As this year comes to an end, we are reminiscing on all the major achievements and events that marked a significant change in the construction industry throughout the year.
It’s been a long year and not a particularly easy one either. It has been a tiresome second year of a battle against coronavirus and so far, it is hard to say we are on top of it yet. There’s been a lot of ups and downs throughout the year for the industry. Nevertheless, Covid-19 wasn’t the only issue that was relevant in 2021. Let’s see the sum-up of the biggest milestones of this year for the construction industry.
COP26 - Impact on Construction
Let’s start from the most recent event, which is the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26. During the two-week conference, nearly 200 countries gathered in Glasgow to discuss the actions and negotiate a deal on climate. The latter includes Glasgow Climate Pact, Environment Act, Support for Sustainable Solutions, Building Back Greener, Net-Zero Target, Climate Pledge and much more.
If you wish to find out more about the biggest takeaways from COP26 for the construction industry, read our recent blog post!
Building Safety Bill
In July, the House of Commons unanimously agreed on passing the bill that provides safety regulations for those working inside and around buildings, including high-rise properties or private houses. When it comes to construction companies, the sweeping changes stemming from this bill include mandatory reporting requirements, provision of a Safety Case Report to the regulator, duty to appoint a building safety manager, duty to display a building assessment certificate and much more.
To discover more about the Building Safety Bill, its benefits and direct impact on the industry, make sure you thoroughly read our article. It will help you understand the significance of this new bill.
Rising Cost of Construction Materials
2021 will be remembered as a year of construction materials cost crisis. Why? Believe it or not but some of the building materials’ prices increased even up to 75% compared to the previous year. This is mainly a result of a high demand, Brexit, Covid19 and interrupted supply chain. And according to the economists and their future predictions, high prices of materials such as timber, metal, concrete and plastic might persist up until the middle of 2022.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at our article, where we explain how to deal with this rising material costs crisis.
Digital Transformation in Construction
You may recall that we started this year by hinting at the #1 thing that construction should prepare for in 2021. In case you forgot, we talked about modern technology solutions supporting productivity and efficiency of the entire sector. As this year comes to an end, we can modestly say that we were not mistaken and were right about it. Digitisation was the predominant force driving the construction industry in 2021. It helped automating processes and provided quicker adaptation of companies to the new reality.
Industry Skills Plan 2021-2025
On 11 March 2021, the first sector-wide skills plan was approved and published by the UK government. It focuses on facing the key skills challenges by retaining talent and building a solid foundation for the future of the construction industry. The Skills Plan was created as a backlash against the pandemic.
To learn more about the Plan and its resolutions, don’t miss our blog post where we guide you in detail through its content.
Brexit - New Reality for Construction in the UK
This year’s New Year’s Day was unlike any other - it was the day when the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. We were all well aware that this was going to happen as the transition period of four and a half years was inevitably coming to an end on 31 December 2020. Following very long discussions and negotiations, the UK and the EU finally reached the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which addressed the concerns surrounding the effects of Brexit on the construction industry.
If you are curious how the Trade and Cooperation Agreement addresses the issues of post-Brexit reality for construction, you should really read this to fully understand the situation.
All in all, compared to an uneventful last year, 2021 was actually pretty successful in terms of finalising projects and introducing new laws and regulations, like Building Safety Bill or Industry Skills Plan. We have witnessed a historic moment of the UK bidding farewell to the EU. Throughout the last year, we have also experienced continuous digitalisation of the construction industry as well as rising costs of building materials. Finally, we cannot forget about COP26 that brought some essential climate discussions to the table.
Unfortunately, the phantom of a new lockdown keeps coming back, which is always a bit worrying. We started this year in a lockdown but let’s hope we are not finishing it with one.
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