How Much Do You Know About Construction?

101 Compelling Facts About Construction

Did you know that in the US we spend an average of $1.2 billion on construction projects? That’s absolutely mind-blowing!  We know finding facts and figures about the construction industry can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we put together this list of the top 101 facts, notes, and statistics so you can easily reference them and refer back to them any time in the future.  This space is constantly changing, so if you see a fact that is not up-to-date, feel free to let us know. And if you know a stat that we should add, let us know that too!

1. Women will account for 25% of the construction workforce by 2020.

2. Steel is actually used in the world in quantities of 1712.1 million tons.

3. Drone use in the building industry has increased by 239 percent in the last year.

4. A technological revolution has resulted from the construction industry’s labor shortage.

5. Construction rentals account for 47% of the industry’s income.

6. Rentals of construction equipment promote private ventures.

7. Construction rentals last on average 6 days.

8. In 2020, the total value of construction in the United States is expected to be $1.36 trillion.

*In 2019, nearly $2 trillion was spent on new construction in the United States. The figure fell to $1.36 trillion in 2020 due to a variety of factors, including the pandemic, social unrest, riots, and disruptions caused by presidential elections.

9. In 2021, 1 million single-family homes are projected to be under construction.

*Despite the fact that single-family homes are the most commonly purchased residential units in the United States, there will be a significant decrease in the number of single-unit starts in 2021. The decline in construction may result in a future shortage of single-family homes.

10. The construction industry accounts for 4.1 percent of US GDP.

*While this may not appear to be much, it makes the United States one of the world’s largest construction markets.

11. The construction industry in the United States invests an average of $1,231 billion a year.

*The United States’ construction expenditures are among the highest in the world; China may be the only other country that can match such astronomical figures. Nonetheless, you must consider the varying costs of labor and materials.

12. According to construction industry figures, Bechtel is one of the largest construction firms in the United States.

*The San Francisco-based contractor has grown to become one of the largest American construction companies, with annual revenue of more than $25.5 billion. It is followed by Skanska ($16.39 billion) and D.R. Horton, which had a revenue of $15.73 billion.

13. The most expensive city in the United States to build in is San Francisco.

*Indeed, San Francisco’s construction expenses increased by 5% in 2019 compared to 2018, making it the most expensive US city for construction, surpassing the previous record-holder, New York City.

14. Every year, 1.2 million new housing units are planned, according to residential construction estimates, which show that 30% of US construction workers identify as Hispanic or Latino. Women make up about 10% of the total US construction workforce.

15. Women make around 10.3% of the overall US construction workforce

*As of 2020, the male to female construction worker ratio in the construction industry is nearly 9:1. The majority of the women are in charge of lighter back-end tasks. In fact, in the construction industry, there is only one female for every 100 males doing fieldwork.

16. By 2024, the global construction industry is expected to be worth $11,093.7 billion.

*COVID19 had a significant impact on the global construction industry, resulting in record low levels of growth in recent years.

17. Women own 13% of all construction companies.

*Despite the fact that the demographics show a predominantly male population, it is encouraging to see that women are more heavily represented in decision-making roles. This enables them to make changes directly from the top and, hopefully, influence the construction industry’s future.

18. According to the most recent construction trends in the United States, Washington is the best state for construction jobs.

*What does the best state for construction workers entail? It is a state with the best opportunities in terms of real population growth, real construction GDP growth, employment, and average construction wages. Fortunately, the state of Washington provides exactly that.

19. To accommodate expected population growth, the required construction rate between 2020 and 2050 is 13,000 buildings per day.

*By the end of 2050, the global population living in cities is expected to reach nearly 10 billion. To accommodate population growth, countries will need to increase investment in the private construction industry as well as global infrastructure development.

20 Global construction spending may reach $17.5 trillion by year-end 2030.

*The construction industry’s investment is expected to rise over the next 30 years. Construction and infrastructure development in emerging countries are expected to significantly increase spending on construction over the next ten years.

21. Between 2020 and 2021, global construction output is expected to fall by 3.1 percent.

*Even though the construction sector began to recover in the second quarter of 2020, recovering from the effects of COVID19 will be difficult. Global construction investment is low and is expected to remain so through 2021.

