakeholders, educational institutes, and the government to help bridge the gap.

This includes promoting vocational training and attracting new talent to the industry by showcasing the importance of the industry and their work.

To overcome labor shortages, the construction industry must attract at least 501,000 workers in 2024. A recent survey found that 9 out of 10 firms face project delays due to labor shortages, among other reasons.

The lack of workers is getting worse because of changes in the workforce. The median age for an average construction worker is 42, and not many younger people are joining the industry. 

This is a big problem because when older workers retire, replacing them with new ones with the same experience level is difficult.

Also, even though robots and machines are helping with some tasks, we still need people who know how to use and understand them.

So, there is a growing need for workers with technology who can manage and make sense of all the data these machines produce.

Addressing Supply Chain and Machinery Shortages

Since February 2020, the cost of materials used in construction has increased significantly, about 38.7%. Therefore, these trends must be addressed as a major part of construction trends in 2024.

1-Month % Change 12-Month % Change Change Since Feb 2020
Inputs To Industries
Inputs to construction 1.0% 0.4% 38.7%
Inputs to multifamily construction 1.1% 1.6% 38.0%
Inputs to nonresidential construction 0.9% 0.7% 39.5%
Inputs to commercial construction 0.5% 0.7% 39.6%
Inputs to healthcare construction 0.7% 0.8% 39.7%
Inputs to industrial construction 0.7% 1.4% 35.1%
Inputs to other nonresidential construction 0.9% 0.6% 39.4%
Inputs to maintenance and repair construction 1.3% -0.3% 36.7%
Commodities
Adhesives and sealants 0.0% 1.2% 33.5%
Brick and structural clay tile 0.8% 5.4% 26.2%
Concrete products 0.8% 6.2% 35.9%
Construction machinery and equipment 0.6% 4.5% 29.5%
Construction sand, gravel, and crushed stone 3.3% 8.1% 34.8%
Copper wire and cable 1.8% -2.2% 32.8%
Crude petroleum 6.1% -1.6% 54.4%
Fabricated structural metal products 0.5% -2.4% 56.4%
Gypsum products -1.3% -1.9% 40.2%
Hot rolled steel bars, plates, and structural shapes -1.9% -4.4% 50.6%
Insulation materials -1.8% -3.8% 40.6%
Iron and steel 0.3% 4.5% 61.6%
Lumber and wood products 0.5% -6.3% 24.2%
Natural gas 2.4% -55.8% 42.6%
Plumbing fixtures and fittings 2.7% 3.4% 18.5%
Prepared asphalt, tar roofing and siding products 0.4% 5.7% 41.0%
Softwood lumber 1.1% -9.0% 6.1%
Steel mill products 5.4% 4.4% 71.6%
Switchgear, switchboard, industrial controls equipment 1.3% 4.3% 41.9%
Unprocessed energy materials 3.8% -19.6% 63.2%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Specifically, the prices of cement and concrete have been going up steadily. By the third quarter of 2022, the cost of making cement and concrete had risen by around 14% compared to the year before. 

These prices are expected to stay high because making and transporting cement and concrete is still expensive.

The recent pandemic has caused shortages of steel, wood, concrete, drywall, insulation, and HVAC equipment, which has made projects take longer and cost more.

Material shortages must be addressed as part of the trends in construction equipment management to help reduce shortages and create a viable supply pipeline.

Enhancing Construction Safety

The construction industry renewed its commitment to safety in 2024. This is prompted by concerning statistics: nearly 1 in 5 worker deaths in the US occur in construction spaces.

The sector ranked third highest in workplace injury and illness cases in 2022. We have seen the shift in the construction industry from prioritizing cost reductions to the safety of workers.

Advanced safety measures, such as immersive technologies like VR and AP, are now included in training and hazard awareness programs.

Wearable safety devices with IoT sensors and AI analytics are being used in PPE to monitor vital signs and further enhance workers' safety.

Moreover, integrating construction equipment management software and asset tracking software streamlines operations and ensures the efficient utilization of the assets.

These advancements significantly mitigate the historically high risks associated with construction work. Creating a safer and more secure working environment. 

Big Data and Analytics

One of the biggest shifts we have seen in recent years in the construction industry is the shift from manual record keeping to now utilizing big data systems for tasks such as construction equipment maintenance, equipment managers, preventative maintenance, and more.

The industry produces vast volumes of data, which can be tedious to manage and compile. With a large volume of data, it also becomes harder to understand, which is why big data management has become increasingly popular.

Big data analytics offer numerous benefits for the construction sector. By effectively utilizing data, companies can make more informed decisions, enhance project planning, and improve operational efficiency. 

For example, analyzing previous projects' specifications and data can help you predict potential issues and allocate resources accordingly, reducing delays and costs.

According to a McKinsey report, construction companies can potentially increase productivity by 50% by properly using real-time data analysis.

Integrating big data analytics in construction also helps with real-time monitoring and reporting. This helps project managers accurately track the project's progress, identify any deviations or delays, and, most importantly, promptly provide corrective actions. 

Robotics and Automation

The US currently faces a shortage of skilled labor, with the median age of construction workers being up to 40. A skilled labor force is needed to enter the market.

