The construction has changed rapidly over the last five years. With renewable energy being a top priority, ensuring that modern construction sites are eco-friendly and artificial intelligence paving the way for more advanced machinery, it is safe to say that the correct steps are being made. However, a lot more change in the industry is expected, meaning construction sites could be very different.
Small Gas-Powered Engines Banned By 2024 In California
California seems to be a step ahead of everyone, especially in this sector. Their top priority is to be more sustainable and that is why small gas-powered engines will be banned by 2024 in the state. This law was set following the combustion engine cars ban by 2035. But what will be the replacement?
Hydroelectric and biofuel engines will be more common in the coming years. That is what we can expect to see in these gas-powered engines as well as other alternatives that are considered eco-friendly.
Compact Equipment Will Switch To Battery-Powered
The United States is one of the largest contributors to gas emissions in the world. That is why they are ensuring they are switching to manual battery-powered machines. However, across the pond, the United Kingdom is also aiming to be more sustainable and some campaigners are looking to follow the United States, hoping to ban them by 2025. As they recently banned manual machines such as leaf blowers.
Although the gas emissions produced by these machines are the main worry, people are also considering reducing noise pollution. For example, a battery-powered leaf blower is nowhere near as loud as a petrol-powered leaf blower. Therefore, the less eco-friendly friendly version can also cause potential hearing loss if they don’t wear the correct safety equipment.
Power generators are also a concern in the industry, including machinery such as compact excavators, compact loaders, and tractors expected to be more eco-friendly. However, with the larger machinery, construction plant hire equipment will likely take longer to make the switch due to how reliant we are on petrol for these machines.
Renewable Energy Production Is Increasing
It isn’t just the machinery that people are campaigning for. People are also looking to make construction more sustainable by using biofuels, wind and solar energy for the site. The reason is that these construction sites have agreed to a net zero impact when erecting new infrastructure in cities and residential areas. A construction company will now use eco-friendly machinery that is much more sustainable, to not only greenhouse gas emissions but also noise pollution where possible.
Keeping Connected On Site
We are very reliant on the internet and staying connected on a construction site is essential. However, this is something that is changing. Modern construction sites are ensuring they provide an internet connection for those who work on site. So they can keep connected to their employees, employers, project managers and anyone else they may need to contact.
With 5G networks becoming the normality for mobile phones, it is easy to stay connected. Furthermore, cloud systems have made managing workloads easier than before, meaning project managers can keep on top of what is occurring on-site.
Machinery is becoming more advanced and this includes the vehicles on a construction site. Now, some machines, such as cranes, no longer require a crane driver at the helm. Instead, the crane can be controlled by those on ground level, improving the safety of others.
Now, operator-assisted and automated machines are becoming far more common on construction sites, especially for sites that have a budget which they can spend on more advanced machinery. We can expect in the next 10 to 15 years, these machines will be more affordable and more construction sites will have them.
The common question for these new machines is what about the drivers? Will they be jobless due to the vehicles no longer needing a driver? That is not entirely true. Although there will be a loss of jobs for those who drive these types of machines, there will be some need for them. Their expertise will be required on the ground level, controlling those machines.
Sensors Improving Site Safety and Efficiency
Sensors are also becoming increasingly important for a construction site. Not only can these sensors improve the efficiency of a construction site but also improve site safety. Site safety has always been the major concern on a construction site however, that is all to change as these sensors can also monitor the air quality.
Sensors are also able to keep track of the materials that are used on a construction site. This means that project managers are aware of the materials used each day and can pre-order any materials they are running low on before they have none of that material left.
Fewer Workers and More Skillsets
Due to technology becoming more advanced and artificial intelligence controlling our machinery, there is no need for as many workers. The construction industry is one of those that require fewer people on site due to technological advances. However, just because there are fewer people on a construction site does not mean there is a loss of jobs.
It is worth mentioning that there has been a steady decline in the number of applicants for manual labour jobs. This means that fewer people want to work in this industry. Furthermore, the previous generation is ageing and will soon be retiring. However, thanks to artificial intelligence and being able to control machines without having to be at the wheel, this fits the interests of those younger. Meaning we could expect to see people controlling machinery through a simulator in the future, although we are very far away from that as it stands.
Cybersecurity Becomes A Growing Concern In Construction
Cybersecurity is a growing concern simply because we are reliant on technology and the cloud. As mentioned previously, construction sites use the cloud more to manage workloads. Due to this, cybersecurity has been a growing concern for many construction companies.
Now, a construction site will require cyber security to ensure the documents transferred to one another are safe. They will also have the job of reducing scams which may occur on their network. There is a lot of money in the construction industry which is why this will need to be carefully managed and ensure transactions are safe.
Construction sites have changed a lot in recent years however, there will be a lot more change in the next 10-20 years. Manual workers are no longer required as much as they previously were due to technology being automated. Nonetheless, there are areas which will require more workers with different technical skill sets. Although there will be a loss of jobs, we can also see an increase in new skill sets.