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February 2022: Construction Industry News Roundup


Unpacking the state of the industry at the top of the year is crucial in order to strategize, for example, dealing with ongoing construction supply chain issues and labor shortages, and preventing costly construction downtime and cost overruns.

As such, the team rounded up some compelling news stories you may have missed over the last few months.

Labor Shortages

Labor IQ by ThinkWhy (reported in ForConstructionPros) estimates 3.9% expansion in job gains for Construction and Extraction occupations in 2022, but demand for skilled trades far outpaces the supply.

What’s worse, Omicron is reportedly stressing understaffed jobsites as workers call in sick. The work of a construction safety manager is thus ever-important with incident investigations critical to contractors’ safety.

An important note for hiring managers seeking to stay competitive in attracting top talent: Rather than just focus on pay, redefining recruitment to create an inclusive company culture can go a long way.

Sustainable Construction

The importance of sustainable construction is ever-apparent with the American Concrete Institute committee assessing the effect of climate change on sustainability of concrete structures (reported in ForConstructionPros), further signaling the need for more eco-friendly materials like green concrete.

Northwestern University and the World Wildlife Fund released a new guide (reported in ENR) to help construction industry professionals use materials that minimize the environmental impact.

Meanwhile, a company called WINT Water Intelligence that’s helping end water waste and damage in the built environment has announced a $15 million series B funding round.

Additional solutions for contractors like MX FUEL™ equipment can help remove the hazards associated with traditional sources of power, like gasoline that poses a risk to both the user and the environment.

Offsite Construction

Just as the industry is plagued by supply chain and labor shortages, offsite construction continues to prove a valuable tool in companies’ arsenal to address these problems by offloading preassembly to third-party prefabrication companies, allowing for better timeline flexibility and quality assurance.

Some recent highlights include:

Construction Software Integrations

Leading construction software providers continue to make commitments to key integration partners, signaling the importance of software interoperability we’ve previously discussed as a critical pillar of the ONE-KEY™ app.

Noteworthy stories include:

Ergonomics and Safety

Construction jobsites remain the most dangerous places to work, with construction safety top-of-mind when developing advanced technology and continued innovation in PPE to improve safety outcomes.

Noteworthy stories include:

  • A company in the UK is helping companies provide mental health resources to employees who need it (reported in Construction Dive).
  • A construction safety report from the Center for Construction Research and Training aims to look at hazard prevention through human-robot interactions.

Environment Mapping

Technological advances in the environmental mapping space can increase site accuracy through real-time updates to building models, progress reporting, and advanced automation.

Noteworthy stories include:

Automated Construction

Solutions in robotics and automation allow for improved performance and less human interaction, particularly of use for overstretched contractors starved for talent.

Noteworthy stories include:

Building Information Modeling

Building information modeling, as well as the rise of the BIM specialist, suggests key advantages, including increased project visibility, coordination, and collaboration.

Noteworthy headlines:

  • Olson Plumbing & Heating – Embracing Benefits of BIM (Contractor)
  • Contractors enlist digital twins to tackle supply, labor issues (Construction Dive)
  • SiteAware raises $15M for its digital twin technology for construction (siliconANGLE)
  • Touchplan announces new integration with Autodesk Construction Cloud (Construction Dive)

Digital Infrastructure

Laying the groundwork for 5G remains critical for creating a more connected jobsite.

Here are some recent headlines that reiterate this story:

  • Data will continue to move to the edge in 2022 (Venture Beat)
  • Improving 5G connectivity is the building sector’s burden (propmodo)
  • Construction warned over ending 3G (KHL)

Advanced Materials

Continued strain by supply chain disruptions and environmental impact drive the need for alternative material development.

  • New York researchers say hemp-based rebar could replace steel in construction (BENZINGA)
  • Concrete that powers electric equipment (KHL)
  • Why we need buildings framed with Timer Bamboo (ENR)
  • D.C. mass timber project adds three floors to commercial building (ENR)

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