22. Drones are being used by 37% of construction firms.

*Drone experimentation provides a better perspective on large-scale projects. Drone imagery can also be combined with 3D modeling to help compare progress and identify potential obstacles.

23. The world’s highest bridge, the Beipanjiang Bridge, was built in 2016. 

*It is more than 1854 feet above a river and more than a third of a mile long. This one-of-a-kind bridge cuts the time it takes to travel from Liupanshui in Guizhou to Xuanwei from about 5 hours to less than 2 hours. Although this is the tallest bridge in the world, the Frances Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge in the world.

24. Burj Khalifa required the equivalent of a small US city’s population to construct.

*The Burj Khalifa, which is currently the tallest man-made structure on the planet, is one of the world’s tallest man-made structures. It took a large number of people to build because it is one of the world’s tallest and largest projects. This structure has 163 floors above ground and one floor below ground. When the construction process was at its peak, over 12,000 people were working on it every day. Essentially, over 80% of US cities have a population of less than 10,000 people. This means that it took roughly the population of a small city in the United States to build one building.

25. Factoring is the most effective way for construction companies to increase their cash flow.

*Beginning a new job and making payroll can be a major issue for construction firms of all sizes. This is especially true if you have never been paid for previous jobs. Factoring is the best solution, regardless of your credit history. This is where a specialized and experienced company will buy your invoice and allow you to pay off your previous debts or begin a new job.

26. The construction industry in the United States employs approximately 7.9 million people.

*Between April 2006 and January 2011, the construction industry shed more than 40% of its workforce, resulting in the loss of nearly 2.3 million jobs. Unfortunately, a sizable number of those employees have not returned. Construction employment, on the other hand, is expected to increase as businesses replace jobs lost during the recession.

27. Concrete is the most commonly used building material.

*Concrete has been used in construction since Ancient Egypt and is the most widely used resource in terms of volume. Thomas Edison held 49 patents for concrete and experimented with precast concrete houses filled with concrete furniture, pianos, and refrigerators. Some companies even put fragrance agents in concrete to make it smell nice!

28. China is the country with more skyscrapers, followed by the United States and Japan.

29. There is a global increase in the use of environmental-friendly techniques in the construction sector.

30. In 2016, Latin American countries spent $4.31 billion on heavy machinery or construction.

31. Scaffolding, Hazzard Communication, and Fall Protection are three of the most commonly ignored standards among construction workers.

32. A construction worker has a 75% chance of suffering a life-threatening or disabling injury over the course of a 45-year career.

33. Construction accounted for 75% of all non-fatal work injuries in the European Union.

34. Around 150,000 construction accidents were reported in the United States.

35. According to projections, 167 Gigatonnes of raw materials will be required for construction by 2060.

*The most desired materials are sand, gravel, and crushed rock, followed by metals and coal. The extraction and manufacturing processes, as well as the energy supply (fossil fuel combustion), will have serious environmental consequences.

36. When the world’s population reaches approximately 11,2 billion people in 2100, more than 2 billion new homes will be required.

37. Technology trends are reshaping the construction industry.

*Managers in the market for software are looking for future features such as project tracking, job costing, project estimating, improved accuracy, and process standardization. User-friendliness and functionality are two of the deciding factors in making a purchase.

38. In 1983, hundreds of workers set a world record by constructing a three-bedroom house in just three hours.

*It was later sold to buyers who were not informed about the home’s history. The house was an instant nightmare: uneven slab, burst pipes, faulty roof, mismatched paint, buckled walls, crooked doors, faulty sewer, and so on.

39. The majority of the industry is made up of small construction firms.

*Contractors, subcontractors, and specialized professionals, all of which are small to medium-sized businesses, are major contributors to the construction industry’s growth. Almost 90% of the construction industry is made up of small construction firms, with only a few hundred large-scale companies.

40. In China, a 57-story skyscraper was built in just 19 days.

41. Robots are constructing a 3D printed bridge entirely on their own.

42. Charles Ebbets took the famous 1932 photograph “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper” on the 69th floor, just months before the building’s completion. 

