A new year might be near, but before we leave 2021 behind, we want to round up some of the top construction news stories of the year.
Construction continues to be in-demand and in-need.
The labor shortage continued to plague the industry throughout 2021. Though it’s nothing new, this ongoing struggle has led to unexpected challenges. Even though it has certainly been a struggle for employers to get the quality workers they need to complete their projects, this labor shortage has brought about some positive change. The industry as a whole has prioritized employee benefits. Construction firms nationwide have taken a look at how they can improve workers’ financial compensation packages as well as additional incentives like career development and bonuses to hire and retain top talent. .
This labor shortage, and the many job openings, aren’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. So, the I Build America – Ohio mission will continue to be a top priority well into the new year. We must continue to boost awareness about the opportunities available for skilled laborers to change this top 2021 story from a labor shortage to a skilled worker surplus.
Cost of goods reached new heights.
Supply-chain issues, fueled in part by the pandemic, led to unprecedented material shortages. With greater demand came higher costs. Some surprising statistics include:
- The cost of lumber was up 40% since mid-August.
- Steel prices surged 123% YoY.
- Metal prices, specifically copper and brass, increased by more than 45%.
- The average cost of plastics has risen 30%.
We were so impressed by construction firms’ dedication to get the job done in 2021, even with added costs, which often came with delayed delivery. We are hopeful that things will soon get back to normal so that our businesses can better plan for a more successful and less expensive year.
Innovation is moving the industry in the right direction.
Throughout this year, the construction industry has met these top challenges with resilient creativity.
One of the newest and most innovative trends we saw arise in 2021 was 3D printing. This new process is helping our industry combat the high costs of goods and continue to meet demand, even with the ongoing deficit of skilled workers. Organizations across the world have been experimenting with 3D-printed construction this year and have already seen the benefits. Not only does this technology save time and money, it also cuts back on emissions and waste.
3D building is only the tip of the sustainable construction iceberg. Throughout the year, companies have explored alternative materials and new methods to help make buildings greener, from the construction phase to everyday operation. At first, many in the industry might fear that this sustainable focus will only add more costs to the already financially strapped industry. However, we’re seeing quite the opposite happen. In fact, sustainable innovations are leading to some incredible savings.
Through all the ups and downs, the construction industry has proven once again that it is as strong as the structures it creates. No matter the challenges that might come next year, we are confident that we as an industry will forge ahead and continue our communities’ progress.