Looking Ahead: The Australian Construction Industry in 2020
28 Nov

Looking Ahead: The Australian Construction Industry in 2020

Adam Latham

The final year of the decade has seen changes across a number of industries, including construction. In 2019, construction work fell by more than 11% across all states and territories in Australia. While it may not be a statistic that will make you feel overly positive about the future, all is not lost - and 2020 could be our catalyst for change.

According to MBA forecasts, the building and construction industry is looking set to stabilise moving into 2020 and 2021. With some optimism in mind, let’s dive into what else we can expect, and what we should keep an eye on, in 2020.

Ups and Down of Construction in 2019

To look forward, we first need to look back. 2019 was full of ups and downs for the construction industry, from residential lows to commercial highs. 

Growth areas

While residential building has been trending down over the past year, commercial and civil construction areas are showing growth, with an upward trend over 2019.

“Australia’s construction industry will regain growth momentum from 2020 … Commercial and industrial projects and an improvement in consumer and investor confidence will also provide support, offsetting the downturn in residential construction.”

- GlobalData Construction Analyst, Danny Richards

Apple Isle

All eyes are down south as Tasmania is seeing healthy growth, with engineering construction growth 24% YOY from March 2018 -2019. This momentum is set to maintain into 2020, with a $3.6billion infrastructure plan for the next four years, claimed to lead the growth. 

Better safe than sorry

Energy efficiency compliance and fire safety roll-outs continue as part of the National Construction Code (NCC) 2019. The NCC was adopted by all states and territories in May 2019 with combustible cladding compliance being front of mind. 

Construction Trends to Watch in 2020

With a mixed bag but plenty of good news in 2019, we need to continue to stay grounded and be prepared to expect the good and the bad moving into the next decade. Let's dig into some trends to keep an eye on in 2020. 

Environmentally sustainable construction

We are keen to see increasingly sustainable construction in the new decade. The Construction in 2020 report published by the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation talks thoroughly about how sustainable thinking is set to guide our behaviour. 

“Sustainability issues will dominate our thinking and behaviour in the future. Education in environmental issues will continue to increase sensitivity to the environment and increase demand from consumers for change in industry performance and standards.”

- Construction in 2020 Report

Technical advances 

It's all about #ConTech, as technology continues to advance year-on-year in construction. In 2020, keep your eyes peeled for AR and VR modelling and concepts. We are also expecting to see increased connectivity between on-site and off-site communication through cloud software, as well as more accurate data collecting to form the foundation for the future of construction artificial intelligence (AI).


So, it's not all doom and gloom for construction in the new decade. Construction in 2020 is looking towards a future that will prioritise safety, sustainability and economic stability. How will you contribute to this bright future?


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Adam Latham

Adam Latham is the Sales Manager extraordinaire at Latham Australia. His technical knowledge, specifically with regards to Control Joints and Safety Flooring is second to none. When he's not working with clients & presenting across Australia, Oceania, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, he's based at Latham Headquarters in Gladesville Sydney.

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