This is where robotics and automation are becoming helpful. Aiming to address most of the challenges faced by the construction industry.

Robotics can help automate repetitive and dangerous tasks, such as welding and mixing of chemicals.

A big example of this is SAM, a robot developed by Construction Robotics that can help lay down bricks 10X faster than a human.

Automation can free human workers to focus on more skilled and strategic tasks and reduce the number of accidents on construction sites.

Robots are not susceptible to human error and can consistently produce high-quality results. Fewer defects and rework mean businesses save money in the long run.

Drone Usage

Drones and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are starting to be used more in the construction business. 

Here are some ways they can be helpful:

  1. Checking out the Site: Drones can fly over construction areas and take pictures, giving you a bird-eye view of the whole project.
  2. Inspecting Hard-to-Reach Places: Drones can inspect places difficult for people to reach, like high roofs or chimneys. This makes it safer for workers because they don't have to climb up.
  3. Delivering Stuff: Drones can carry materials to construction sites. This could make things faster and safer because fewer trucks are on the roads.
  4. Making 3D Models: Drones can take many pictures from different angles. We can then combine those pictures to make a 3D model. 

Using drones like this could save a lot of money and make construction projects run smoothly and safely.

Connected Construction Sites

With construction companies taking on multiple projects at once, project managers and dispatchers need a way to stay connected with their teams.

This is where connected construction sites come in. These sites connect sensors, devices, and software networks to connect people to equipment and data.

These sites have gained traction in the US since businesses are now looking for ways to improve their operations.

We expect to see even more innovation and efficiency in these connected construction technologies in the future.

New Innovations in Construction Equipment Management for 2024

Construction Management Software

Construction management software like Clue is now taking over the construction industry. Helping project managers achieve their goals through effective equipment management, maintenance, tracking, and Reporting.

CMS helps address the following factors that have caused a surge in its popularity.

  • The increasing complexity of projects.
  • The demand for increased efficiency and productivity.
  • There is a need for clearer communication and collaboration.
  • Compliance with the regulatory bodies.

Clue's single pane of glass solutions allows you to track tasks, snag issues, and collaborate with your team all in one place. With everything stored on the cloud, you can handle your projects from anywhere and at any time.

Zero Net Energy Buildings

These types of buildings are becoming necessary as the energy cost is rising in the US. A zero-net energy building works by producing as much energy as it consumes per year.

They are most helpful in:

  • Reducing energy bills and creating a more sustainable living space.
  • Improving air quality and reducing the need for fossil fuels.
  • Creating jobs in sustainable construction.

Digitalization and AI in Construction

Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) are changing how construction works. 

These technologies, including AI, machine learning (ML), and others, make construction projects faster and more accurate. They also help with scheduling, budgeting, and finding and solving problems early.

AI can also help keep construction sites safer by spotting hazards and predicting accidents. It can even suggest ways to save money by analyzing past projects and determining the best ways to do things.

According to Deloitte, using AI and data analysis could save construction projects 10% to 15% of their costs. AI and data analysis can also improve designs and make estimates more accurate, reducing mistakes and saving time and money.

In 2024, construction isn't just about building things; it's about using the latest technology to improve. As AI and other technologies improve, construction will be faster and more efficient.

Smart Cities

Smart Cities that can easily connect people with data and city elements are rising. Major technology giants like IBM, Mircosoft, and Cisco invest heavily in these projects.

Some megaprojects currently underway are:

  • India’s Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor
  • Songdo International Business District in South Korea
  • Hudson Yard in NYC

Although these projects cost billions to produce, they are the key to creating more environmentally friendly and improved structures, which can help boost the economy.

Final Thoughts

2024 looks to be a year of enhancement and improvement for the construction industry. With new innovations and sustainable practices taking the front seat.

The most important trends we have seen throughout have been enhancing worker safety and combating resource shortages. 

We believe that construction companies can improve their projects by utilizing some of the abovementioned trends and innovations.

Let us know your thoughts on new innovations and trends in construction equipment management below.

FAQs

What is equipment management in construction?

Construction equipment management refers to a construction company's ability to evaluate its equipment fleet and cost consistently.

What are some of the most popular construction equipment?

Some of the most popular construction equipment worldwide includes excavators, graders, backhoes, dump trucks, bulldozers, loaders, and compactors.

What is the current trend in the construction industry?

One of the biggest trends currently in the construction industry is the focus on digitalization. Construction companies are now shifting from manual data collection to big data systems to help them collect, collate, and store their data.

What is the construction outlook for 2025?

The main shift the industry has to focus on reducing through 2024 and early 2025 is increasing the supply of construction materials and the shortage of skilled labor. So, the outlook for 2025 looks to be more investment in a skilled labor force and the creation of technologies that can help aid that workforce shortage while solutions are being implemented.

What is equipment productivity in construction?

Construction equipment productivity refers to the time that the equipment can perform productively. The more productive time a machine has, the more efficient it is.

What is the most versatile construction equipment?

The most versatile construction equipment is a backhoe. The machine is multifaceted and features both an excavator and a loader. Due to this duality, it can be used in multiple ways, making it the most versatile construction equipment.

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