Top 5 Challenges in the Construction Industry for Urban Development
About 60% of British Columbia’s population lives in an urban setting. So when a new construction project starts, it’s likely to affect more people than you realize. What if there was a way to complete your project on time, on budget, and with minimal disruption to the community?
The top challenges in the construction industry can be solved with modular construction. Let’s explore each challenge and then uncover the benefits of modular commercial buildings.
1. Heavily Congested Areas
In an urban setting, there may already be areas that are extremely congested and experience slow traffic patterns. When you add a construction site to that, you only make the situation more challenging.
Depending on the intensity of your construction project, you may need to block off roads and sidewalks. This means there will be prolonged periods of time when roads are closed and traffic increases drastically.
As a result, commutes take longer, drivers are more frustrated, and ultimately there are more accidents on the road. With popular roads being closed off, it means that other roads are being heavily used. In turn, those roads could deteriorate quicker and need maintenance sooner.
These drawbacks are not only going to impact commuters but have the possibility to affect your crew members and delivery trucks. City roads and infrastructure are not designed for large construction trucks and vehicles, so you will also experience congestion while working on the project.
2. Community Disruption
Similar to traffic congestion and disruptions, a key challenge in the construction industry is community disruption. An urban environment is filled with pedestrians, cyclists, and local community members that rely on sidewalks, bike lanes, and other walking areas.
When a new construction site is introduced, it disrupts the natural flow of city life, usually because of sidewalk closures. Other disruptions may include construction vehicles being parked on grass fields or in cycle lanes.
Additionally, you may need to block off certain sidewalks or distinguished areas within the city. These areas could potentially be in front of local businesses so community members have a hard time reaching the building. This could then bring negative impacts to the local businesses and the city’s economy.
Aside from physical disruptions, you must also consider the noise a construction site creates. Companies near the site may have a hard time focusing on their daily work, or community members may be deterred altogether to go to places surrounding the site.
Large amounts of dust are also a problem in an urban construction setting. Although crew members may have appropriate protective gear, city walkers and commuters do not. And the health implications of that can also cause a lot of disruption to people’s daily lives.
3. Safety of Crew and Members
An urban setting is made to fit as much as possible within the given space. For your construction site, it means there’s little room for crew members to maneuver around. With limited space, there are increased risks of injury.
One example is a crew member bumping into the scaffolding while someone is on it. Objects falling, vehicles coming in and out, and large openings or holes are other ways that crew members can get hurt on the job.
Just as there are disruptions because of the construction site, there are similar and more intensified distractions on the site. Large amounts of dust and loud noises can cause crew members to mishear information or not be able to see clearly where they are going.
Loud noises can be reduced with a modular office on the construction site. You’ll have a space to collaborate, work through blueprints, and for crewmembers to take a break. This can help minimize human error throughout the entire construction project.
Even though you may have things marked off, a busy city walker may not realize where they’re going before it’s too late. Unknown or unauthorized members coming onto the job site puts them at risk along with the rest of your crew.
Britco can also provide breezeways and storage containers for further safety of your crew and citywalkers. Breezeways are secure walkways that can be used outside and within your construction site.
Storage containers are available to store and secure construction tools that your crew isn’t using at the moment. Renting a storage container will not only allow your building tools to stay secure, but will keep crew members safe from loose materials.
4. Project Delays from Logistical Issues
Although the frustration of a congested traffic area is a problem within itself, you must also consider the implications of building materials and equipment being delayed due to these congestions. Even your crew members may be hindered, which will cut into valuable working time.
Almost every industry is seeing some sort of labour shortage, but the construction industry is seeing high negative impacts. Nearly half of the industry, or 49.5%, is under pressure to find qualified and skilled workers.
Globally, the workforce is becoming more diversified in their work ethic and behaviour, and less and less of the workforce is looking for employment in the construction industry. So, on a construction site, you may find yourself overworking the few crew members you have which could lead to common mistakes and delays.
