Last year was marked by many unexpected worldwide developments such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as USA President. In Africa, there has been falling commodity prices and waning GDP growth in many countries. Programme Director of the African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo, Soren Du Preez, highlights the top three trends that could impact Southern Africa’s construction industry in 2017:

1.    Spatial transformation:
Project design is becoming more iterative and cyclic instead of linear, partly because South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) has identified spatial transformation as one of its key objectives and neighbouring countries are following suit. Changes in regulations and the introduction of many new building, planning and environmental regulations requires expert technical and scientific input at the early stages of architectural design.

2.    Building information modelling (BIM):
BIM is transforming the way buildings are designed, analysed, constructed and managed across the globe. According to Vaughan Harris, Executive Director of the BIM Institute in South Africa, the time for us to rethink our quality control systems is now so that we all can benefit from information technology that is constructed and developed efficiently for a construction environment.
 
3.    Demand for green cement:
The carbon footprint of construction activities can be greatly reduced by green cement, which substitutes traditional cement with industrial wastes such as fly ash from coal-fired power plants and slag from the steel and iron processing industry. The global market for green cement is expected to grow to US$38.1 billion by 2024 from US$14.8 billion in 2015.

The fifth annual African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo is set to take place from 23 – 24 May 2017 at Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg. For more information, visit www.totallyconcrete.co.za.