1. The Construction Industry In 2013 - Where Is ItAll Headed?Reeling from years of a less-than-stable economy, the construction industryhas apparently shaken grown into renewed vigor and vitality toward theclose of the 2000’s first decade. Most industry observers predict a period ofcontinued recovery, with new design innovations that will help bring about amore diverse construction landscape. The trend toward the “green”construction of the past few years is expected to continue, with thedevelopment of even more structures that embody eco-friendly principleswhile continuing to incorporate natural elements and features in even moreinventive ways.One of the most promising facets of the eco-friendly approach isbiomimicry, which uses natural and biological patterns as inspirations forarchitectural and engineering designs. These new developments pointtoward an increasing focus on incorporating natural elements, not only inthe facades of new buildings, but also in their interiors. Cooling andventilation systems in particular will be increasingly designed taking a cuefrom Mother Nature’s own designs.A few other trends that show promise in the construction industry aremodular design and prefabrication. There are a number of benefits to sucha construction approach, and the shorter production cycles and enhancedsustainability are among the most compelling. In addition to requiring lesstime to construct, modular buildings are also generally cheaper and safer toproduce. This in turn results in lower production costs, with savings thatmay be passed on to the end customer. The use of eco-friendly materialsand the clean design lines also make these modular structures ideallysuited to the changing demands of the market.Many would say that the period of renewed vibrancy and innovation in theconstruction has been a long time coming. While a number of constructionprinciples will continue to remain in practice well into the future, there is aclear shift toward more eco-friendly and energy efficient methods anddesigns.Even areas of construction that have previously neglected the use of“green” materials will undergo significant changes. Flooring and roofing in
2. particular stand to benefit from the development of more environmentally-friendly materials, with bamboo and stone being only two of the materialsexpected to increase in popularity in the coming years. Some other aspectsof design and construction in which the “green” trend is expected to takehold are painting and fixtures, both of which are areas in which there is anincreasing shift toward the use of alternative materials in preference totraditional options.There is also expected to be a growing market demand for eco-friendlyoptions in terms of materials and construction and design processes. While“green” techniques and materials have traditionally been marginalsegments of the industry, this is bound to change as more and morecustomers demand a wider range of environment-friendly options.All these developments point to an increasing global awareness of thecrucial role that construction plays in helping preserve the environment. Nolonger a necessary evil in terms of the human impact on nature,construction may well become a key player in the continuing quest towardan eco-friendly and sustainable industry.