You may remember last year that I wrote a piece with my predictions for 2019. Well it seems that many of my predictions did not materialise. As we reach the end of the year, I’m going to take a look at some of the biggest construction news stories of 2019 and where we are now.

Celebrating Milestones

This year, Decipher celebrated it’s 18th birthday. It has been an incredible journey from starting the company to where we are today. As we turned of age, I shared a few thoughts on our journey so far.

We also celebrated Andy Walkden’s ten year anniversary of being in the team. Our people are integral to everything we do as a business. We are proud that so many of our team stay with us for the long term. We take pride in investing in them and developing their careers.

In addition we are still growing and as the business develops, we are looking to expand our technical team. Take a look at our careers page for details on the available roles and what it is like working with us.

Retentions and late payment

Last year I predicted that we might see big changes to the way retentions are dealt with in the industry. Despite research showing retentions cost the industry up to £1million a day, the ‘Aldous Bill’ has now been shelved.

Late payment remains a major issue in the industry. This year we have seen many big firms suspended and reinstated to the Prompt Payment Code. With 9 out of 10 small business owners suffering stress and mental health problems due to late payment, we hope that action is taken soon. Bill Bordill has recently written about the issue in this article.

Brexit and Politics

This year can be characterised by one word, “Uncertainty”. As we head to the polls this week, it seems we are no closer to knowing what might happen.

With Brexit continuing to dominate the headlines, we have seen a reluctance to make any big decisions.
All the parties’ manifestos contain promises that could lead to big changes in the industry . We’ll have to continue to wait and see what could be next.

Building a Safer Future

This June we saw the publication of ‘Building a Safer Future’.The review builds on the recommendations put forward by Dame Judith Hackitt following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017.

The regulations apply to multi-use residential buildings above 18 metres. It introduces clearer responsibilities for those involved in the design, construction and maintenance of such buildings.
A number of councils have been named as early adopters of the scheme and we expect the regulations to become commonplace on projects through 2020.

Technology

The construction industry has often been behind when it comes to the implementation of new technologies. But it seems we are now at a turning point.

The government has recently appointed Mark Farmer, author of ‘Modernise or Die’ as their champion for Modern Methods of Construction.

Offsite manufacturing and modular construction are becoming common. And the use of AI, drones and robots are no longer the stuff of science fiction movies. This video shows some of the advances in offsite construction.

However, adoption of these methods also highlights the problems we are facing. The industry already suffers from a major skills shortage. Retraining, recruiting and retaining professionals in these new methods is vital to the success of the sector.

So, it seems as though the construction industry in 2020 will still remain somewhat of a mystery to us all. Whatever happens, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year and we hope to see you 2020.