Emerging Trends Impacting Infrastructure

Despite a labor shortage, 2017 was a positive year for the construction industry as a whole. Companies and contractors anticipate even more progress as they finish out 2018 and move into the upcoming year.

With optimism rising, most organizations are looking to expand their footprint by hiring additional staff. The source of that confidence stems from new trends and innovations emerging from the hard lessons of the past.

The greatest of those trends is a renewed emphasis on making infrastructure more structurally sound.

Mother Nature constantly reminds us of the need for resilient structures. Hurricane Harvey, for instance, cost the U.S. $125 billion, putting it on par with Hurricane Katrina in terms of damage. From floodwaters eroding the foundations of bridges and roads to isolated incidents of collapse, last year’s queen of tropical storms definitely took a toll on infrastructure, especially in the Lone Star State.

Fortunately, for Texas – which is home to close to 10% of the nation’s bridges – less than 2% of their 53,000-plus bridges are structurally deficient. That statistic becomes even more impressive when one considers that only 90% of bridges in the U.S. as a whole are structurally sound. It makes one ponder the storm’s outcome had it struck a region with less resilient structures.

While Harvey was definitely the definitive disaster of 2017, fires, storms, floods and heat did close to $200 billion in additional damage to other parts of the country. So, instead of rebuilding the same deficient structures of the past, the construction industry is making a collective effort to build sturdier and think smarter.

However, when it comes to innovation in the truest sense of the word, technology always seems to take the spotlight with regard to forward thinking. This is due in no small part to the significant, steady advancements that have occurred over the past two centuries in particular. Smart technology now aids us with almost every facet of our lives, and for the construction industry, it’s paving the way toward a safer, more efficient workplace.

Robotics has made it possible to complete dangerous jobs like delving into mines or tying rebar. Drones can survey job sites quicker and easier than human inspectors. And 3-D printing has moved from small-scale projects to jobs as enormous as a bridge in Denmark.

But in spite of these advancements, there’s one component that can never be replaced, and that’s the human element. In order for you to take advantage of such trends, you have to have the right people in place, proven leaders with the capacity to mold your future.

The talent is out there; it’s just sometimes hard to find. Let Jackson Executive Search help you step into tomorrow by expanding your footprint today.

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