We’ve just been looking back at some of the construction industry predictions from 2018. If you were to read through them, you’d think the country had been distracted by something else. Very little has changed! However, here is a little look back and a look ahead to 2020 based on the views of some experts…
Back in 2019, retentions were headlining, after the collapse of Carillion and other major contractor concerns. Sadly little has changed on that front. Technology has moved on, with new products emerging and a range of appearances (including our own) at Digital Construction Week.
The skills shortage seems to have remained a concern, particularly with little movement in the world of politics. There has also been some concern over the construction pipeline. Several major projects are nearing completion and funders or developers seem to have held off decision making at least until after the recent election.
Finally, we asked whether we’d see the completion of Crossrail in 2019? Now over a year late, it looks like the line won’t be fully open until 2021.
What About the Year Ahead?
A few predictions for construction have been made already.
On the skills gap – one commentator has asked whether robots might plug the gap? Robots, as the B1M have been saying for some time, can now carry out a range of activities on site. They’ve been operating in manufacturing sectors for years. So with the rise of offsite/volumetric construction, will we perhaps see more robots taking over?
In the legal/contractual world, we’ve seen some significant decisions this year. These have included decisions on the duties of architects, the definition of practical completion, and the frustratingly complex world of ‘smash and grab’ adjudications. We’ve no doubt 2020 will bring a host of new disputes, as every year does.
In other areas of our industry and regulation, there are likely changes to building regs as the government moves to discourage the use of gas to heat buildings. The response to Grenfell continues, with the well-publicised restrictions around cladding on buildings over 18 metres, but there have been calls to further enhance the regulations.
Once again, we find ourselves on the cusp of a potentially interesting year for our industry. Whatever 2020 brings, we hope it will bring you prosperity and good health, and we hope to see or work with you at some point in the coming 12 months.
Very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.