5 Commercial Construction Trends in 2014
Commercial construction trends are constantly changing, and the industry has evolved greatly. With less dependence on residential housing and an absence of overbuilding the industry is seeing a diverse growth focused in sectors such as healthcare, retail, distribution and lodging. Construction Labor Contractors is poised to meet the new needs arising from this expanding industry. Here are some trends your companies can expect to see in 2014.
1. A rise in the integration of technology
Technology, particularly cloud-based tech, is poised to figure extensively into construction management in 2014. As construction continues to evolve, utilizing project management tools can help you maximize efficiency, retain valued customers and keep ahead of the competition. New trends of software on demand allow users to gain access to a cloud server where information can be stored and communicated. An advantage to this system is a construction manager only pays for access when it is being used. The use of these new technologies can also reduce the costs of IT support, saving your company money.
Today, even on a construction site, people expect a response to inquiries and issues immediately. Construction managers are responding to questions or comments sooner by utilizing tablets and smart phones. Using these approached construction managers can also edit and update the information any time of day from anywhere. This will increase collaboration, accessibility, and productivity. It’s also important to note that deciding who on your team should have access to mobile data is a decision that requires careful thought.
The costs involved with cloud technology increase as your network expands. CLC recommends starting with the major key personnel in the project, and others that may be impacted by the construction. But it’s also reasonable to expect subcontractors to have the same connectivity and respond quickly.
2. A change in financing
A large volume of the overzealous lending not only assisted in the real estate market crisis, but also drove record construction starts. However, the industry took a dip as the global financial crisis emerged in 2008, and construction lending stopped as banks attempted to decrease risks.
Now, financing has returned, echoing a healthy activity in construction spending. Commercial lending opportunities are improving, even though lending standards are remaining rather stagnant. The low cost of capital and re-emergence of the CMBS market have led to more construction efforts, enabled by easier lending.
3. An increase in construction costs
The downside to the previously mentioned industry recovery comes in the form of construction costs. Before the crisis, building materials kept construction costs manageable. The high demand for new construction was met with free-flowing financing and it precipitated bulk purchases at lower prices. Now, construction has become more expensive, with costs outpacing the recovery in most of the country. The booming single-family home sector has created larger construction costs for the commercial sector as well, including increasing the cost of labor.
4. The rise of green building
In previous years, green buildings were viewed as expensive and “nice to have” luxuries, built only upon request. One important commercial construction trend is the call for more environmentally sustainable features. In 2014 owners and developers view these as must-haves, and attention to green building materials is considered a core capability.
5. A need for infrastructure updates and rebuilding
The private-sector economic expansion previously demanding construction is seemingly a thing of the past. Now, construction recovery is driven in many areas by much-needed infrastructure updates and rebuilding in the wake of severe storms such as Hurricane Sandy.
Natural disaster reconstruction remains high priority for construction executives as more frequent volatile storms are predicted for the future. Construction firms who invest the time to become proficient in storm recovery will be well-positioned for growth.
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