Accounting services firm Deloitte recently released its 2020 Construction and Engineering Industry Outlook, which outlined the major trends that will drive the construction industry in 2020.

In 2019, the ability to make a profit on a project was increasingly difficult, and 2020 will be no different, according to the report. Here's 4 key trends you can expect to see more of in 2020: 

  1. Market disruptions—The pressure to make a profit is ever increasing, and as projects become more complex, contractors are having to innovate to stay competitive. The study mentions the labor shortage and fluctuations in materials prices as two drivers of that innovation. Two answers to this issue? Modularization of construction processes and the implementation of technology. 
  2. Infrastructure projects—With a federal government that is planning to spend $2 trillion over the next decade on infrastructure projects, opportunities abound for contractors prepared to bid on public projects. The report also mentions the potential for public-private partnerships to present growth opportunities, while a presidential election year and tariff uncertainty could hamper funding in the near future.
  3. Smart cities—According to Deloitte, 68% of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050. To deal with this urban growth, city planners are looking to smart technologies, including using sustainable building techniques and materials. Intelligent buildings—built with sensors monitoring everything from water and energy usage to the health of the concrete in the building's structure—are on the rise (pun intended). 
  4. Digital—Say goodbye to the industry of yore. Contractors are now fully embracing the digitalization of construction. Robots, automation and artificial intelligence are all providing solutions to age-old problems in the office and on the jobsite. They're also helping to create a safer, more efficient project team. 

Click here to download the full report.