2021 Trends for the Construction Industry

As a whole, the construction industry saw a significant surge in the first quarter of 2020, raking in more than $900 billion. Then, the coronavirus hit and slowed some work and new contracts down. But even with the effects of the virus taking hold on the industry, the global industry outlook is set for a 3.2-percent growth this year, bringing things back to slow and steady progress.

But outside of an unprecedented pandemic, there are still many other trends the industry is facing in the new year.

From new construction types to a more significant emphasis on going green, here’s a look at some of the trends the construction industry faces in 2021.

Modular Construction

Some estimates show that the modular construction market worth will rise as high as $157 billion by 2023. This kind of construction involves constructing the modules of a building off-site, then transporting them to the assembly destination. This usually cuts costs as well as the timeline for construction. One example is Marriott’s new New York City hotel, set to open early this year. It features 26 stories and should only take 90 days to put together.

Sustainability Innovations

Requests from construction clients today include sustainability specifications, especially if customers want to receive tax credits or eco-friendly designations. The sustainability trend in construction shows rapid growth in the decade, including new developments that give people more options for planet-friendly building.

One example is a new kind of brick that builders are using called K-Brig, made up of 90 percent recycled construction site and demolition waste materials. The brick, which weighs and looks like a regular brick, only produces one-tenth of the CO2 emissions as a conventional brick.


Robots are making impacts on many different industries, especially when assembly is required. Whether it’s agriculture or medicine, robotics is here to stay. These high-tech machines have changed the construction industry as some models allow workers to perform layout tasks at worksites more efficiently than traditional mechanical systems.

Robots could help construction projects keep to their schedule and finish under budget through streamlining and handling smaller and repetitive tasks. However, some investigation still needs to occur to find the best robotic machines for labor-intensive tasks.

Remote Construction

Remote may be the word of 2020 as most of the American workforce left the office and began working from home. This kind of work, being able to get administrative and planning tasks done off-site, may continue in 2021 for the construction industry.

This is evident in the construction industry through drones’ usage as they survey and map construction areas. By looking down at a project from above, contractors find valuable information, helping them see the project from a different perspective and adjust their needs and plans from there. What’s more, drones help discover safety problems and streamline the process of accurately estimating quantities of materials needed.

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