Review 2021: The development of the construction industry

  • Digitalisierung

In the second year of the pandemic, the German economy has also suffered a setback. Compared with 2020, the economy has recovered somewhat, but the expectations of the German government and economists regarding growth have not been met. The construction industry, on the other hand, remained virtually unaffected by the Corona crisis compared with other sectors.

Supply chain delays remain problematic

According to a study (December 2021) by the auditing firm PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH), 3 out of 4 companies in the construction industry stated that their operating business was little or not at all affected by the pandemic. The companies affected were mostly planning or engineering firms, rather than construction companies. The delay in supply chains and the shortage of raw materials appear to have had a much greater impact on the economic growth of companies in 2021.

Lack of skilled workers hinders digitization in companies

The increasing switch to digital solutions is also a challenge for many companies. 78% of the companies surveyed hope for better collaboration and communication through digital solutions. Despite this, digitization in the construction industry is progressing very slowly and is mostly due to internal concerns. According to the respondents, the main reasons for this are the lack of skilled workers and the lack of acceptance among the workforce.

The issue of environmental, social and governance (ESG) is becoming increasingly important. Put simply, this is intended to achieve a more sustainable development of companies beyond legal requirements. Around two-thirds of the study participants even consider it relevant to the construction industry. However, many companies are still at the beginning and have neither adapted their strategy in this respect nor even drafted it. The focus is mostly on their own employees. The lowest priority, on the other hand, is given to CO2 emissions.

Corona not a driver of digitization

Contrary to the expectations of industry experts, the pandemic has not really given a boost to digitization in the construction industry. However, awareness of the need for digital support has been heightened. More and more entrepreneurs:inside are looking at digital solutions and see them as the future of construction.

Sources:Digitalization, sustainability and Corona in the construction industry, PwC study (December 2021)Economy up 2.7 percent in 2021, tagesschau (January 2022).

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