5 Ways Construction Will Change In the Next 50 years


The need for homes, businesses and other buildings is expected to rise over the next 50 years. According to Raconteur, people are going to need more affordable housing, and builders are going to start using advanced products that help promote cost-effective buildings. BIM technology, 3D printing and an increase of government spending into propping up an increasingly dilapidated infrastructure are all factors that are going to promote growth and innovation in the field of construction.

Improved Imaging

3D printing has reached a new level of realism. Currently, the Department of Defense uses holographic prints that reveal plans for entire city blocks when shined on with an LED light. This technology will continue to improve and be used for creating effective realizations of architectural projects. New innovations in imaging will make new buildings more effective and project proposals can be displayed with ease. The added ability to use 3D printing can make it simpler for architects to plan and tweak buildings before they are built in the real world. The relative cost of 3D printing will continue to go down, and it will become the ideal work environment for architects that want to be able to visually manipulate and work with their products. Holograms will also be more effective in the future, and computer modeling will evolve to allow the use of holograms with the added benefit of no wasted materials during demos.

Improved Robotics

We’re not talking about an army of robots creating new buildings, but machines that can build increasingly sophisticated and detailed buildings are in our future. Humans are still going to be needed to run the machines, but just as micro-surgery has evolved to use robotic arms for the repair of nerve endings and other procedures that the human hand is too clumsy for, construction will use robotics to create increasingly flush systems. Buildings can be built with greater speed and perform many of the tasks that up until now have been risky for construction workers. Moving steel beams, painting, concrete floor finishing and other large-scale projects are already being completed by robots in certain sectors.

Increase in Jobs

With the increase in technology, many people may fear that robotics will replace the construction worker. However, workers will still be needed to man machines and complete work that a machine can’t be trusted to do on its own. Construction workers may go from being a manual labor job to a sort of hybrid field that mixes technology and traditional construction practices. Construction workers will be required to use machines and computers to perform many of the jobs that previously required several men. This will create an increase in jobs, as more “eyes” will need to be available to supervise and monitor machine workers.

Better Than Robotics

Another possibility for the construction industry is the use of virtual equipment for construction workers. Workers may still use machines, but use specially designed suits that allow them to lift more and be generally more effective at their jobs. Using body movements that are tracked by a high-definition camera, the worker can don a suit and operate machinery through body movements and spoken commands. This may be better than robots since it will keep employment high but still allow for the use of technology to create increasingly complex architectural systems. Having the ability to operate equipment simply by moving your hands would be a great boon to construction and make for more reliable and sturdy buildings.

Natural Environments and Materials

The 21st century has seen a trend toward bringing nature back to construction. In the future, it’s likely that this trend will continue to advance and become the norm as opposed to a rare novelty. Buildings will be built using organic methods that allow for better energy efficiency, less pollution and a less invasive impact on the environment. As water shortages continue to become an issue in the future, it’s going to become increasingly important that we devise ways to conserve. Construction can use photosynthetic energy, collect rainwater and create low-cost insulation using natural elements. The use of plant-life in construction is likely to continue to increase as new environmental mandates are applied across the board.

It’s an exciting time for the construction industry, and new methods of creating buildings are going to be needed to keep up with demand. As the world’s population grows, there is going to be an increased need for affordable housing and highly efficient transportation systems. Cars will need to be replaced by more effective transportation systems, and the architects of the world will be in high demand to ensure that these futuristic construction wonders come to fruition. New technologies are continuing to evolve and innovate the way construction is handled in many parts of the world. The future of construction will focus on efficiency, environmental awareness and safer practices that provide more jobs for workers.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Federal Steel Supply, Inc., a leading supplier of carbon, alloy and stainless steel in pipe, tube, fittings and flanges.