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Construction Cost Outlook 2020

Andrew Phipps

Head of EMEA Research

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Cost Outlook 2020

Tech solutions to rising construction costs

The construction industry is not typically thought of as a driver of change – and its buildings are still assembled in largely the same way they were 50 years ago.

Today, however, the sector is under immense pressure to reinvent itself. Developers and contractors across Europe are facing increasing financial pressures due to the rising cost of qualified labour, construction materials and land. The construction industry also has a long-standing productivity problem – while reliance on foreign workers and new EU pay regulations may cause further issues in a time of rising borders.

Tech adoption

According to McKinsey, technology alone has the potential to increase global construction productivity by 15 per cent. In 2020, more firms will embrace software that integrates the different stages of the production process – from design and scheduling to source of documentation, construction performance and contract management.

MMCs go mainstream

Modern Methods of Construction (MMCs) will also begin to revolutionise the sector. Until now, negative perceptions have prevented this construction method from going mainstream. In 2020, however, new advances in quality control, speed of delivery and reliance on labour will make a crucial difference.

3D printing on the rise

Chinese company WinSun claims that 3D printing can cut construction time by 50-70%, labour costs by 50-80%, and waste by 30- 60%. 2020 will likely see innovations paving the way for adoption of 3D printing on a wider scale – such as the Van Wijnen group’s plans to build the first habitable 3D-printed homes in Eindhoven.

In our Costs Outlook report, we also take a closer look at how construction methods are changing – and the impact labour trends are having on the sector. Download now to find out how construction companies and investors can fully capitalise on 2020’s changing landscape. 


Read more Outlook 2020 articles