The UK construction industry’s three biggest challenges in 2022

By Tall Zebra Designs Ltd

31 Jan 2022

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Thanks to Brexit, Covid, and climate change, the UK construction industry is facing a few significant challenges. How it responds to these challenges will show us how profitable and sustainable building in Britain can be in the future.  According to Designing Buildings, the construction industry’s Wiki, and Construction Week, these are the three main challenges the construction industry is facing now and will continue to deal with for years to come. 

Towns and cities are running out of construction space 

The population of the UK is increasing, predicted to reach 69.6 million by mid-2029 and 72 million by mid-2041. It’s predicted that 70% of those people will live in cities, accounting for a huge amount of consumption and making roads and city centres increasingly more congested.  

The property and construction industry needs to think smarter about how they invest and build in our cities, potentially urbanising and regeneration areas that are currently underpopulated to ease the strain on oversubscribed cities. 

The climate crisis and sustainable building 

Every industry on the planet has to make more sustainable choices, reduce its carbon emissions, and replace non-renewable fuel sources with renewable options. Buildings account for a significant amount of carbon emissions, so smarter building and material choice is essential as well as preserving green spaces.  

The UK construction industry, thankfully, is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking out there, already developing many ways to build sustainably. New building regulations will be introduced in the wake of Cop26, including retrofitting existing homes to reduce their carbon emissions, mandatory energy performance disclosure, and investment in renewable building materials.  

A post-Covid skills shortage 

The construction industry was reportedly experiencing a skills shortage before Covid and the pandemic has made things much worse. Construction Week also points out that Brexit means foreign workers are less likely to bring their skills to UK construction sites.  

Construction has an ageing, male-dominated workforce and the industry has to work hard to encourage the next generation to gain the right skills to take their place. The industry will have to prove it’s welcoming for women, an interesting and valuable career choice, and provide the best training, if it wants to fill this employment gap. 

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