The short answer is most likely yes. There will be cycles of boom and bust but in general, the trend will continue to go upwards. For the next years and decades, there will be an increasing number of residential and commercial buildings in various areas.
The question then is will your company be still a part of that progress? Can your team fully take advantage of new construction opportunities? How can you best position yourself for those opportunities and do you need to make some adjustments?
Getting ahead of the competition
First, it’s true that there’s an upward trend in construction activities. There’s a rising demand for new apartment buildings and commercial facilities. The slow steady increase in population (rising need for new apartment buildings) and changing demographics (e.g. emerging aged care facilities) also lead to new infrastructure.
However, there are old and new competitors to think about. Other established construction firms will expand their operations and search for ripe opportunities. On the other hand, new companies will also take a slice of the construction market by promising faster and more economic services.
How can your firm stay and get ahead of the competition then? The key here is to have a continuous stream of projects while controlling costs. Downtimes should be kept to a minimum. Continuous activity defines who will flourish in this competitive and exciting construction market.
Aside from handling more projects, continuous activity will also enable you to build an impressive portfolio of projects. As a result, your team will gain more experience and exposure. You’ll also gain the trust of many prospects because of your extensive experience. It’s true that “the rich gets richer” because new opportunities often come to the established players.
So how can you ensure continuous construction activity for your company? There are two general strategies to accomplish that: Diversification and Specialisation. The first is about building a capacity to handle various types of projects (residential, commercial, roads, bridges, government buildings). On the other hand, Specialisation is about being the best in one particular area (more emphasis on a certain type of project).
Diversification can also be about keeping an eye on both established and developing areas. For instance, highly urbanised centres present fewer opportunities because of the already high density of buildings in the area. In contrast, emerging regions (with lots of room still left) have more spots to fill in.
It’s also good to keep an eye on multi-million dollar government infrastructure funding. Often it’s only an initial construction project that will attract more building opportunities. We can think of it as growing a tree. There will be a central trunk and branches will continue to sprout and spread out. The government project will be the trunk and new construction projects will be the branches. Soon, those branches will even become the main trunks and lead to more branches.
“Continuous branching out” always happens in emerging growth areas. This is how growth often occurs because access roads are being built and the area becomes more attractive and people-dense. This then leads to the need to build new roads, bridges, subsurface infrastructure, residential buildings and commercial facilities.
Unique construction challenges in Australia
Australia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. With an approximate average population density of 3 persons per square kilometre, this doesn’t mean that the people are spread out evenly through the vast lands of Australia.
In fact, people are heavily concentrated in highly urbanised areas. Up to 89% of the total population live in those locations due to the unfavourable geography (deserts and semi-arid locations). As a result, this presents unique challenges to the Australian construction and property market.
As discussed earlier, developing and emerging regions present lots of opportunities for new construction. This can also be partly true in highly urbanised locations of Australia. Established areas are more attractive to investors and multi-national corporations. Also, these areas often grow upwards. Skyscrapers became a norm and as more establishments are being built, these locations become more crowded.
Construction in these areas then becomes more challenging as a consequence. Tight roads and presence of other buildings introduce new constraints during planning and construction. The transport of construction materials and progress of construction activities could become very limited due to those constraints.
Back then, planning and construction were fairly straightforward because fewer constraints were present. But now, it’s important to study and analyse the whole picture even before preparing the site for construction.
For example, engineers and architects now pay more attention to the topographic survey of the site. Also called detail survey, it shows both natural and man-made features present in and around the site. You can see the locations of vegetation, trees, rocks and other natural features of the land. You can also view and study the locations of existing buildings, landmarks and other structures in the area. Moreover, the survey also provides information about elevations, spot levels and contours. As a result, engineers and architects get to view and analyse the whole picture before making any drawings and plans. Also, stakeholders can get a general idea of what their site is.
In construction planning, both the construction site and its immediate surroundings deserve equal attention. Information about the elevation and contour of the site is crucial for engineering priorities (e.g. execution of the plan and controlling costs). On the other hand, the immediate surroundings is also important for visual aesthetics. Will the building stand out or become obscured in the dense area? How will the sun shine on the building and how we should best orient the structure? Will the structure blend with the surroundings or complement the natural features of the site (e.g. oceans, coasts, valleys)?
These are all important questions whether it’s a residential apartment or commercial building. The value of the property and its potential for attracting tenants often depend on many small things. After all, potential tenants already have many choices. This becomes even more apparent as more structures are being built to address consumer demand.
Will the construction sector continue to soar?
As long as the economy stays good, new infrastructure will continue to sprout in the different regions of Australia (whether it’s a fast-growth area or a highly dense location). Increasing population and changing demographics also catalyse the construction of new structures including roads, bridges, apartments, commercial buildings, healthcare facilities, government offices and other public infrastructure. Expansions and repurposing of existing buildings also occur in a regular basis to meet current and emerging residential and commercial needs.
New opportunities are always present in the construction sector. Both private and government initiatives also catalyse construction activities. And as new projects are being initialised, expect more investors and property developers to come into the scene. It’s highly recommended to keep an eye on those emerging opportunities so your team will have a steady stream of projects.
During the first quarter of 2018 the Australian construction sector saw good months because of new engineering projects (both private and government). Multi-million dollar investments are continuously being poured for development. Aside from building new infrastructure, the construction sector also generates and maintains jobs (over a million are employed in the construction sector). Those employed are also continuously supporting other businesses and sectors including food, utilities, residential construction (having their own homes) and education.
As a result, many aspects of the national and local economy heavily rely on the present and future of the construction market. To stimulate a region or the whole economy, often it starts with pouring millions or billions of dollars into developing new infrastructure. In addition, investors and multi-national corporations are always searching for avenues on where to put and grow their money.
As a reputable builder, you and your team will always face new opportunities for contributing to the local and national economy. One of the keys to accomplish that is to handle each project excellently and professionally. To ensure that, it’s highly recommended to work with an experienced team in every aspect of the project.
This is especially the case in the initial phase of the construction project. For instance, land and construction surveying requires high levels of precision and accuracy. And in this era of modern construction, the practice also requires modern techniques and technologies to accurately evaluate the site and get the whole picture.
That’s why here at Geosurv, we’re committed to accuracy in every surveying project we handle. Since 2005, we’ve been handling important assignments in Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, Cronulla, Gold Coast and surrounding areas. We’ve already performed surveying relating to the construction and renovation of apartments, hospitals, railways, bridges and private homes.
Call us today at 1300 554 675 and let’s discuss your project. We’ll provide you a free quote along with the description of the services.