When contemplating a building project, whether it's a new or existing facility, organizations need to work closely with a construction team that understands which commercial construction trends are a passing fad and which are critical to a company’s operations now and into the future.
Good design and a forward-thinking approach to construction can help a company improve recruitment efforts and adapt to inevitable changes on the horizon. When working with your construction team, be sure they can incorporate the following modern-day trends as part of your long-term goals.
1. Smart Building Technology
Some would argue that the last couple of decades saw more technological advances than the century before. Many of today’s building or remodeling projects stem from the need to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technology including sensors, robotics, and automation. New construction must include the flexibility to adapt as future smart technologies emerge.
Older facilities, however, weren’t built to accommodate the extra power requirements to run many of today’s systems, let alone those to come. That’s why many companies are upgrading their facilities to integrate technology while simultaneously improving energy usage, comfort levels, and security.
Sometimes forgotten in the race to adopt technology is the need to incorporate flexible “smart” furnishings. Furnishings can be equipped with templated power modules that can be changed later when newer technology becomes available. Those who plan furniture layout need to ensure adequate power is available and placed properly as well. More than ever, the relationship between power and furnishings should not be overlooked during construction planning.
2. Sustainable Design
Climate change is a major concern, prompting many corporations and municipalities to find ways to reduce their carbon footprints. Small steps like automating climate controls and updating to energy-efficient LED lighting can make strides. Some are investing in eco-friendly features like solar panels, green roofs, and high-efficiency HVAC systems.
Sustainable construction practices are definitely on-trend, including the use of recycled materials, renewable energy sources, and upcycled finishes like reclaimed wood. Commercial flooring options including bamboo and stained concrete can add a designer touch with a lower environmental impact.
Modular offices are a popular trend, especially in the manufacturing sector which is experiencing a growth surge in the Upper Midwest. These prefabricated structures are typically one or two stories tall and placed on a production floor or other open area where they are finished to meet an organization’s needs.
Modular structures are a great option for companies that want extra meeting or office spaces for shop floor supervisors. Other uses might include a testing facility, tooling storage, training room, employee lounge, and more. They are installed with minimal disruption and can be configured to work with existing electrical and HVAC systems.
4. Employee Wellness
The labor shortage continues to plague most industries, and proactive organizations are exploring ways to attract, engage, and retain great employees. The addition of on-site fitness centers and walking trails is one way to encourage employee wellness. A major emphasis is being placed on ergonomic workstations, including seating that promotes good posture, standing desks, and work surfaces with integrated technology. Many organizations are also investing in ergonomic furnishings for remote employees to help promote wellness at home.
Natural lighting, indoor plants, decorative accessories, and other touches of “home” create a pleasant atmosphere and can also help improve mental wellness. The latest interior design trends truly emphasize comfort. In addition to higher levels of employee satisfaction, an inviting atmosphere that promotes overall wellness is shown to boost productivity.
Workplaces will continue to leverage remote work opportunities, but many are pushing for workers to return to the office. In the end, most companies will land somewhere in between and adopt a hybrid model. A combination of in-office and at-home workers can create challenges when determining how to use office space, however.
Organizations must remain flexible and adapt quickly in order to minimize downtime and disruption. The incorporation of movable walls, modular furnishings, and multipurpose rooms are a great option and can be reconfigured as needs change. Many are opting for shared office spaces, lounge areas, or hotel desks rather than assigned workstations, allowing employees to choose where they feel most comfortable on a given day. Communal work areas can also help foster collaboration, spontaneous ideation, and improve a company’s culture.
In the end, each organization is unique and should only leverage the trends and innovations that fit their needs. Sorting through all the possibilities can be overwhelming, but the team at Samuels Group can help. We offer consulting, design, layout, furnishings, flooring, and more in addition to construction management and general contracting services throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Contact us today to talk through your needs and ensure that your building project stays on track and on budget.