The construction industry encompasses a broad suite of activities. From those involved in building houses and civil engineering works to the construction of office towers and the practices of landscaping. Whatever the activity, we are witnessing changes across the industry division, and this article reflects upon this fact. The primary question answered is this — what could happen in the construction industry (ANZSIC Industry Division E) over the next 10 or so years? What career or business prospects are likely to materialise or disappear? These are some insights from a futurist on the construction industry — a perspective on what could be.
As with other articles exploring the future for different industry divisions, the focus is just on the impact of two global megatrends — computerisation and climate change. Societal and demographic global megatrends are other ones (eg. fertility rates across the world are falling, with Europe expecting to see population declining in the decades ahead), but they may not be as significant as the two at the centre of this article.
About the global megatrend of climate change
Weather patterns are measurably shifting, ocean temperatures are rising, and we have seen the number of extreme weather events increase markedly in recent decades. All of these impact people: those on the land in agricultural settings, as well as those that live in cities (eg. shifting rainfall patterns pose a risk to the 70% of global agriculture that is rain-fed and the 1.3 billion people that are dependent on degrading agricultural land).
And so, without a globally significant and sustained effort at combating climate change, we will witness a continuing increase in land and ocean temperatures over the coming years. The frequency and duration of land and marine heatwaves will also increase. And not forgetting the growing intensity and frequency of heavy precipitation (eg. in the twenty years to 2000 there were almost 1,400 flood events across the globe, since then there have been about 3,300. More than doubling over the same time frame).
About the global megatrend of computerisation
The dynamism of the computer industry is quite apparent. From the rapid release of new smartphone models with better features every few…