Smart innovations & other reasons why you should consider a career in construction
The construction sector today is an exciting place to be, not just because of the opportunities that are available in terms of careers but also the innovative nature of this vital field. If you’re keen to work with cutting edge technology, such as 3D printed foam, or to apply your expertise to projects that revolve around smart buildings and integrated IoT then this is a great industry to be in. Luckily, there are many different roles available to anyone with an interest in working in construction – read on if you’re keen to find out more.
Smart construction innovations in 2022
Construction defines the world around us and so it’s no surprise that this is the sector where investment and ideas are being poured into innovation. These can be broken down into two categories: the projects themselves and the materials that are being most widely used.
- Smart innovation in construction projects. Office construction is something that has undergone a lot of change as working practices have shifted during the pandemic. Smart innovation in office construction projects now focuses on how the options for lighting and HVAC systems will have a big impact on building efficiency, for example, as well as whether or not smart tools, such as automation, can be introduced. Integrating sensors into building design has been another big, innovative change that is also increasingly part of retail construction projects. Being able to increase the amount of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in retail environments is a goal for retail construction going forward. Innovation in building design also necessarily includes consideration of IoT these days – where there are robust internal IoT networks this can offer opportunities for evolution, such as inbuilt beacons in a retail environment to provide promotions and coupons to shoppers at key moments during their journey through a store. Environments that can be tailored for personalisation are also made possible – given that this is one of the key elements in a positive customer experience, embracing this kind of smart construction innovation makes a lot of sense.
- Smart, innovative, construction materials. Although many materials innovations are happening in construction right now, one of the most notable is 3D foam. Researchers at Swiss technical university ETH Zürich have been working on the use of 3D printed foam in a recyclable formwork for concrete casting, which can be temporary or stay-in-place. Using foam in this way could potentially reduce the use of concrete by 70%, which paves the way for a much more sustainable approach to construction shortly. If the concrete industry was a country it would be the third most polluting in the world, so there are clear benefits to using innovative materials such as 3D printed foam to replace it across many different construction projects. The material is versatile too – foam elements can be printed for stay-in-place or temporary applications that can be recycled or removed for later frameworks.
Are you considering a career in construction?
Construction is an innovative place right now – and also somewhere that offers many opportunities to establish yourself in a profitable career, and to develop skills and experience so that you can move further along a career path. It makes a lot of sense to consider a career in construction, not just because of the varied nature of the roles available but also because systems, such as apprenticeships, make entry into this sector very simple.
The benefits of apprenticeships
Apprenticeships are a form of training that provides a clear entry point into the construction world. They offer on the job training and a way to get familiar with the construction sector, and the roles available, while also being paid for all your time and work. These are just some of the benefits to consider:
- Apprentices tend to finish their courses in a much better financial position than students, as they have been paid throughout their job and haven’t had to take out expensive student loans.
- Skillsets are highly transferable. Training as an apprentice can open the door to working on a range of projects, at home or abroad.
- Training programmes are varied. It’s rare for apprentices to do the same thing every day and most of the training will be practical, rather than learning in a classroom.
- It’s more than just training. Apprentices get the opportunity to start making connections in their chosen sector and to try out roles before committing to them.
- Real, practical experience. From boosting a CV to helping with the careers decision-making process, practical experience is vital and an apprenticeship is one of the few ways to obtain it during training in construction.
Why should you consider a career in construction?
No matter what kind of role you’re looking for there are plenty of benefits to working in all these areas of the industry:
- Architect. You get to design the structure of buildings or focus on the technical aspects of design work if you’re an architectural technologist.
- Civil, structural or geotechnical engineer. These roles come with the responsibility of ensuring that the designs of the building will work in practice.
- Surveyor. Use your skills to give technical advice about properties and construction.
- Quantity surveyor. You’ll be focused on how much a build will cost in theory and what the expense is going to be in reality.
- Building service engineer. Your job will be the interiors – heating, lighting, power and ventilation of the building, as well as aspects such as cooling and water systems.
- Landscape architect. If you want to focus on the role of open spaces around buildings to enhance the human living experience this is the role for you.
- Site manager. From making sure that deadlines are met when it comes to building work to ensuring that standards and budgets are being maintained, the site manager makes a big difference to every project.
- Construction trades and crafts. This category covers a whole wide range of interesting jobs within construction, each one with a vital role to play in the finished project. It could be anything, from a bricklayer to a carpenter, stonemason, joiner, electrician or painter and decorator.
Whether you’re attracted by the innovative projects and materials in construction today, or the training and career opportunities, this is a sector with a lot to offer right now.