*This photograph, which was turned into a highly commercialized poster, depicts 11 men eating lunch on a GE building beam.

43. A construction worker’s average age is 40. Increased training is required throughout the industry.

44. The Boeing Factory in Everett, Washington, is the world’s largest building by volume. 

*It has 4.3 million square feet of floor space and a volume of 472 million cubic feet.

45. Reinforced concrete is the only building material that is both water and fire resistant. 

*Concrete is nearly fireproof. It does not burn, cannot be set on fire, and does not emit toxic fumes when exposed to flames.

46. Concrete is the most appropriate material for road construction. 

*Did you know that concrete is used to construct nearly 30% of interstate highways in the United States? Because, while the initial cost of construction may be slightly higher than that of asphalt, concrete roads last longer and require less maintenance, making them the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option in the long run.

47. In 1909, the first concrete highway was built.

*The first concrete road was built in Greenfield Township, which is now part of northwest Detroit, in 1909 on Woodward Avenue between Six and Seven Mile Roads. The Wayne County Road Commission, which included Henry Ford, built the mile-long road for $13,492.83.

48. To detect enemy aircraft, the British Army used concrete.

*Prior to the development of radar during World War II, the British used parabolic acoustic mirrors – colloquially known as “listening ears” – to detect incoming aircraft. During the early days of World War II, a network of these massive concrete sound reflectors was built along England’s coast and can still be seen today.

49. Concrete and cement are not the same thing. 

*Concrete is composed of 60 – 65 percent aggregates such as sand, gravel, and crushed stone, 15 – 20% water, and only 10 – 15% cement. When cement and water are mixed, they harden, binding the aggregates together to form the solid mass known as concrete.

50. Concrete is a popular choice for luxury countertops, sinks, fireplaces, and floors.

*Concrete’s ability to withstand water has made it a popular choice for garden décor and outdoor furniture.

51. China is home to the world’s largest concrete structure. 

*The Three Gorges Dam on China’s Yangtze River is the world’s largest concrete structure, standing 185 meters tall and 2,309 meters long.

52. By 2021, sales of construction equipment rentals in the United States are estimated to reach $59 billion.

53. The average rental period for construction equipment is 6 days.

54. Specific building ventures account for 15% of the equipment leased.

55. About 47% of the industry’s income comes from renting out equipment.

56. Bluebeam (Revu), a smartphone app for plan management, is used by 59 percent of construction firms.

57. General contractors have an overall backlog of 9.3 months of projects, suggesting a steady market with room for expansion.

58. 90% of all infrastructure projects around the world are either over budget or behind schedule.

59. Prefabrication accounts for 91% of off-site construction, with modular construction accounting for 78%.

60. 96 percent of general contractors in the United States are optimistic about commercial construction demand.

61. By 2035, artificial intelligence (AI) has the ability to boost construction income by 71%.

62. The construction industry is projected to hit $4.51 billion in AI by 2026.

63. 60 percent of general contractors and trades believe that using software to handle safety and/or inspections during construction would improve the operation.

64. The building industry is responsible for roughly 20% of global emissions.

65. Green building is a rapidly expanding sector in the construction industry. 

*More structures and plans are attempting to integrate sustainability into the construction process. Green construction is the practice of constructing projects in an environmentally conscious and resource-efficient manner.

66. The modular construction market is expected to expand at a 6.9% annual pace, reaching a value of $157 billion by 2023. 

*The popularity of modular and prefabricated building projects will continue to be a part of the construction industry trends.

67. The most restricting factor in implementing modern technology, according to 38.2 percent of businesses, is a shortage of IT workers.

68. Building Information Modeling (BIM) software is used by 55 percent of construction companies, with 27.5 percent planning to implement it over the next decade.

69. The Tivoli GreenCity in Brussels is a great example of environmentally friendly building. 

*As of December 2020, is the world’s most environmentally friendly neighborhood! Tivoli GreenCity, which is located in Laeken near Brussels harbor, has been awarded a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification with a score of 95 percent, the highest ever awarded anywhere in the world.

