“January has been the longest year ever.”

That was a quote that caught my eye recently while scrolling through social media. I have to admit, I agree. January is sort of like the month we love to hate … you’re just coming off all the excitement from the holidays and then nothing. At least for a couple of weeks, and then you settle into what will become your new normal routine.  After all, we’re not just in a new month and new year, it’s also a new decade. And surely that will bring some excitement. Here’s a quick look at some things I think will be exciting growth and development drivers in the industry over the next 10 years.

More Technology

We’ve been writing about it for years, though implementation and adoption hasn’t happened at rapid speed. Still, today’s manufacturing and fabrication plants, as well as jobsites are becoming increasingly high-tech. Robotics, for example, are quickly making their way into the plants. There are also jobsite opportunities. The Q4 2019 Commercial Construction Index released by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that a greater percentage of contractors are adopting advanced technologies compared to 2018. According to the report, contractors’ current and expected future use of advanced technologies onsite include:

  • Drones (41% use currently, 45% plan to by 2022);
  • Equipment tagging (20% use currently, 37% plan to by 2022);
  • Augmented and/or virtual reality (13% use currently, 21% plan to by 2022);
  • Reality capture (11% use currently, 20% plan to by 2022);
  • RFID tagging (11% use currently, 24% plan to by 2022);
  • Wearable technology (6% use currently, 33% plan to by 2022); and
  • None (40% use currently, 20% plan to by 2022).

Complex Facades

Every time I talk about how facades are becoming more complex, it’s like they immediately become even more so. Just when you thought you’d seen it all … here’s something even more impressive. And it’s not just the design aesthetic. Curves, geometries, sizes, coatings, energy performance—these are all coming together to create increasingly impressive, highly efficient facades. It’s thanks to advances in software that’s making this possible (i.e., more technology advances).

More with Less

Speaking of complexity, it’s also worth a mention that being complex doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of different parts and pieces, twists and turns. Sometimes something that appears seemingly simple is actually the culmination of an intricate recipe. It’s a couple years old now, but just look at the Steve Jobs Theater. To someone not in this industry, the finless structural glass walls of the theater may look so simple, when in fact, they are not. You can read more about the project in the article here.

One Last Thought

Lovely La Jolla, the morning of the fun run.

I had the chance to head west and get out of the bitter cold a couple weeks ago when I attended the NGA’s Annual Conference in La Jolla, Calif. Like most all conference/meeting spaces, we were inside all day in windowless rooms, so I didn’t get the chance to see much. But I did do the annual fun run, and made a slight detour to take in some of the views. It’s always nice to get outside and take in some fresh air and scenery. Meanwhile, back here, the sky is gray and I’m dreaming of spring. Let’s see what Punxsutawney Phil has to say on Sunday.



1 Comment

  1. We’re expectant about how technology is going to advance the industry and the world. January of this new decade is filled with positive expectation. In 2020 we’re launching two new big ideas planned to add value. Onward & Upward. Thanks for all you do, Ellen.

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