The commercial construction industry is looking to advanced technologies to alleviate workforce shortages and improve productivity. The Q4 2018 USG Corporation + US Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index shows that over half of contractors are using advanced technology like drones, equipment tagging, wearable technology and augmented/virtual reality for their projects. Another 74 percent expect to adopt these technology strategies in the next three years. Fifty eight percent of contractors reported having difficulty hiring skilled workers, the highest level reported in 2018. Sixty-six percent of contractors say the main reason to use advanced technology is to help improve labor productivity.
Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO of USG Corporation said “the construction industry has historically lagged behind others in productivity and, when confronted by the labor shortage, there is an even greater need to identify meaningful solutions that will lead to growth and innovation. To achieve the expected growth, it is important that contractors, architects and designers invest in understanding how technologies like robots and 3D printing can transform jobsites and impact businesses in the near- and long-term.”
The use of wearable technologies such as sensors is expected to grow the most over the next three years (23 percent). Contractors believe the use of wearable technologies will help improve safety (83 percent) workforce management (56 percent) and productivity (36 percent). More than 50 percent of contractors believe investment in advanced technologies will improve their ability to keep to a schedule, budget properly and enhance safety measures.
“From the industrial revolution to the digital age, US companies and workers have helped create and sustain the most dynamic and resilient economy in history. Today, our economy is being rapidly reshaped by technology and other forces,” said Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of US Chamber of Commerce. “This transformation is creating opportunity, but too many people lack the skills and credentials they need to compete for 21st century jobs and too many businesses can’t find the skilled workers they need. To maintain America’s competitive advantage, it’s imperative that industries and businesses adapt and leverage technology as a way to address workforce challenges.”
Overall, contractors are optimistic about the future of commercial construction industry with 75 percent confidence in the ability of contractors to handle backlogs, pursue new business opportunities and to maintain a revenue stream.
K-Con Inc. is a full-service design-build general contractor specializing in commercial, light-industrial and government construction. K-Con Inc. serves commercial and government entities in Charleston and across the United States. Please contact us today to see how we can best serve your needs.