How the UK Construction Industry is Modernising: Trends to Watch in 2024


The UK construction industry is modernising, embracing innovation, automation, and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). This article looks at the UK construction industry trends to watch in 2024.

Increased Use of CMS

CMS (Construction Management Software) is a cloud-based software that centralises project planning, scheduling, communications, and documentation for construction teams, fostering heightened efficiency, minimising downtime, and improving staff satisfaction. The increasing adoption of CMS is poised for exponential growth in 2024 and beyond, projecting a global market value reaching nearly £20 billion by 2028.

Prioritising Sustainability

In 2024, the UK construction industry will likely continue its trend towards greater sustainability. Influential players are set to adopt advanced technologies and eco-friendly practices, fundamentally reshaping the sector. This shift is fuelled, in part, by central funding, aligning with the government's commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2050. Sustainability trends to watch in 2024 include:

·       Renewable Energy Integration: The trend of integrating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, underscores the construction industry's commitment to reducing carbon footprints and meeting energy demands sustainably.

·       Smart Buildings and IoT: The adoption of smart building technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) enhances sustainability by optimising energy usage, improving building efficiency, and providing real-time data for informed decision-making.

·       Passive Design Principles: Embracing passive design features, like optimal orientation and natural ventilation, minimises reliance on active heating or cooling systems, promoting energy efficiency and sustainable construction practices.

·       Water-Efficient Practices: The incorporation of water-efficient technologies, including rainwater harvesting and recycling systems, reflects a commitment to minimising water usage and addressing water scarcity concerns in construction projects.

·       Carbon Offsetting: Carbon offsetting measures, such as tree planting initiatives and investments in carbon reduction projects, are becoming integral to construction projects, offering a way to neutralise their overall carbon footprint and contribute to environmental sustainability.

·       Prefab and Modular Construction: Prefabrication and modular construction methods are gaining traction for their efficiency, waste reduction, and controlled building processes, aligning with the trend towards sustainable construction practices and resource optimisation.

Increased Use of 3D Printing

Another modern construction trend on the rise in 2024 is the use of 3D printing. The UK has its first on-site 3D reinforced concrete printer, promising environmental and community benefits. Although the UK's previous efforts in this area were modest, 3D printing in construction, expected to gain momentum in 2024, offers various advantages, including cost efficiency, flexibility, speed, and enhanced safety – making it an innovation with potential dividends when paired with proper training and experience.

Growth in Automation

In 2024, automation is expected to play an increasingly significant role in the UK construction industry. Much like our discussions about 3D printing, automation is poised to bring substantial improvements in efficiency, cost reduction, and safety. While concerns about reduced staffing arise with any automation, experts anticipate that, as seen in other sectors, automation will act as a supportive tool for employees rather than a complete replacement.


Once seen as futuristic concepts, robotics and exoskeletons are becoming commonplace in the construction industry. These tools elevate workplace productivity and safety, mitigating the risk of injuries.

Advanced robots now tackle hazardous tasks such as demolition, drilling, and bricklaying. Robotic arms excel at precise work like welding joints. Additionally, powered exoskeletons reduce fatigue and empower workers to handle heavy loads safely.

Construction companies incorporating these technologies can enhance efficiency and precision on-site. The adoption of robotics and exoskeletons in construction is poised to follow the automation surge seen in manufacturing and warehousing. Piloting these innovations can give companies a competitive edge.

Rise in Offsite Modular Construction

A standout trend in the industry is the rapid growth of offsite modular construction. This involves crafting essential elements like walls and floors in a controlled factory setting for assembly on-site.

Modular construction offers various advantages, including quicker project timelines, reduced material waste, lower labour costs, and enhanced quality control compared to traditional methods. Its popularity is soaring due to faster development with minimal on-site disruption.

Architects, contractors, and developers increasingly embrace modular construction, particularly for hotels, multifamily housing, and commercial structures. Studies predict the global modular construction market to grow by over 6% annually until 2026.

Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Data analytics is reshaping industries worldwide, and the construction sector is no different. In 2024, big data and predictive analytics will stand out as key drivers of competitive advantage. Companies embracing the potential of data will thrive.

New analytics tools offer valuable insights from extensive data sets. Tracking metrics on operations, supply chains, equipment, workers, budgets, and more empowers data-driven decision-making. Predictive analytics uses this data to anticipate risks, reduce delays, boost efficiency, and minimise waste.

Construction firms should invest in capturing and analysing data across all aspects of their business. Forge partnerships with top analytics platform providers tailored for the construction industry. Harnessing big data will optimise profits on future projects.

Growth is Expected

In 2024, the UK construction industry is poised for a noteworthy comeback, expecting a 12% growth compared to the previous year. This optimistic outlook is linked to an anticipated economic upswing, fostering increased confidence among consumers and businesses. This, in turn, is expected to boost activity across various industry sectors. Despite a dip in output in 2023, a modest 1.1% resurgence is forecasted for 2024, signalling positive change. Reports highlight expectations of gradual growth, with challenges like construction costs and stabilising supply chain issues, offering new opportunities for construction firms in the upcoming year.

Investment in Education

The education sector is expected to experience the highest growth this year, mainly because the Department of Education plans to rebuild hundreds of schools in the next decade. This includes refurbishing over 800 academies, colleges, voluntary aid schools, and more. This funding injection benefits education trusts nationwide and contributes to the ongoing growth of the construction industry in the upcoming year.


From automation and robotics to big data and sustainable practices, the construction industry will be marked by modernisation and digitisation in 2024. Innovative tools and practices are driving buildings that are smarter, greener, and more efficiently constructed. In the UK, the construction industry looks set to bounce back from the past year's challenges, which have been marked by the cost of living crisis and reduced demand.


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