Trends in commercial architecture are key indicators used by architects to stay ahead of the curve, and adopt industry best practices on time. Construction practices in commercial projects vary drastically compared to residential ones. Developers and suppliers to the commercial construction industry are dedicated to coming up with new materials, technology, layout ideas and sources that make the work of a commercial architect easier. Let us look at the recent trends in the commercial construction and architecture industry.
The future is indeed here. One of the key trends in commercial construction is the use of the most advanced technology to complete large scale projects. Drones are used to survey construction sites pre-construction and assess levels of completions. There are companies like Doxel that combine the power of drones, and artificial intelligence to help commercial architects stay on schedule and detect errors.
Commercial architects are increasingly adopting cloud-based applications such as Infurnia in construction. Applications help teams remotely co-ordinate & monitor multiple construction projects. Cloud-based solutions aide with designing, approvals, delivery schedules, and more.
Another trend to watch out for is the use of 3D printing. It helps detect errors at the designing stage by cost-effectively replicating the commercial projects. Robotics will also be the wave of the future, with some architects in developed countries using them for rods & bricklaying.
It is easier to create green residential spaces when compared to tall standing commercial structures. However, owing to global awareness and increased need for energy efficiency to save costs, architects are creating green commercial spaces. There are two parts to this- environmentally friendly products and green operations.
An example is insulating concrete blocks. They improve the quality of insulation, reducing the cost of cooling & heating within a structure. They are useful in cities as they provide efficient sound-proofing, cutting down on sound pollution. Another example is the use of recycled products like steel, reclaimed wood, bamboo as flooring. Ferrock is another environmentally friendly product that can be used in lieu of cement.
Operationally, commercial structures consume a lot more resources than residential ones. Be it water, electricity, cooling or heating- it is a challenge to build a green commercial building. Architects are turning to BIM software and using artificial intelligence to create energy, water & waste management systems that are environmentally compliant. All in all, this is one of the trends in commercial architecture that ensures architects move beyond token solar panels and other such devices.
Architects are adapting to a new-age work culture which is increasingly becoming non-hierarchical and non-segmental. Companies especially start-ups are realizing the impact that synergy between various teams can bring in. Every employee is different and some function well while sitting with others by drawing on their energy. There are other employees that prefer a quiet private space that allows them to think. By offering clients both choices, architects can help improve their productivity. Apart from employee-specific workspace allocations, architects can also create a breakout room where all employees can gather to brainstorm on projects.
Architects are currently leading on with an employee-first approach, instead of pushing path-breaking design. Another among the trends in commercial architecture is to not follow a cookie-cutter approach when making offices- it isn’t about just providing a desk and chair. Commercial architects are working on creating spaces that are comfortable, bright with natural light and soundproof. Another trend surfacing is the borrowing of ideas from hotel & resort design. While he has been quite successfully implemented in commercial projects sprawling across acres, such as IT parks, it is new for smaller commercial projects. The thought is to include elements like game rooms, gyms, spas, and any such ideas which help employees unwind.
Commercial constructions usually involve large scale projects with time & money at stake. The labor market is tricky and material prices keep fluctuating. One of the important trends in commercial architecture that is creating a mark are prefabricated construction elements. Commercial architects are looking at reducing on-site construction by a large percentage. Instead, they have begun creating various units off-site and bringing it all together at the construction site. This is helping reduce the level of unpredictability that goes with traditional commercial construction. While an evolving field, prefabrication in commercial architecture is a trend to watch out for.
Commercial construction is a demanding endeavor. Luckily, it has been a field that undergoes constant R&D and there are new approaches & products being introduced on a regular basis. As an architect or builder, being attuned to the trends in commercial architecture is crucial to one’s business. It helps young commercial architects, especially, to propel their practice in the right direction. We hope the above trends point you in the right direction of the changes to come.