The New Normal in the Construction Industry

Builder man against cityscape

Construction is one of the largest industries in the UK, accounting for about 7 percent of the country’s GDP. The industry has been pretty traditional in its approach, but with the pandemic and Brexit, things are rapidly changing. According to a report by McKinsey, there are nine shifts that will radically change the way construction is done in the next few years. Let’s take a closer look at some of these shifts to understand what the new normal in the industry will look like:

Product-Based Approach

The construction industry has been moving towards a product-based approach and in the future, this will be the norm in the industry. Structures and services will be branded and marketed as standardised products. Modern methods of construction will be commonly employed and structures will be produced in factories to be shipped and assembled on site. This will help maintain the quality of products and reduce the labour required on site. 

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Construction companies will look at specialising in niche target segments in order to improve their margins and to create a brand name for themselves. They will do so by selecting and specialising in a particular method of construction or in using particular materials. Companies will do this so that they have a competitive advantage in the market. In order to do so, companies will have to understand if the benefits of niching down will be greater than that of having a more diversified portfolio. 


With the countries around the globe moving towards net zero and sustainability, the construction industry is also following along. Sustainability will be a major factor governing the decisions in the industry, especially since there is increasing pressure from the government to do so. Companies will need to make their decisions, keeping the environmental impact in mind. This will be applicable for all decisions from selecting supply chain partners to choosing machinery. Other subjects like recycling of materials, water consumption, waste management and reducing dust and noise pollution will also be taken into consideration to promote safety and well-being in the industry. With the government pushing for the Part Z Bill, calculating the embodied carbons for each project could become a norm in the industry in the future. 

Increased Investment in Technology and Facilities

Construction companies will be investing heavily in technology and facilities for production. Off-site factories will be the norm in the industry and major investment in machinery, plants, technology and equipment will be needed to set up these manufacturing units. For on-site construction processes, there will be increased investment in automation equipment, drones and other technology. Further, companies will allocate a major part of their budget towards research and development in order to innovate and develop new products and technologies. 

Increased Investment in Human Resources

The investment in human resources will also see an increase. With digitisation, new technology, and new innovations, there will be major investments towards training, developing and retaining human resources. There will be a need for experts to manage and guide teams with new technology and systems. This will require major investments in the workforce.  

Customer-Centricity and Branding

With the move towards products and specialisation in the industry, construction companies will need to be more customer-centric in order to create and maintain their brand name. They will need to work towards creating a compelling brand that is in line with their values and distinctive attributes. Companies will need to do this by creating branding assets and using social media to showcase their brand values and personality. Additionally, companies will need to ensure that they maintain product and service quality, value, timing of delivery, reliability, service offerings and warranties, similar to brands in the manufacturing industry. 

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