There were five major construction trends that shined — for better or for worse — as we reflect on 2017. Some trends we loved, and some trends we loathed (we’re looking at you labor shortage).

1. Labor shortage reached new heights

The labor shortage continued to plague the construction industry in 2017, and the vast majority of tradespeople felt its wrath. Nearly 95% of contractors are having a moderate to difficult time finding skilled workers, according to research conducted by the Commercial Construction Index. Story after story tells the tale of a construction company that was forced to turn down projects because they didn’t have enough trade workers to get the job done.

Pro tip: For realistic ways construction companies can contribute to overcoming the skilled-labor shortage in 2018, read this blog.

2. Building Information Modeling (BIM) became the tool of choice

Sure, BIM didn’t just become a player this year, but BIM is now the frontrunner for contractors and engineers. BIM allows trade professionals a way to efficiently plan, design, and construct buildings from their desk.

At Uponor, we upped our game with BIM by offering contractors and engineers access to our product information in UNIFI Connect. Learn more about the benefits of UNIFI Connect here.

3. Virtual reality (VR) took off

When VR is brought into the design and building process, the benefits are tremendous. Just imagine what your crew can do when they can see the plumbing system’s configuration before installation even begins. Companies reported faster project approvals, a boost in communication with teams, and ultimately, greater customer satisfaction.

4. Green building accelerated  

From homeowners to developers, people now expect the structures in which they live, work and visit to be environmentally friendly. It’s no longer a “nice to have”, but an expectation. In 2017, nearly 40% of commercial office spaces had LEED® or Energy Star certifications.

5. Prefabrication flourished

You’ve heard the saying: the mother of invention is necessity. Well, prefabrication is the necessity that came out of the labor shortage the industry has been challenged with over the last decade. Prefab structures are faster to build, can be constructed indoors and require fewer people.

Pro tip: Watch the video below to see just how easy prefab can be with PEX pipe. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get first access to more videos like this one.