Improvements in technology, new environmental regulations and consumer demand are fueling innovation, according to John Burns Research & Consulting. For the building and housing industry, that means a lot of new products are expected to hit the market over the next 3 to 5 years, especially in the HVAC, plumbing and interior surface materials sectors.
The HVAC industry is especially seeing a surge in innovation, research and development powered by regulations that encourage using of natural resources more responsibly. Consumers and other end-users who are prioritizing healthy work and living spaces and sustainability are also driving demand for new products.
Plumbing is also an area where the building industry can expect to see new products in the coming years. Manufacturers are developing items that comply with water usage regulations. They are also reacting to consumer demands for convenience with products such as voice-activated faucets and spot-resistant finishes.
When it comes to interiors, manufacturers are being asked to develop building products that will help make homes and workspaces healthier, whether that’s through better air quality, improved acoustics for sound absorption or heating and cooling.
These investments will be beneficial for consumers because consumers will now have access to products that are healthier and more efficient. But there are implications for those in the building industry including technicians/installers, distributors and sales representatives.
With newer products on the market, it could become increasingly difficult to find spare parts to repair and service older equipment. That, along with energy-related tax breaks for some products, could mean property owners upgrade and replace items with new, updated equipment. According to John Burns Research & Consulting, “HVAC contractors will need to ensure they have the appropriate supplies and labor to cater to the type of demand (new installation vs. repair) that is most likely in the markets they serve.”
For distributors, new products can quickly make old products obsolete. It will be important for distributors to put a greater focus on inventory to make sure they have an appropriate mix of old and new products in stock and at the ready.
Finally, for those in sales, staying educated on new products will be paramount in order to share the benefits with consumers or other end-users. That may mean additional training on installation, service, and maintenance.
The world is innovating and the home construction industry is doing the same.