Commercial construction is one of the nation’s largest, most lucrative construction markets, accounting for over $85 billion of total industry spending. As that spending continues to climb, so has the consumer demand for more innovative materials and designs, as well as a desire to reduce financial and environmental costs. These pressures have encouraged commercial construction contractors to integrate an assortment of new technologies into their work, changing the landscape of the sector.
Here are some of the commercial construction trends we expect to encounter throughout 2019 and beyond.
Sustainability and green technology
Building projects in a manner that leaves a small carbon footprint and uses resources efficiently will continue to dominate construction methodology.
Companies are increasing their focus on building and environmental longevity, balancing the need for long-lasting structures with construction methods and materials that don’t cause environmental damage or high levels of waste.
Reused and recycled building materials have become easier to manufacture and their popularity has increased. These materials include:
- Brick façades constructed from greenhouse emissions or cigarette butts
- Self-healing asphalt and concrete
- Reclaimed wood and metal
These newer materials, combined with designs that take advantage of natural lighting and air flow or divert used water to other plumbing fixtures in the home, decrease electrical and water consumption. Thanks to these modern practices, the construction industry is more energy efficient than ever before.
Modular construction allows for the speedy construction of buildings because sections are fabricated off-site and then installed on-site. The process saves companies time and money because contractors are not at the mercy of adverse weather conditions and waste fewer materials during construction.
Innovative companies continue to standardize their manufacturing processes so that many of the components can be pre-fabricated when constructing repetitive buildings such as apartments, hotels, and offices.
With most of the construction taking place within a factory, commercial construction contractors in Michigan aren’t subject to costly delays and the risk of inclement weather. Factory construction also makes it easier to recycle materials that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.
BIM: Building Information Modeling
Projects have become more collaborative, relying on real-time digital input and adjustments for increased efficiency. BIM technology like drones and management software allow contractors to bring this level of control to large-scale projects.
Drones are easier to use, and their readings are more accurate, giving contractors an increased edge when it comes to site planning and safety. Drones survey land better than their human counterparts by collecting more data and transmitting it faster. The detailed aerial images are also easy to share across the entire workforce.
Management software that connects tradespeople of all disciplines minimizes delays by facilitating the instant communication of vital information, rendering computerized models of anticipated changes, and accurately predicting project costs.
These advances are all contributing to the productivity, profitability, and growth of the commercial construction industry. The sector continues to innovate and foster a modern culture of technology in the workplace, to the mutual benefit of business owners, their clients, and the tradespeople who work for them.