As we look ahead this year and beyond, we can’t help but see how quickly our electrical industry is changing. The last few years have been dominated by shifts in technology. Especially technology related to “smart” building and sustainable practices.
Here’s some examples of today’s and tomorrow’s electrical industry trends:
Prefabrication – in the construction industry as a whole, has been a growing trend for a number of years. Prefabrication is the process of fabricating, or assembling, construction components offsite in controlled environments prior to bringing them on the job site for final installation. Many electrical contractors are building standardized electrical assemblies offsite then bringing them on to complete the electrical system installation.
Prefabrication produces cost savings in terms of materials, labor and estimating. It means less cost transporting materials from place to place and more efficient use of labor. Future electrical industry trends include exploring prefabrication of an entire residential component, such as apartment units, being entirely assembled in large warehouses with electrical, plumbing and HVAC completely installed prior to ever reaching the job site.
Increase use of Sustainable Materials – is expected to continue well into the future. Statistics show the construction industry accounts for 40% of worldwide energy usage and 40% of CO2 emissions. These percentages bring a demand for “greener” construction practices and materials.
In the electrical industry, this means more energy-saving features and sustainably made components and products. Recycling and reclaiming materials are becoming a huge part of this strategy while helping to reduce cost.
Use of Augmented Reality – Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are areas that have undergone continuous development and are creating new possibilities for electrical contractors. One example is viewing this report on how electricians are using HoloLens to repair an electrical panel. Click here to see the report.
Many electrical contractors are finding useful purposes for AR and VR throughout today’s projects. In the planning stage, contactors are using AR, not only, to plan but actually see the best means of wiring future projects and buildings. During the work phase, AR is being used to allow someone, who’s not on the jobsite, to see what the person on the jobsite is seeing. Thus enabling them to talk through a specific task, issue, or installation method without both individuals having to be on the jobsite at the same time.
AR and VR also shows real-time interactive and 3D pictures of wiring, as seen here, wiring Boeing aircraft. There’re also programs designed to help electricians determine if an area they are inspecting is energized or not which helps improve safety.
Cloud-Based Tools – Today’s electrical contractors are utilizing cloud-based software which helps them provide better services and be more efficient. Examples include cloud-based estimating and tool management systems. Other cloud-based software allows jobsite updates to be made quickly and without the hassle of having to travel from the job to the office.
5G is also bringing another layer of incredible change in what consumers, businesses, government, and industrial clients want. Smart home technology is growing in leaps and bounds, as you’ll see below. Today’s city planners are working to develop tomorrow’s smart cities. Schools, transportation, hospitals and other businesses are also starting to look at the advantages that wireless technology offers, including increased connectivity possibilities and opportunities.
Smart Home Trends – The wider spread of 5G is rapidly bringing more prolific, cheaper, and accessible technology to today’s residential construction. For electrical contractors, this technology means more demand for “smart” installations, including:
- Smart appliances – everything from refrigerators with built-in computers to stoves with tons of pre-programable applications. loT (Internet of Things) has created a network of devices for every room in the house.
- “Décor gadgets” such as touch-reactive countertops. (Installation of these gadgets require rewiring in most cases.)
- Voice control integration for more areas of homes or businesses. (Doors, including garage, will need to be wired to incorporate the control integration.)
- Smart lighting and controls for everything from the shower to the heating and cooling.
- Technology that today is hands-free and voice activated, we soon be both hand and voice free, activated by artificial intelligence and based on personal preferences.
Our electrical industry is ever changing. Now its changing quicker and faster than most of us can image. At Branham Electric, we strive to stay on top of current electrical industry trends. Our Systems division offers a wide range of today’s technology. Our team is constantly learning new systems and looking for new opportunities. We also attend national events to learn more about today’s and tomorrow’s innovative electrical trends.
One call to Branham Electric really does handle all of your electrical, voice/data/video, systems and energy efficient lighting needs. have a new system or electrical device that you would like to have wired in your home or office? Call Branham Electric, (636) 926-2001. Our technicians have the expertise to wire all of today’s cutting-edge electrical trends, technology and systems.