In every industry, you’ll find advancements and innovations. The construction industry is no different, and therefore is susceptible to project delays due to project complexities. Comparing manufacturing and construction productivity levels, manufacturing productivity levels are increasing at 3.6% annually, whereas construction levels are only at 1% annually.
A common challenge in the construction industry is going through zoning laws and regulations. The process of obtaining permits can initially push back your project start date and cause an extended timeline.
Your timeline is crucial in your construction project, and you need all the time you can get to make things happen. On an urban worksite, you’re limited to operating during certain hours, and these become even more limited with logistical errors and delays.
Another significant challenge you have very little control over is the weather. Depending on where you’re located, you may receive excess amounts of snow or rain. Storms can create notable delays that keep your crew members from finishing the project on time.
5. Environmental Challenges
We’ve already discussed the increasing amount of dust that is created on a construction site, which will ultimately turn into air pollution. This dust can also stay on buildings and facilities which can reduce the overall quality of life and mental health of the city.
Plus, consider all the vehicles transporting goods and the number of emissions that come from just transportation alone. Transportation makes up 2.4% to 5.5% of the total carbon emissions that are released during your construction project.
During a construction project, it is also likely that the land will be altered when you’re clearing out vegetation. As a result, this causes high amounts of pollution in surrounding areas. Overall, the construction industry contributes significant amounts to air pollution, water pollution, and climate change.
This is one of the everlasting challenges of the construction industry that should not be taken lightly. Building in an urban environment takes a lot of energy and materials in order to be successful.
How Modular Overcomes These Challenges
Now that you have a solid understanding of the top challenges in the construction industry, it’s time to answer the question: how does modular alleviate these issues?
The basis of modular construction is the ability to reuse throughout each project. So, if necessary, you can continue to use your modular structure time and time again. This reduces the amount of energy and materials needed for starting a new project each time.
The construction practices of modular buildings produce less waste and release fewer emissions since a majority of the work is done in a controlled factory environment. This means that the potential of trapped moisture and on-site waste is significantly decreased.
Since almost all modular construction is produced off-site, you also reduce the need for construction vehicles and equipment which already produce a high amount of carbon emissions. Because of the sustainability efforts of modular structures, they regularly meet high Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
The modular construction process is well-supervised and more sophisticated than traditional methods. And having a controlled environment like this helps reduce the risk of mistakes that can slow a project’s progress.
Typically, timelines are 30-50% faster compared to traditional construction. Since there is a faster timeline, modular commercial building costs are consistently more cost-efficient.
Minimal On-Site Construction
Most of the top challenges in the construction industry can be alleviated with off-site construction. Modular commercial buildings are constructed off-site, so you can worry less about community disruption and congested areas in your urban environment.
Plus, it minimizes on-site construction, which can increase crew member safety. There are a lot of moving parts that can be hard to juggle within a construction site, but in a factory setting, everything has a place and a job that keeps things in line. A majority of modular workers also utilize wearable technology that helps improve worker safety.
Additionally, weather delays are not an issue in a controlled environment. So your project can be completed on time regardless of the forecast.
Solving Labour Shortage
When it comes time to install a modular structure onto the site, about 90% of the work is completed. This means you will need only a few crew members on-site to complete the project.
With on-site construction, a lot of training and experience comes once you’re already well into a project. This deters potential workers away from the construction industry because there is more of a risk of injury and mistakes made due to inexperience.
On the other hand, modular construction is a more industrialized experience that requires a different set of skills. These skills can be more easily taught. There are a lot of enticing attributes working in the modular industry.
At Britco, you’ll find that logistical errors, extended timelines, and project delays are diminished due to the nature of modular commercial buildings.
Looking to overcome the top challenges in the construction industry? Turn to modular for superior solutions.
Ready to solve your space needs?
Modular buildings are the way to go. Request a quote or contact us today to get the conversation started. We’d love to talk to you about how modular can meet — and exceed — your needs.