Leads service Construction Data Company publishes the Building Blocks Blog that has been a contender as a finalist in last year’s Best Construction Blog competition, and will likely become one as well in 2015, for good reason.
Besides the substantial audience/user base (helpful in encouraging “get out the vote” campaigns), the blog has plenty of substance.
See, for example, Kendall Jones’ posting about five commercial construction trends for 2015. His first observation sets an optimistic tone:
2015 should be another year of positive growth for the commercial construction industry. Most industry analysts expect growth to be about 8% for nonresidential construction. Total construction put in place was at $884.6 billion through November 2014 which was 5.7% higher than the same period of time in the previous year. The annual rate of construction spending in November was $975 billion and if that rate holds through to December after all revisions are made to the numbers it will be about a 7% increase over 2013. On the private side, look for office and retail construction to see significant increases and on the public side there should be a jump in educational and healthcare construction.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), 80% of construction firms are planning to hire more workers in 2015 with only 7% expected to reduce headcounts. This could be challenging since AGC also reported that 87% of companies have reported having difficulties filling positions, especially skilled craft workers. Expect to see a big push for funding apprenticeship programs to entice more workers to the construction industry. Construction companies would be smart to either team up with local community colleges to host programs or start programs of their own. We’ve already seen some signs of this with the Iowa Workforce Development doling out $4.3 million from federal grants to four training programs. Rhode Island is considering legislation with a bill that would prohibit companies from bidding on public construction projects valued at $1 million or more if they don’t have an apprenticeship program.
Other trends he elaborates in the blog include:
- Major Influx of Technology Use
- More Tall Buildings
- Collaborative Construction
- Healthier Buildings
I think Kendall Jones is right on the mark in these predictions — and this blog certainly is worthy of book-marking.
It is a worthy competitor in this year’s Best Construction Blog competition.