23 Jan Construction Trends in 2016: Revisited
Trends in Construction for 2016 – Revisited
What a year 2016 was for construction in Australia and particularly New South Wales and Queensland. Last year we wrote a blog about the top construction trends to watch out for in 2016. We predicted that modular constructions, sustainability, robotic workforce and even 3d printing would all begin to make their impacts on the construction industry worldwide and in Australia.
Construction Trends: Robotic Construction and 3D Printing
Automation of construction processes in Australia has well and truly begun check out Fastbrick Robotics in Perth who are constructing robots with the ability to lay bricks which clearly has the potential to disrupt the bricklaying industry. While Sydney Opera House announced in September 2016 it was considering plans to have robots perform vital conversion work on its iconic sail design roof. Clearly robots won’t be replacing construction workers on a site as soon as tomorrow but there are indications that they will certainly be assisting and making a difference in the coming months.
Construction Trends: Sustainability
According to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute there are over 1.58 PV installations in Australia which produce over 5.44 gigawatts of electricity. This is an increase in capacity from 2015 by just over 500,000 KW. Over 5.1 Million Australians use rainwater collection to harvest rainfall for their own personal use.
Stockland group’s Eco Village in their Aura City development on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland will feature 50% roof area rainwater harvesting on residential buildings with 5KL tanks while all commercial buildings will have 100% roof area rainwater on commercial buildings.
Boral and Grocon have developed a less carbon intensive type of concrete called Pixelcrete and have begun using it on a number of their projects.
These examples above show that sustainability is now becoming a more important trend in construction and as society shifts more towards conservation and sustainable living this trend will only increase.
Construction Trends: Modular Construction
In 2015, a developer in China built a 57-story building in just 19 days. It’s quick construction turn arounds like this that show just how fast modular construction can be. Check out this stunning time lapse of the build.
Despite this modular construction only represents 3% of the total construction industry within Australia. Reasons for this relatively low percentage include high naturally occurring transportation cost of transferring modules across long distances, miss-held perceptions that modular is of low quality or that it can in fact be more expensive than traditional methods.
3D Printing in Construction
While 3D printing is still a long way off from being used by your local home builder, there are signs that large construction companies around the world are definitely starting to take note of the benefits and practicalities of using a 3D Printer for construction.
Construction giant Laing O’Rourke has built its own 3D Printer called FreeFAB which they have used in conjunction with their architect Dr. James Gardiner, to design Artificial Reefs to replace dead reefs that previously housed marine life. Despite being used for this noble cause you can be sure that Laing O’Rourke has set its sights on revolutionizing the construction industry. Dr. Gardiner cites the benefits of using 3D printing to produce more complex designs that would otherwise be ruled out due to prohibitive costs. Not only may designs be aesthetically more pleasing and cheaper to produce, the production process is faster and even uses entirely recycled materials.
Construction Trends for 2017
We are confident that all the above will continue to have a large impact on the design and construction industry throughout Australia in 2017. We will publish a further blog next week with the trends to watch out for in 2017.
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