How the World’s Oldest Industry Adapted to Human Behavior
Construction is the second largest industry in the world, following healthcare. Requiring some of the oldest skillsets, the construction industry is driven purely by human behavior, forcing it to evolve to respond to the market continually. Everyone, everywhere, has been affected by construction – there is always something that needs to be built, renovated, and maintained to fit our needs.
Consider human history. The Egyptians needed a way to commemorate pharaohs, so they constructed The Great Pyramids of Giza. The Chinese needed to protect themselves from invaders, so they constructed The Great Wall of China. Fast forward to today’s structures, and we continue to build to fit our needs – but with the amplified pace of modern society, there isn’t an aspect of our lives that construction hasn’t touched.
Example 1 - Transportation
The infrastructure of transportation leads directly back to construction. Take the airport industry: many airports across the U.S. are currently undergoing redevelopment to meet the needs and expectations of travelers. Gone are the days travelers can arrive at their gate five minutes before departure after going through a nonexistent security line with their cigarette. The process is drawn out. Now, travelers search for experience, along with efficiency, when going through the airport.
A recent survey from OAG found that 40% of travelers said the TSA needs to add more loading zones for passengers to help speed up security. What may seem like a simple task will ultimately lead to lengthy renovations and possible rebuilds, and the construction industry will continue to accommodate these needs.
Our own Orlando International Airport is also undergoing renovations to accommodate traveler needs. While previous facilities were virtually obsolete, expansions are made to add more retail, dining, and lounging areas to give travelers more of an experience while waiting for their flights.
Example 2 - Healthcare
Medical facilities are also continually evolving to fit our needs. Rebuilds across these facilities are taking place to accommodate more technology and make these structures “smarter.” Additionally, more and more medical facilities have made an effort to change their aesthetic and the way they function to help decrease stress for patients, often going as far as a full remodel to create a more peaceful and comfortable environment. In 2018 alone, 12 hospitals and health systems announced the expansion and remodeling of their facilities, each with a price tag valued at $1 billion or more, proving this is a vast market where construction professionals are needed.
Example 3 - Other Tech
Looking toward the future, our habits will continue to shape construction. As our society pushes for heightened sustainability, more consumers are turning to electric vehicles, for example. Just recently, it was announced that Britain would ban the sale of new gas, diesel, and hybrid cars starting in 2035. With the ban of vehicles that require gasoline, what happens to gas stations? Will they need to be rebuilt to accommodate electric charging stations? Will they become obsolete altogether?
Whatever the case may be, construction professionals will always be needed to build, rebuild, renovate, and maintain the structures that make up our lives. As human behavior changes, expect to see the construction industry continue to adapt to it.