Smart and ecological cities, a boon for construction engineers

2023-09-27 09:30:34

The construction sector is in a particular situation in that it encounters great difficulty in filling certain vacant positions. The ecological and digital transition could, however, to a certain extent, change this reality.

With almost 270,000 recruitments per year for more than three years, we can say that the construction sector has been a gold mine for future engineers. Even today, however, labor shortage affects the sectorparticularly because of the arduousness of certain trades: masons, roofers, plumbers, welders, etc. With theadvent of new technologies in the sector, the arduousness disappears little by little, as jobs become greatly diversified. Thus, BIM, smart cities and networks, 3D printing, among others, are revolutionizing the professional construction landscape. This is particularly the case in the management of construction projects, for example, where the use of BIM (building information modeling) has completely changed the methods of managing and monitoring work.

Thus, the sought-after skills have evolved : mastery of new technological tools which are becoming widespread in this industrial sector becomes necessary, as well as the ability to manage timings, while BIM allows, for example, several actors to interact simultaneously on the different stages of projects.

Although certain construction professions find themselves facing a labor shortage, which sometimes forces them to recruit temporary workers, the sector has for more than two years limited wage inflation, which will remain more or less stable this year and probably next year. A policy that might seem unsuitable, but recruiters note that increasing salaries does not resolve the shortage problems specific to certain sectors, and does not increase the loyalty of recruited engineers.

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A strong trend which could lead engineers in greater numbers to the construction sector. The need, given the growth of the sector, is, unsurprisingly, the energy transition. Indeed, the construction sector is responsible for a significant amount, relative to other sectors of activity, of GHG emissions. A quarter of France’s overall carbon impact is linked to buildings. The room for maneuver is therefore immense. France, which has already launched into a race for thermal insulation of buildings, is carrying out a global energy transition of its infrastructures. And this transition is not just energy-related, since cities are expected to become increasingly intelligent. Infrastructure and networks will constitute two huge projects in the years to come, to be carried out in coherence with each other. This task will provide many opportunities for engineers construction, but also to specialized engineers, who will find in the variety of technologies used in the sector opportunities to exercise professions corresponding to their skills.

Finally, we must also mention the current climatic situation, which sees, as far as France is concerned, temperatures reaching records almost every year. With a peak in 2023. These extreme temperatures also force the construction world to urgently think about technical and technological solutions to reduce the impact of these temperatures on the territory, and particularly in cities, where there are numerous artificial spaces compared to Limited vegetated spaces favor extreme temperatures. On this subject too, engineers will be offered job opportunities and significant challenges to take on in the coming years.

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