In every industry, changing times brings changing trends. Practices that were once commonplace fall out of style with the emergence of new, innovative technology. In the construction industry, the coming year and beyond might bring long-awaited improvements as well as potential challenges.

Thanks to the strong economy and rising consumer confidence, construction spending reached a record-breaking high of $1.2 trillion in November 2017. Over a year later, this sustained success has brought industry shifts that may continue in the coming months; however, rising labor and materials prices may soon stall construction growth.

If you’re planning a construction project in the coming year, new changes may impact the cost and methods builders use for your unique building venture. Here are just a few construction trends to watch for in 2019 and beyond:

1. Green Construction Projects

Environmentally-friendly construction and eco-conscious construction companies are on the rise. More and more, consumers are searching for ways to incorporate sustainability into their building plans. These efforts reflect both a concern for the environment and increased attention to long-term costs since green buildings tend to be less expensive to heat and maintain over time. Throughout the coming months, the construction industry will likely see continued emphasis on responsibly-sourced materials, waste reduction methods, and low-emission designs.

2. Increase In Prefab/Modular Construction Projects

Another type of construction that’s on the rise is prefabricated and modular designs. By using pre-made pieces and sets to build repeated structures, modular construction projects can save both time and money. Prefabrication is especially useful in buildings like hotels, office complexes, and apartments. As the population growth continues to outpace available housing, adopting efficient and cost-effective building methods will be more important than ever. In 2019, prefabrication techniques may be able to answer the demand for rapid and affordable construction.

3. Rising Material Costs

Though prefabrication allows construction companies to erect buildings in record time, and though green technology opens new doors for sustainable building every day, 2019 will still bring challenges for the construction industry. Specifically, the rising material prices that occurred in 2018 will likely continue through the new year. Skilled workers have also been increasingly difficult to find in an aging labor market, which only compounds the cost issues associated with construction. To afford materials and labor 2019, construction project management companies and general contractors will have to find innovative ways to cut costs in other areas.

Undoubtedly, 2019 will be an interesting year for the construction industry. Though potential pricing challenges are on the horizon, innovation continues to push full steam ahead. With ingenuity and a constant drive for greater efficiency, the overall outlook for construction trades appears to be bright.