Ask the Expert: Looking Back; Looking Ahead

What were the biggest issues that impacted construction in 2023, and what can we expect this year?

April 23, 2024 Photo

The Experts:

Jason Feld, Co-Founding Partner, Kahana Feld



 Dominic Donato, Partner, Kahana Feld

QUESTION: What were some of the biggest issues that impacted the

construction industry in 2023, and what can we expect this year?


A: The year 2023 ushered in a variety of newly implemented construction technologies, including 3D printed houses; improved wearables that detect all aspects of the construction worker, from location to temperature to heart rate; increased use of modular construction for entire apartment, hotel, and condominium projects; and eco-friendly and conservation-minded technologies to minimize carbon footprint, preserve water, and utilize sustainable construction methods, to name a few.

We also saw some significant issues in the construction industry. First and foremost, the labor shortages and challenges in hiring skilled and qualified workers continued to be an issue, resulting in increased delays, construction accidents, and project mismanagement. The skyrocketing interest rates, decline in commercial/office projects, supply chain issues, material price fluctuation, and increased changes in scope of projects all negatively impacted the construction industry in 2023.

The demand for infrastructure projects put a strain on construction resources as the projects became “mega,” with larger and more complex construction leading to multi-party, high-dollar, and more complex claims. Finally, there is a growing trend of construction claims and litigation being financed by third-party litigation funding sources for personal/bodily injury claims and construction-defect claims.

In examining the Technology Adoption Maturity Index (TAMI), the construction industry showed an increased use in drones, virtual reality and imagery, digital twinning, laser scanning, wearables, GPS, 3D printing, and Customer Relationship Management software. The 2023 TAMI also identified alternative production methods and materials to combat supply-chain and material-cost fluctuation issues. Additionally, the 2023 TAMI responded to the other construction trends from 2023, including hiring and labor challenges, by the use of robotics and automation to replace the loss of skilled workers.

So, what lies in store for the construction industry for 2024? There will continue to be impacts from inflation, increased interest rates, labor and hiring shortages, supply chain issues, material cost spikes, and the lack of proper job site safety measures. But, as indicated with the 2023 TAMI, the multitude of technology options and resources are helping curb the number of construction accidents and deficiencies, and minimizing the time to complete projects, which reduces unnecessary delays.

Forecasters have described 2024 as “muted” and a “mixed bag” depending on the market conditions. But we are optimistic that the continued implementation of construction technologies and innovations will dramatically assist the ever-growing construction industry. 

About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is CLM's director of content.

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