70. Quality and safety have always been two of the construction industry’s most common buzzwords. 

*This emphasis is expected to grow in 2021, as more project managers look for ways to link their quality and safety processes to the planning phase.

71. In early 2021, Marriott expects to launch the world’s tallest modular hotel.

*It will have 26 stories and will be finished in 90 days. Modular construction allows developers to complete projects faster than ever.

72. 3D printing has piqued the attention of the building industry. 

*3D printing creates objects layer by layer, which is usually much quicker and less expensive than traditional methods.

73. Collaborative robots, also known as cobots, have the potential to revolutionize the construction industry. 

*For a variety of factors, including their plug-and-play configuration and the fact that they’re mobile rather than fixed, cobots are one of the most significant recent robotics advances.

74. In 2021, 75% of construction companies intend to expand their workforce.

*Despite the slow growth forecast for this year, construction firms intend to increase their workforces in 2021, according to a new report by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate.

75. Diesel is being phased out of construction equipment. 

*Renewable biofuels are now being used to power fleets. California, where the state subsidizes the shift, has the most pronounced pattern.

76. Machines that are powered by electricity may become more popular. 

*When fully introduced, it has the ability to reduce carbon emissions by up to 95%.

77. BIM is expected to progress to 4D, 5D, and even 6D. 

*These will enhance the program by adding a construction schedule, cost and materials, and other information. Users will also be able to access geometrics, thermal and acoustic properties, as well as aesthetics.

78. Construction companies in the United States are currently experiencing poor profitability. 

*This is primarily due to fierce rivalry from Asian competitors, project complexities, and supply chain problems.

79. The main demand for sustainable architecture is commercial buildings. 

*This is valid not only for the United States, but also for other regions such as Asia and Europe. This is mostly due to industrial expansions, but it is also influenced by Asia’s growing population.

80. China surpasses the United States, which has 310 million square meters of green buildings, with 320 million square meters. 

*In a decade, China achieved what took the United States 20 years.

81. Drones and robotics are being used to automate building activities, which has a huge effect on safety and efficiency. 

*Construction robots can be used to complete basic, repetitive, and labor-intensive tasks like laying bricks, binding rebar, and installing drywall for the near future.

82. Construction is thought to be responsible for 35 to 45 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, making it a major contributor to global warming.

83. Single-family starts went up 13% from the pre-pandemic high.

84. Construction workers earn an average of $53,123 a year.

85. Males account for 89.2 percent of construction workers. Females, on the other hand, make up 10.8% of the overall population.

86. Buildings are responsible for about 40% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

87. Commercial building emissions could rise to 1.8 percent by 2030.

88. Green building construction in the United States produced $167.4 billion in GDP between 2011 and 2014.

89. Green construction reduces greenhouse emissions by 34%. They can also use up to 25% less energy than traditional structures.

90. Construction workers earn an average of $53,123 a year.

91. Males account for 89.2 percent of construction workers. Females, on the other hand, make up 10.8% of the overall population.

92. Buildings are responsible for about 40% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

93. Commercial building emissions could rise to 1.8 percent by 2030.

94. Green building construction in the United States produced $167.4 billion in GDP between 2011 and 2014.

95. Green construction reduces greenhouse emissions by 34%. They can also use up to 25% less energy than traditional structures.

96. In the United States, there are approximately 10.2 million construction jobs. 

*With approximately 131.39 million full-time employed individuals in the United States as of November 2019, it’s safe to assume that the construction industry plays a significant role in the country’s overall economy; the construction industry employs nearly 8% of the entire full-time working population.

97. 90% of general contractors in the United States are concerned about a labor shortage. 

*Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the fact that the construction industry employs about 8% of the total workforce in the United States, 9 out of 10 contractors are concerned about a labor shortage.

98. Construction teams spend 13% of their time searching for project data and facts.

99. 30 percent of engineering and construction (E&C) firms use software that aren’t interconnected.

100. Big data can be used to boost productivity and streamline processes. 

*However, in order to achieve these objectives, you’ll need staff who have served in the built environment and are familiar with project management, as well as critical analysis and analytical skills.

101. Construction firms are predicted to be one of the fastest growing market segments in the US economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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