What can you expect for the construction industry in 2019? To find out, we asked some of the experts at top general contractors and subcontractors to make their best predictions for the year to come.

These are the top four predictions we gathered, plus why we think they’re right on the nose.

1. Nicole Waits, Construction Analyst at Ryan Companies

The prediction: “The industry will take an aggressive turn towards data-driven decision making. The baby boomer generation has a wealth of knowledge in their heads; successful companies will be working hard to bridge the knowledge gap with data.”

The proof: With an aging generation of construction leaders soon to retire, continuing to rely on tribal knowledge won’t work to get things done anymore. Those who haven’t already embraced technology will find it necessary to keep up in an increasingly competitive industry in both 2019 and beyond. That’s probably why construction technology spending was up 81% in 2018.

2. Scott Director, Vice President and Director of Operations at Director Door Industries

The prediction: “Material costs will continue to escalate, but distributors have enough backlog heading into the new year to warrant substantial growth in 2019.”

The proof: Just take a look at the 2019 Dodge Construction Outlook. Given the political climate and recent steel and aluminum tariffs, material costs will most likely continue to rise this year. However, even that won’t be able to stifle growth, especially in sectors like infrastructure and public works.

3. Keith Poissot, Chief Estimator at Southland Electric

The prediction: “I think as far as major projects go, transportation and commercial tenant improvements will be the big winners for construction in 2019.”

The proof: Again, this one has clear evidence pointing in its favor. Many of the top megaprojects (projects over $1 billion) currently under construction in the United States fall in the transportation sector, from the California High-Speed Rail to the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel.

4. Nick Downes, Director of Estimating and Purchasing at Plaza Construction

The prediction: “The construction industry is going through some changes right now, especially with all the different software options out there. I see a lot of market consolidation — and major players emerging from the pack because of it.”

The proof: In case you didn’t hear, both BuildingConnected and PlanGrid were acquired by Autodesk in December! It’s huge news for us, our partners, and our customers, of course, but it also points to a larger trend in the construction industry.

Wrap up

Predictions are tough to get just right. However, these four have incredibly strong evidence in their favor. Keep them in mind as you plan for 2019 to have your most successful year in construction yet.

What are the top challenges facing the construction industry? Find out now.