If there’s one constant, it’s that everything changes, and the construction industry is no exception. If you’re going to make the most of your contracting business, you need to keep abreast of these changes and follow the trends where they lead. After all, doesn’t it make sense that you’ll get more business if you know where the industry trends are heading?
Construction trends can be fickle, but some are big enough trends that you can see them coming from quite a ways off. Here are some of the big trends that look like they’ll make an impact in 2016 – keep your eyes peeled to see if any of them could benefit your business.
Environmental impact is a major concern for many companies, especially with international political pressures bearing down on those who aren’t eco-friendly enough. This is a trend that’s been building for a few years and isn’t likely to die down soon.
As a contractor, this means that you’ll be sourcing recycled and certified sustainable materials, low-energy options such as LED lighting and possibly even solar panels or other alternative energy sources in order to reduce dependence on energy generated from fossil fuels (and also reduce the owner’s electric bill.) This is especially popular with residential construction, although you’ll see a few commercial properties going the environmentally friendly route from time to time, as well.
Senior and Assisted-living Communities
As the population ages, more facilities are needed to take care of those who are having trouble living by themselves. Retirement communities, assisted-living homes and other senior housing will continue to experience growth in 2016. These facilities are often much closer to smaller, connected communities than the nursing homes of old, resulting in larger projects than simply building a single building with numerous bedrooms and connected baths.
Malls and Shopping Centers
It seems strange to think of shopping centers as an emerging trend in 2016, especially when everything seems to be shifting to e-commerce. We started seeing several online-only retailers branching out into physical locations in 2015 and this trend will likely continue in 2016. Existing commercial locations may not fit the needs of these primarily online retailers, especially if they maintain a large amount of stock to use retail locations as regional warehouses and shipment pick-up points. Even when they do move into existing commercial buildings, they may require extensive renovations to meet the needs of the company’s e-commerce infrastructure.
Millennials are big into affordability, leading a push toward economy housing and micro-apartments. There’s going to be a growing demand for multiple-tenant apartments, economy apartments and small houses that can be built or purchased affordably. Many of these projects will incorporate eco-friendly elements as well, since economy is a major driver of the small housing movement.
Technology and home automation equipment is also an important part in some of these housing projects, though the degree to which technology will be incorporated into any particular house or apartment unit will vary.
With an increased focus on affordable housing, homeowners will have more disposable income to spend on dining and entertainment. Commercial contractors will find a bounty of opportunities in areas where food and entertainment can mingle, since the restaurant industry and entertainment venues have become largely co-dependent on each other. This isn’t just limited to fast food and movie theaters, either – the growing sophistication of the Millennial generation calls for finer dining establishments and alternative forms of entertainment. Moreover, these will likely be more closely grouped together than in the past so that patrons can easily head from one venue to the next.
The Burbs Are Back
The suburbs are seeing an increase in growth, showing that people are once more wanting to get outside of the hustle, bustle and crime of the inner city. This is good news for residential contractors, since it means that there will be a number of new housing developments outside of the major cities in 2016 and beyond. These suburban developments will be a bit different than the suburbs of the past, however, especially as some of them will grow as part of the small housing movement.
Just as housing is growing in and around the cities, so is the need for office space. Both single offices and co-working spaces are required, with the latter being once again fueled by the frugality of the Millennial generation.
Access to technology is an important part of these office spaces, so for maximum impact they’ll need to be built with the wiring requirements of the Internet in mind and enough open spaces to prevent interference with WiFi signals.
Original Article Written by ContractorTalk.com