Following several global disrupting developments in 2016, from Brexit to the US elections, and from falling commodity prices to waning GDP growth across Africa, there are diverse global realities impacting the African continent and Southern Africa’s construction industry in particular.
Soren Du Preez, programme director of the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo, highlights the top 3 trends that will impact Southern Africa’s construction industry in 2017:

1.    Spatial transformation
South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) identifies spatial transformation as one of its key objectives and neighbouring countries are following suit. At a technical level, the introduction of many new building, planning and environmental regulations require expert technical and scientific input at the early stages of architectural design.

The project design process is moving towards a cyclic and iterative rather than linear model, which will translate into the spatial transformation of the built environment in the medium to long term.

2.    Building information modelling (BIM)
BIM is an innovative technology and process that is transforming the way buildings are designed, analysed, constructed, and managed across the globe.

“The time for us to rethink our quality control systems is now and for us all to benefit from information technology that is constructed and developed efficiently for a construction environment,” says Vaughan Harris, Executive Director of the BIM Institute in South Africa.

3D Modelling is just part of the BIM process and will only drive transformation if it’s combined with wider and deeper support from the industry, including behaviour, culture, transparency and processes.

3.    Demand for green cement:
The global market for green cement is expected to grow to US$38.1 billion by 2024 from US$14.8 billion in 2015. Green cement reduces the carbon footprint of construction activities through the substitution of cementitious industrial wastes, such as fly ash from coal-fired power plants and slag from the steel and iron processing industry as a replacement for traditional cement.

Demand for green cement in Africa will provide an increasingly lucrative market over the next few years due to growing trends in sustainability and energy efficiency for both buildings and infrastructure. 2017 will witness an increased demand from local African marketplaces for more sustainable products in the local built environment.

Know more
The Southern African construction industry is a growing market offering attractive business opportunities. The fifth annual African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo is taking place on 23 – 24 May 2017 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg and will provide access to the African built environment.

The 2017 event features an indoor/outdoor exhibition with six new dedicated zones:
–    Construction.
–    Concrete and Cement.
–    Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP).
–    Surfaces and Finishes.
–    Tools and Equipment.
–    Digital Construction.

With a robust workshop programme, the event provides free hands-on technical training for professional development and skill building. The event is endorsed by the Concrete Society of Southern Africa and is sponsored by Marley Building Systems, AfriSam, Builders, Liebherr, PMSA and Consolidated Electrical Distributor.

For more information, visit www.totallyconcrete.co.za.