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2024 predictions for UK construction

Posted on 31/01/2024 at 12:35 PM by in Blog

The last few years have been nothing if not interesting to say the least, with the highest of highs with things like innovative building solutions, and the lowest of lows thanks to a global pandemic.

With each passing year, it feels like every step forward we take is met by a fresh challenge to test us. For every new exciting development in technology, there is a skills shortage to face or even more delays to hold us back.

As we look ahead at the year, we’ve decided to compile our top predictions for the UK construction industry in 2024.

Sustainability takes centre stage

The fight against climate change is no longer a distant rumble – it’s a thundering demand for action, resonating across all industries, including construction.

In 2024, we predict a surge in sustainable building practises, driven by Government initiatives and the consciousness of consumers.

We expect to see:

  • Renewable energy sources: Solar panels and wind turbines will become integral components of new buildings, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Green materials: The likes of timber, bamboo, and recycled materials will start to gain traction, replacing their carbon-intensive counterparts.
  • Energy-efficient designs: New buildings will be designed to breathe, optimising sunlight and minimising our energy waste, leading to lower energy bills and a lighter environmental footprint.

Continued industry growth post-COVID

Another prediction we have is that the post-pandemic boom experienced in 2023 will continue, albeit with some subtle shifts.

Residential construction, particularly in the affordable housing sector, will remain strong, fuelled by the rising demand, as well as Government initiatives. However, the commercial sector might not enjoy the same stability, with businesses cautiously evaluating their post-pandemic needs before investing in new office spaces.

Infrastructure projects will continue to attract investment, offering a beacon of stability for the UK construction industry.

AI has an even bigger presence

As most of us know at this point, AI has gone from something exclusive to sci-fi films to a life changing tool that has affected every single industry.

In 2024, we predict that AI will have an even bigger presence than last year, assisting in:

  • Design optimisation: AI will be used to analyse building plans, making suggestions for energy-efficient tweaks and optimising material usage, saving precious time and resources.
  • Predictive maintenance: Sensors embedded in new structures will feed data into AI algorithms, predicting any potential issues become they become costly problems, leading to a future of proactive maintenance.
  • Construction site management: Drones powered by AI will be used to monitor progress, track materials, and identify any safety hazards, enhancing efficiency and minimising on-site risks.

Automation will free up valuable time

On the topic of using sci-fi inspired tools to streamline processes, we predict automation will feature heavily throughout 2024.

Once seen as a job killer, automation is now seen as a partner in progress, and will be used to help tackle repetitive tasks. Robots will spend their time construction walls or applying coats of paint with precision, freeing up human workers for higher-skilled jobs.

This doesn’t spell job doom, but a reimagining of labour, where humans focus on creativity and problem solving, while robots handle the heavy lifting (literally!).

Social housing remains a challenge

The need for affordable housing remains a critical issue going into 2024.

This year, we predict to see continued Government efforts to address the social housing challenge using methods such as modular construction and off-site manufacturing techniques, promising faster and more cost-effective solutions.

Additionally, we expect to see a focus on retrofitting existing buildings to improve their energy efficiency, extending their lifespan and contributing to a more sustainable housing landscape.

Skills shortage has no end in sight

Despite all of the advancements in technology, the UK construction industry continues to grapple with a skills shortage.

Attracting and retaining skilled workers into the industry will be a top priority for 2024, with initiatives like apprenticeships, upskilling programs, and promoting diversity in the workplace all being crucial in bridging this gap.

Additionally, leveraging technology to attract younger generations through things like virtual reality experiences and the gamification of training could make the industry more appealing and accessible for newcomers.

Costs are on the rise

Rising material and labour costs is nothing new, but the dark cloud they cast will continue to loom over the industry in 2024.

We predict that global supply chain disruptions and the on-going war in Ukraine will further exacerbate this challenge.

Contractors will need to be nimble in 2024, utilising innovative procurement strategies and embracing collaborative partnerships to navigate these hard times. Additionally, considering alternative materials and exploring cost-saving technologies such as modular construction will help to mitigate the impact of rising costs.


As you can see, the UK construction industry stands at a bit of a crossroad going into 2024.

The path forward is paved with immense potential, driven by exciting advancements in technology and a renewed focus on sustainability. However, navigating the challenges of rising costs and the current skills shortage will require innovation, collaboration, and some creative thinking.

The mindset that robots are coming to steal our jobs and AI will take over our companies is one that will ultimately hold us back, and it’s time to realise the position we’re in and what we can do to make a change.

By embracing these new trends and addressing these hurdles before they become mountains, we can ensure a brighter future for the UK construction industry.

What are your thoughts? Have you got any predictions for 2024? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Send us a message on LinkedIn or reach out to us on X (Twitter) @utilitysearches.

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