US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

COVID-19 Pandemic to Spur Innovation in Home Construction

A recent article highlighted a number of ways that home builders and residential contractors can use technology to speed up construction processes while also working to ensure worker safety. Noting that the US faces a shortage of affordable housing – and a looming shortage of the tradespeople needed to erect these homes – the report indicated that, by increasing the use of factory-built components, builders could achieve the goals of more rapid home construction with less waste and risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Key benefits include:

  • reducing waste at construction sites – factory-built components are made to exact specifications and then shipped to job sites
  • minimizing the time spent by workers at job sites – components are delivered as needed, so workers do not have to deal with delays in the delivery of key materials
  • fewer workers are needed to put together prefabricated components
  • it is easier to practice social distancing at job sites – for instance, while some workers are erecting a roof truss, others can do foundation work in another part of the home

Going forward, it is anticipated that these trends will continue and builders will look for ways to further reduce the amount of time and labor needed at job sites, such as by:

  • using prefabricated concrete products for basements, foundations, and driveways
  • ordering prefabricated exterior and interior wall assemblies that are pre-filled with insulation, electrical conduit, and other needed accessories
  • increasing use of flooring materials that require less time for installation, such as LVT, hardwood, and laminate
  • rising use of push-to-connect plumbing fittings

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.