In a recent Consensus Construction Forecast, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has predicted nonresidential construction industry spending will increase in 2019 and continue to grow in the coming years. With the increased levels of construction activity, we expect to see trends emerge that will shape projects across a range of industries and sectors.
Here are some of our predictions for what to expect in 2019:
Sustainability & Green Efforts
As we have written about already this year, improving sustainability on commercial construction projects is a trend that we’ve seen throughout 2018. We expect this movement towards methodologies and processes focused on reducing waste and energy consumption to only grow in the years to come. Everything from material selection, to construction waste management is being evaluated and commercial contractors will continue to look for efficiencies that will ultimately protect the planet’s valuable and limited resources.
Increased Growth in Key Sectors
As the commercial construction industry has shown steady growth throughout 2018, the following key sectors have stood out: office buildings, retail and restaurants. Because consumer spending has been on the rise we are especially seeing a correlation in retail and restaurant construction especially. Many national restaurant chains are opting for new construction rather than retrofitting existing spaces; and in cities across the nation the spike in “live, work, play” developments has also contributed to the rise in retail and restaurant construction.
Limited Labor Force: Subcontractors Specifically
With increased construction activity we will continue to see a labor shortage in the industry. Many subcontractors are already working at full capacity, meaning they are in a position to be more selective about the jobs they take on. They are also in a position to drive pricing for their labor on certain jobs, especially those that may require overtime work or off hours labor. This trend is on pace to continue into the new year as commercial construction continues to grow.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is used to virtually simulate a project before construction begins, increasing visibility into fine details for everyone on the team and creating time and cost efficiencies long term. The technology creates virtual models, allowing the team to easily collaborate, share information and identify possible design challenges. Strong communication and collaboration are key to any successful construction project and BIM improves both.
There are countless moving parts in commercial construction, and as we move into a new year we’re excited to see where the industry is headed. With improving economic conditions and a continued increase in consumer consumer spending, 2019 is expected to be another great year for growth in the commercial construction industry.